The “Cultural Heritage” research area is part of BTU’s “Smart Regions and Heritage” research profile area and focuses on analysis of historical cities, important buildings and support structures, and biographical research. The aims of the research approach are to examine historical design concepts and constructions from the point of view of their sustainability and to use the outcomes to ensure that more is known about historical structures so that the they can be used as sources for building and construction today, to understand the building and construction of structures and the process involved in both their long-term use and changes in their use as an expression of changing social conditions and as an essential source for understanding previous eras. Within the research area, the close connection between subjects that have historically been focused on technology, such as Surveying, Representation Theory, Building Materials Science and Building Construction, has an important role to play. New methods for recording, simulating, reconstructing and evaluating historical buildings are integrated directly into the work and define the profile of Construction Research at Cottbus.
Interdisciplinary research topics such as Concepts in Architectural Conservation, Heritage Management and Conservation in the Intersection between Historical Architectural Research, Archaeological Studies and Urban Redevelopment Strategies are developed in close collaboration with non-university research institutes, such as the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) and international partners. The fields of modelling, simulation and management contribute to the methodological and strategic innovation in the research area with their own research.
Impressive confirmation of the importance of the Cultural Heritage research area as the BTU’s “beacon” project came when the Graduiertenkollegs 1913 was approved by the German Research Foundation (DFG). A large number of junior researchers are involved in the research projects or carry out their own research related to the research area. The strong link between research and teaching has been supported by two specialist courses in the International Graduate School as part of the BTU's agreed targets with the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg: the PhD programme in Heritage Studies and the graduate programme in Cultural and Technical Values.
BTU is a founding member of the Archaeological Heritage Network (ArcHerNet), which is based at the German Foreign Office. The network is running the “Hour zero - for a future after the crisis” pilot project for reconstruction in Syria. BTU’s involvement in the project is focused on the reconstruction of the devastated city of Aleppo in northern Syria in particular. There are a number of important partners in the project, including UNESCO, ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), the German National Committee for the Protection of Monuments (DNK), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Association for International Collaboration (GIZ), the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK) among others.
The Cultural Heritage Centre was founded at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg in order to bring together, develop and highlight the excellent research and teaching expertise in the field of cultural heritage that was already taking place at BTU.