Fire-technical advice for the renovation and management of protected buildings - Briab - Brand, Risk & Säkerhet


Fire-technical advice for the renovation and management of cultural heritage buildings

Do you plan to do work on a cultural heritage building? Are you considering what is possible to do with your property? Have you received an order from the emergency services that something must be done?

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Briab can now offer support for the maintenance, repair and renovation of culturally significant buildings. In addition to solid fire-technical experience, we now have employees with certification for protected buildings who can guide you through the entire process.

Johan Hanberger, fire protection engineer, is in charge of our offer for protected buildings. He has both a private and a professional interest in preserving and improving protected buildings. We asked him a few questions:

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Hey Johan, you recently got your certification for protected buildings. Tell us more about it!

For a long time I’ve been fascinated by history and old buildings. Eight years ago my wife and I bought a house from 1901. That was the start of an intensive learning curve, where we learned some of the craftsmanship surrounding building conservation, old houses and construction techniques. Everything from linseed oil paint to repairing a log cabin. Now we’re almost finished with the first overhaul of our house, and I’m lost in an endless black hole of exciting knowledge. My aim has been to find a link between my hobby and my job. How can I combine building conservation and fire protection? The course I’ve just finished is a step along this path.

Tell us about the course.

It’s a course aimed especially at professionals in building conservation, and its aim is to provide the necessary theoretical knowledge in the field. The concept of building conservation, as we see it today, is not a fixed concept, and the way we manage older buildings has varied a lot over the centuries. Now there are shared international documents that specify the principles for good building conservation. And in Sweden we have various laws and directives that control what we can do, and how we do it. This, together with a thorough presentation of traditional Swedish construction details, forms the basis of the course.

What is a protected building?

You could say that a protected building is a building that in some way is legally protected from adulteration. Sometimes it can be parts of a building, like the facade, but it can also be interior details. Right now I’m working on project where some doors, apartments and staircases are protected. This can be controlled in a local plan, cultural environment legislation or by being a culture reserve.

Why is it important to preserve old construction?

Wow, that’s a deep and fundamental question. The answer often has to do with keeping in touch with our history, or remembering our own insignificance. For me, it’s enough that they are beautiful, and that I admire the craftsmanship. Plus, we can learn a lot from history. Old buildings are often more sustainably built, using locally produced, natural materials.

Being certified to work with protected buildings, what does that mean?

That I now have the formal skills to work with these issues, and a much deeper knowledge within the field.

And your clients, how can you help them?

Our clients now have access to a fire protection engineer who is aware of the challenges and limitations of reconstructing protected buildings. By using this knowledge we can propose interventions and products that can be implemented even though the building is protected.

Is there a protected building you think is particularly worth learning from?

A building that has been designated as worthy of protection has distinguished itself from other buildings by its particularly high cultural-historical value. This means that for every such building, there is something new to look at and experience. The diversity of the questions, and the challenge of finding suitable fire protection for these buildings is what attracts me.

Are we good at taking care of our cultural heritage, when it comes to buildings?

Unfortunately not. A report from the Swedish National Heritage Board says that the issue of cultural heritage is missed or ignored in municipal building permit procedures. This means that many cultural values disappear for ever. At the same time, we have fires that destroy buildings of cultural-historical value every year. We need to be better at working preventively in these environments as well, before it’s too late.

Is there a project you dream of working on?

My dream project would be to work with one of the government listed buildings. Why not Drottningholm Palace?


We thank Johan for the chat. If you are interested in finding out more about what Johan and Briab can do for you, our contact us details are below.





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