WIT Press

The balanced intervention theory: A conservative but adaptive solution for the traditional Basque architectural model


Free (open access)


Volume 14 (2019), Issue 3



Page Range

206 - 216

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Matxalen Etxebarria Mallea, Lauren Etxepare Igiñiz & Margarita De Luxán García De Diego


The Balanced Intervention Theory is a conservative but adaptive solution that takes into consideration both heritage construction values’ conservation and hygrothermal behaviour improvement measures of the traditional Basque architectural model. The development of the theory is based on the valuation and intervention of the construction evolution of the traditional farmhouse architecture in the River Lea Valley, located in the Historical Territory of Bizkaia (Basque Country, Spain). On assumption that the combination of different conservation measures involves intervention limits and conflicts of interest, the theory may attempt to meet the answer to the problem concerning the conservation and continuous adaptive evolution of this heritage construction model. In that sense, an intermediate conservative but adaptive solution, which contributes to preservation and renovation, is developed in order to avoid choosing between overprotection (just preservation) or no-valuation (complete intervention) according to four gradual intervention degrees based on the combination of the heritage protection level, and on vertical and horizontal envelopes’ hygro- thermal improvement measures. As a result, the relationship between the protection and the hygrothermal intervention may determine different improvement and conservation solutions for each case study. 


balanced intervention, conservation, protection, hygrothermal improvement, intervention degrees, traditional Basque architecture