3. Our environment and buildings

Pathology issues

Do buildings “hurt”?

The lack of maintenance and abandonment cause quick deterioration in the traditional buildings of Gjirokastra.

Usually, the problem starts from the roof. If the water penetration continuously, it can quickly create problems at the timber elements of the roof and to all the other wooden structural elements of the building, even if it is oak or chestnut. The deterioration of timber ties will further cause the disconnection of the layers of the walls and, as a result, its collapse.

Additional structures or wrong restoration interventions can cause further structural problems and deterioration in traditional materials and structural elements.

Insertion of concrete elements, disruption of timber ties, application of cement mortars and plasters have as results:

  1. weakening of the structures,
  2. overloads or increase of humidity in the surfaces.


Have a 360° virtual tour inside this building’s ruins and detect the pathology issues it has. Furthermore, you can read and observe the pathology issues caused by environmental effects (e.g. earthquakes), interventions, and stone decay. You also have the chance to see structural units, such as doors and windows, walls, and çatma, “naked”:

Another 3D view of a building’s ruins is also provided by the 3D Past European Research Project in the 3D viewer below. What do these two ruined buildings have in common?

Dalipi Ruins by 3dpast on Sketchfab


These two buildings are in serious pathology condition. Do you know other buildings in your area with the same or better pathology condition?

Create a team, pack some cameras, and try to take pictures of the pathology issues of a building of your choice. Pick a building that means something to you, e.g., your school or a meeting point for you and your friends. Be careful, though! The buildings with a serious pathology condition are dangerous, and you might need not to step inside them