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Cardellicchio, L (2021) Building defects in new iconic structures: the technical challenge and the economic impact of restoring the Jubilee Church in Rome. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 17(01–02), 146–66.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Building defects; maintenance; maintenance design; failures; conservation;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 1745-2007
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/17452007.2020.1738996
  • Abstract:
    The Jubilee Church is a contemporary building located on the eastern outskirts of Rome, Italy. Featuring components with non-standard geometries and innovative technical solutions, the church is now suffering from extensive and premature decay, despite having opened only 16 years ago. This research project aims to use data on premature ageing patterns and the consequent refurbishment of the Jubilee Church to reimagine its failings as a valuable learning. Following the appraisal of the building process and detailed analysis of its failing components and materials, this study calculates the economic impact of the building’s premature decay. These data are interpreted to assess the economic feasibility of the ordinary maintenance of the building and the technical practicability of its restoration. This study demonstrates how the accelerated decay of such a contemporary building is due to several factors, including construction detailing that ignores characteristics of local weather, lack of ordinary maintenance due to excessive costs unaffordable for a small parish in the outskirts of Rome and untested materials not suitable for use in components with specific geometry. The paper aims to extend the value of this case study by highlighting some recommendations that can inform wider maintenance procedures for buildings with similar geometric and material characteristics.