Important legal notice
Contact   |   Search on EUROPA   
Cultural heritage
Cultural heritage - Conserving our common legato
“Preserving the iron and steel structures, buildings and equipment that play such a vital role in Europe’s industrial heritage.”

The problem

Thanks to the industrial revolution and rapid economic progress over the past century or more, Europe has a rich array of iron and steel structures, such as buildings, mining equipment and machinery. This means that many of these monuments are no longer used, and many are, in fact, falling into disrepair, ravaged by corrosion and pollution. However, despite their redundancy, they provide a glimpse into Europe’s industrial past and have rich cultural heritage significance with tremendous educational value. But with time running out, finding ways to preserve and conserve such structures in an environmentally friendly way has become an urgent priority. Moreover, sustainable exploitation plans for future public access and development are needed.

CONSIST  Conserving Europe’s industrial heritage


CONSIST aims to:

  • Compare traditional conservation materials and technologies with modern conservation treatments, as applied to iron and steel industrial monuments
  • Develop improved conservation materials that will provide long-term protection for indoor and outdoor iron and steel monuments – concentrating on devising water-based transparent coatings
  • Create management concepts for the sustainable exploitation of industrial cultural heritage sites after conservation, taking into account the requirements of owners, curators, architects and administrators
  • Help improve public accessibility to monuments after conservation

Contribution to policy development:

  • The project will develop strategies to abate the negative impact of tourism on cultural heritage by validating various conservation materials, aiming to reduce the cycles of conservation treatment, damage and re-treatment
  • CONSIST supports the EU’s objective of producing economic activity that adheres to the principles of sustainable development
  • The preservation methods developed will be applicable to other industrial areas, which will also boost the Community’s sustainable development objectives
  • The newly developed water-based materials will reduce the emission of volatile organic compounds released when using organic solvents.

Project deliverables

  • Assessment and documentation of corrosion on three pilot objects – December 2005
  • Reports on measures needed for preservation of the three pilot objects – June 2006
  • Feasibility reports and development of the water-based, sol-gel conservation resins –
    December 2006
  • Testing of traditional, modern and newly developed protective coatings, along with testing of coating techniques – September 2007
  • Reports related to application of final preservation techniques on the pilot objects – June 2008
  • Final project report, including preservation recommendations, exploitation strategies –
    June 2008


  • Publications (especially a project leaflet), conferences and website will be used while
    project is running
  • Intensifying contacts with state preservation institutions – 1st year of project
  • Distribution of final report to conservation journals and relevant scientific media – 3rd year
  • Attending trade fairs to disseminate information on the newly developed resins to the industrial and conservation market – 2nd and 3rd years

Technical information

Project acronym: CONSIST
Project’s official full title: Comparison of Conservation Materials and Strategies for Sustainable Exploitation of Immovable Industrial Cultural Heritage made of Iron and Steel
Research priority: 3.6. The protection of cultural heritage and associated conservation strategies
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 513706
Start date: 1 June 2005
Kick off meeting: 1 July 2005
Completion date:1 June 2008
European Commission scientific officer: Michel Chapuis,

Name: Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Silicatforschung
Abbreviated name: ISC
Address: Bronnbach Branch
Bronnbach 28
97877 Wertheim
Country: Germany
Tel: +49 9342 9221 711
Fax: +49 9342 9221 799


Name: The Institute of History of Art and Technology, Technical University of Wroclaw
Abbreviated name: TUW
Country: Poland

Name: Naylor Conservation
Abbreviated name: NC
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Haber and Brandner GmBH
Abbreviated name: HB
Country: Germany

Name: Deutsche Montan-Technologie
Abbreviated name: DMT
Country: Germany