Heritage Conservation


Preservation and conservation of our cultural heritage are constant and ongoing in the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is to ensure that the Outstanding Universal Values of the World Heritage Site are conserved for the future generations, and at the same time support the city’s sustainability in terms of the social and economic aspects.

To achieve this, George Town World Heritage Incorporated assists with the understanding of conservation work, as well as educates and encourages the participation of the local communities in heritage conservation.


Built heritage provides us with a sense of our history. The value is in its aesthetics, building methods, design, material science, and in the streetscape. The built heritage value would be eroded if the special significance of built heritage is ignored or replaced. The shophouse in Penang has a rich heritage value and it is important to apply the correct methods for preservation.
These are five things to consider when conserving built heritage:


Get to know the historical period and style of your shophouse in order to recover the authentic features on the facade.


Understand the division and use of space, function of the five-foot way, airwell and back balcony in relation to feng shui.


Learn how multiculturalism influences the philosophy and aesthetics of the shophouse structure, design, and decorative features.


Get to know the historical period and style of your shophouse in order to recover the authentic features on the facade.


Familiarise yourself with the traditional building methods and skills of decorative finishes of the Penang shophouse.


As a World Heritage Site with more than 5,000 buildings, education and information as well as understanding and appreciation of the Site are vital to meaningful conservation management.

To ensure that heritage buildings are conserved and restored in a manner that preserves their authenticity, George Town World Heritage Incorporated conducts capacity building projects such as the Tangible Heritage Workshops that enhance the knowledge and skills of the public who are involved either directly or indirectly in the planning, development, management, monitoring and enforcement efforts of George Town as a World Heritage Site.

The workshops – Heritage and Conservation Workshops (Introduction, Intermediate and Advanced levels) and the Heritage Impact Assessment Workshop – create public awareness on the conservation of heritage buildings and the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value for the preservation of George Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Heritage and Conservation Workshops will equip participants with knowledge of the restoration and repair of heritage buildings especially in the World Heritage Site, the principles of conservation, and explanations on the technical stages including council requirements and guidelines for conservation work.

Through the Heritage Impact Assessment Workshop, representatives from government agencies, private property owners, architects, building engineers, and quantity surveyors are introduced to the Heritage Impact Assessment report, which details the surrounding impacts on the proposed development, restoration or renovation site. Participants will be given exposure to the procedures required for producing a comprehensive, high quality assessment report.

For details, please contact Mr Muhammad Hijas Sahari at [email protected] or follow our social media channels for the latest updates.