The Swedish Association for Building Preservation (Svenska byggnadsvårdsföreningen) is an independent, non-profit, environmental organisation, concerned with buildings and environments of all types and from all time periods throughout Sweden. The association participates in the public debate to support opinions on preservation matters and advocates building preservation as a sustainable resource management for a society in ecological balance.

Our mission is to:

  • Work to protect, preserve, and conserve buildings and built environments from all periods.
  • Promote education and research on the unique characteristics and history of older buildings.
  • Generate public opinion on building preservation and architectural heritage in societal debates and environmental policy.
  • Keep the knowledge of traditional building techniques alive and promote high quality in contemporary planning and construction.
  • Collaborate with associations and individuals interested in building preservation and architectural heritage.
  • Develop international contacts in the field of building preservation.

We organise conferences, seminars, guided tours, and other activities. Our nearly 60 representatives all over Sweden act as liaisons to the different regions, organising local and regional activities, as well as promoting favourable opinions on preservation issues. The association holds annual meetings, typically in May, which are hosted in various districts each year.

Gula listan – ”Yellow list”

We operate a list that highlights heritage at risk, known as the ”Gula listan”, which has been featured on the website since 2008. The Yellow List showcases buildings and constructed environments in Sweden that possess historical and/or cultural significance and are, in various ways, endangered by demolition, improper alteration, or lack of maintenance. To put it simply: structures that have not been properly cared for. The objective is not to compile an exhaustive inventory but rather to draw attention to and exemplify the challenges our cultural environment confronts. By including buildings on the Yellow List, our aim is to stimulate public opinion and foster debate, thereby influencing the fate of these structures. Anyone can propose buildings or building sites for inclusion on the list.

The periodical

We publish a periodical called ”Byggnadskultur” (Built Heritage). Four issues are released annually, featuring articles on preservation projects, building traditions, current debates, and events all around Sweden. Each publication focuses on a distinct theme, such as colour, gardens, public opinion, modernism, and so on.

Restoration camps

Every summer we organise restoration camps, extending a warm welcome to participants from abroad. The restoration projects encompass various types of structures, such as villas, farmhouses, wooden churches, palace gardens, as well as stone and wooden manor houses. The concept revolves around participants restoring a house using traditional materials and techniques while learning from experienced instructors.

The camps attract a diverse range of individuals with different backgrounds and ages. Typically, there are between 6 and 10 camps held each summer, accommodating a total of around 80 participants. Additionally, the Association has been involved in camps located in Estonia, Latvia, Montenegro, Albania, and Zanzibar. In 2007, the Association produced an English manual on how to conduct restoration camps titled ”Guidelines for Restoration Camps.” The manual is available for free download, provided the source (Svenska Byggnadsvårdsföreningen) is acknowledged.

Board members and office

The board comprises 8 to 12 members along with a chairman. Its composition includes architects, antiquarians, carpenters, building contractors, and engineers. Board members are drawn from various regions across the country. Physical meetings are held approximately twice a year, while the remaining meetings take place digitally. The association’s office is situated in Stockholm and currently employs three individuals. In terms of financial support, the association receives partial funding from the state, approximately one-fifth of its budget, through Riksantikvarieämbetet (The National Heritage Board), while the remainder is financed through membership fees.

Members and membership

The majority of our members are professionals engaged in building preservation, although the number of individuals from the interested and committed general public is on the rise. Currently, we have approximately 6,000 members.

As a member of the association, you support our efforts to raise awareness about architectural heritage and building preservation throughout Sweden. You enable us to pursue important issues and influence policymakers, urban planning offices, property owners, building consultants and construction companies.

Additionally, our members receive personal benefits, such as discounts at building preservation stores nationwide, free advice through our regional representatives, our popular membership magazine ”Byggnadskultur” and invitations to seminars, conferences, and trips.

Get in touch

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