Building fabric

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The term building substance (part of the word substance from Latin substantia = "that which is under something") is used in the building industry and in the preservation of historical monuments as a designation for the existing structure , i.e. the existing substance of buildings . In its common usage, the term describes the physical inventory of buildings or parts of buildings that cover a subset of the generic term building.


In analogy to the philosophical concept of substance, building substance is understood as follows:

Building fabric is that

  • what buildings consist of and what all appearances of the built are derived from,
  • what is as permanent as possible and independent of other things,
  • about what (as a subject ) something (a predicate) can be said and which has properties,
  • what is subject to change, e.g. B. by use-dependent (wear and tear) or independent (natural forces) influences,
  • what is usually called an object ,
  • what gives space-time perception a unity and enables localization in it.


The term is often used in the context of the structural preservation of monuments , because this deals with the building and its properties with the aim of preserving the existing building and therefore sees the built as the "original substance" of its activity.

In the German honorary order for architects and engineers (short HOAI ), there is the concept of "existing [n] buildings, which is co-processed technically or artistically," and that should be considered in the determination of fees.


since 2010, year 1 (appears four times a year): Bausubstanz. Journal for sustainable building, building preservation and monument preservation , Fraunhofer IRB Verlag Stuttgart, ISSN  2190-4278 .

See also