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Hygrothermal modelling of flooding events within historic buildings

Vienna University of Technology
Publication Date
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Geography


1 INTRODUCTION Preserving historical buildings and their collections for future generations requires an accurate assess- ment of the impact of climate change on the indoor environment of these buildings. It is expected that, if no preventive or risk reduction measures are taken, climate change can lead to an increase in flood risks due to higher river discharges and sea level rise (IPCC 2007). Previous studies (Cassar 2005, Cassar & Hawkings 2007, Sabbioni et al. 2010) have shown that the increasing frequency of flooding events be- cause of climate change poses a high risk to histori- cal buildings in many areas of Europe. Inside build- ings, flooding events can cause enormous damage and may lead to typical failures such as cracks and deformation of walls and floors due to uplifting of foundations or swelling of joists, decreasing strength of building materials and chemical damage to the in- terior (Drdacky et al. 2006). The collection can be deteriorated by swelling and shrinking of materials, mould growth, corrosion or loss of water-based inks and paints. It is therefore of high importance that ad- equate drying strategies are applied to decrease the damage potential of a flooding event to the building and its collection. In the EU project Climate for Culture (Climate for Culture, 2013), the impact of climate change on cultural heritage is assessed. Hygrothermal building simulation models of a large selection of monumen- tal buildings around Europe have been created and validated with on-site measurements. These building simulation models are combined with future outdoor climate scenarios that have been developed by the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (Jacob 2012). In this way, the future indoor climate conditions in- side the buildings can be predicted. Furthermore, damage functions can be applied to analyse the risk to the collection as a result of the environmental conditions in a room. One of the case studies within the Climate for C

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