Beatriz del Cueto López FAIA
Established in the year 2000, the Architectural Conservation LAB at the Polytechnic University is designed and equipped to safely handle advanced architectural technology students and small research groups. Comparative collections, as well as reference inventories of traditional building technologies and raw materials, are maintained within these research facilities. Students are versed in scientific analytical procedures and in the proper and safe use of scientific equipment and materials. They are provided with opportunities to carry out the evaluation of a historic building from sampling of its fabric, to the development of compatible repair mixes. Specific training methods include: microscopic examination, understanding qualitative characteristics of raw building materials through scientific laboratory exercises, and the ability to analytically discern changes of historic structures through time. Important standing and long-term collaborative agreements with the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation of the University of Pennsylvania and the San Juan National Historic Site (NPS) have provided the students with real-life interdisciplinary opportunities and hands-on practice. Numerous student projects have received National and local American Institute of Architect awards.