Each province has its own Monuments and Historic Buildings Inspectorate (Dutch: Monumentenwacht), which inspects historic buildings and advises owners on their maintenance and upkeep. Most provincial inspectorates have their own executive board, their own organisation and are subsidised on their own individual terms by their provincial authority. Some inspectorates are independent organisations.
Digital inspection data
The Monuments and Historic Buildings Inspectorates have a large number of clients, so these organisations have data on almost a quarter of all listed historic buildings. Every time it performs an inspection, the inspectorate draws up a report, and for several years now it has also recorded the data in digital form. This means that data are available on the state of repair and the structure of the listed buildings that have been inspected for the entire country, by province, municipality and category of historic building. The inspectorate’s data only give information about the buildings that it has inspected. In 2015 and 2016 the Cultural Heritage Agency is investigating the extent to which these data are representative of all listed historic buildings.
The terms ‘maintenance’ and ‘stucture’
Maintenance mainly concerns the replacement, upkeep and repair of elements of the building, such as paintwork and pointing. The structure of the building comprises the load-bearing elements and the shell, which roughly consists of the roof, frame, beams and floors, façade, load-bearing walls with doorways, foundations, cellars and vaulting.
Number of inspections dependent on contract
From 2008 to 2013 the inspectorates performed 44,710 inspections. The frequency of inspections depends on the client’s contract. The Monuments and Historic Buildings Inspectorates also perform one-off inspections. In the period 2008-2013 3195 listed buildings were inspected once, 6344 twice, 10,311 three times, 12,228 four times, 8585 five times and 4038 were inspected annually over those six years.
A new feature in this monitor is the addition of information on the trend in inspection data. The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) now has data for six successive years – 2008 to 2013 – allowing a trend to be identified: whether the condition of the structure and/or standard of maintenance of listed historic buildings inspected by the inspectorates is improving, declining, or remaining stable.