The impact of climate change on the indoor environment of monumental buildings

Z. Huijbregts, R.P. Kramer, A.W.M. Schijndel, van, H.L. Schellen

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Within the EU project Climate for Culture, the damage potential of climate change on a large selection of representative historic buildings, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, throughout Europe and North Africa is assessed. Rising temperatures and relative humidity, due to higher amounts of precipitation, will increase the risk on unfavourable microclimate conditions that cause damage to historic buildings and their collections. Besides that, the indoor environment in historic buildings is difficult to control because HVAC systems are often limited or outdated. The objective of this preliminary study is to gain insight into the impact of climate change on the indoor climate of the built cultural heritage with free floating conditions and with controlled climatic conditions (heating and cooling). An indoor climate simulation program in combination with a future outdoor climate scenario has been applied to evaluate the impact of climate change on indoor climate variables and energy consumption. Furthermore, climate data from the outdoor climate scenario have been compared with recent weather data. (...) From the results, it can be concluded that from 2000 until 2099, both indoor air temperature and relative humidity will increase. Although the air temperature has a larger increase than the relative humidity, high relative humidity will become more of a problem than the temperature, especially in the conditioned situation. This means that dehumidification systems will be more required in the future, in both unheated and heated buildings. Although the need for heating decreases, heating systems will become more necessary to reduce the relative humidity. More overheating hours will occur; however, cooling systems will not become an essential requirement in monumental buildings in The Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate for Culture, EU-FP7-Project no.: 226873, Third Annual Meeting, Visby, Sweden, September 2011
Place of PublicationVisby, Sweden
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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