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The historical indoor climate: A long-term approach to conservation environments within heritage buildings
Gotland University, School of Culture, Energy and Environment. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History.
Politecnico di Milano.
2013 (English)In: Online Proceedings of the Conference: Built Heritage 2013, Monitoring Conservation and Management; Milan, Italy / [ed] M. Boriani, R. Gabaglio and D. Gulotta, Milano: Politecnico di Milano , 2013, 1321-1328 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the usefulness of archival sources and architectural analysis in tracing the indoor climate history of an historic building such as an old museum, a church or a palace. References to past indoor climate have often been used either to defend status quo or to justify radical changes in the climate control of a building.

The concept of historical climate can be used in many different contexts. In the field of conservation, it has recently been defined by the European standard EN15757:2010 as the “climatic conditions in a microenvironment where a cultural heritage object has always been kept, or has been kept for a long period of time (at least one year) and to which it has become acclimatized”. Unlike many previous environmental standards, the priority is here not so much in specifying hygrothermal ranges, but in measuring the existing climatic conditions and in understanding whether the environment to which a cultural object has been exposed for a long period of time is harmful or not. As a consequence the focus should be shifted to the climatic history of the object, intended as the complex set of interactions developed throughout an extended period of time between a cultural object, its environment and the surrounding architec- ture. The term “conservation environment” introduced in this paper proposes a development of the analysis by including outdoor and indoor climate and the microenvironments which can influence buildings and artworks.

When a cultural object is preserved within a historic building, further questions arise: which climate control strategies determined the conditions of conservation environments in the past? On what grounds were these strategies chosen and subsequently used? Which were their consequences on the conservation of cultural objects and buildings? To answer these questions environmental data gathered by indoor climate monitoring are useful but they are obviously not enough. A critical analysis of historical sources has proved to be a constructive way forward. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Milano: Politecnico di Milano , 2013. 1321-1328 p.
Keyword [en]
indoor climate conservation museums historic buildings Nationalmuseum Villa Reale Stockholm Milano
National Category
History of Technology Architectural Engineering
Research subject
Conservation (HGO); Building Conservation (HGO)
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-211167OAI: diva2:665694
Built Heritage 2013: Monitoring Conservation Management; Politecnico di Milano; Italy; 18-20 November 2013
Kulturarvet och komforten. Frågan om lämpligt inomhusklimat i kulturhistoriska byggnader under 1900-talet
Swedish Research Council, 2009-2375
Available from: 2013-11-20 Created: 2013-11-20 Last updated: 2013-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Legnér, Mattias
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School of Culture, Energy and EnvironmentDepartment of Art History
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