International Wood Committee Charter: Principles for the Preservation of Historic Timber Buildings (1999)


This document defines basic principles and practices for the protection and preservation of historic timber structures. It calls attention to the diversity and scarcity of historic timber structures and their vulnerability to material decay and degradation, and makes recommendations in seven areas:

  • inspection, recording, and documentation of materials, skills, and technologies should be performed;
  • monitoring and maintenance should be conducted on a regular basis;
  • interventions should follow traditional means, be reversible or not impede future preservation, and not hinder future access to evidence in the structure or site;
  • repair and replacement materials, craftsmanship and construction technology should, where possible, correspond with those used originally;
  • historic forest reserves should be established as source of appropriate timber for preservation and repair of historic structures;
  • contemporary materials and technologies should be used with the greatest caution and only where there is assured benefit;
  • education and training are essential to a sustainable preservation and development policy.