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Fluctuations in the indoor environment in Spanish rural churches and their effects on heritage conservation: Hygro-thermal and CO2 conditions monitoring

AutorVaras, María José ; Fort González, Rafael ; Martínez-Garrido, M. I. ; Zornoza-Indart, Ainara; López-Arce, Paula
Palabras claveHeritage conservation
Historic churches
Hygro-thermal conditions
Indoor environment
Fecha de publicación20-ago-2014
CitaciónBuilding and Environment, 82: 97- 109 (2014)
ResumenThe indoor environment and its natural dynamics in small Spanish historical churches such as the studied here depend on the variations of outdoor climate and the moisture dynamics of walls, built with different materials. Such indoor environments are impacted by local factors, which may put at risk the conservation of a church's cultural assets. Natural ventilation in spring, the presence of people and especially the wintertime use of ageing heating system induce substantial fluctuations in indoor environments primarily affecting the stability of relative humidity (RH). RH is the physical parameter that can induce efflorescence as well as plaster blistering and detachment in its inside walls, drying and cracking in the timber and efflorescence and disgregation in the carved dolostone. Where the RH inside building is not high, as in the present case, natural and induced fluctuations may lower it considerably (<25%), which is detrimental to conservation and human well-being both. Human presence partially counters the steep declines in RH attributable to heating in winter and warm, dry summer weather, although the trade-off is a rise in CO2 levels inside the church. Heating induces substantial changes in the T and RH on the high altar and in the upper areas of the nave, while natural ventilation affects the RH at the base of the church and favours the elimination of CO2. The results obtained have allowed us to develop a series of recommendations that might be useful for the preventive conservation of such historic buildings, without compromising human comfort. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2014.08.010
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2014.08.010
issn: 0360-1323
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