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Decision making on indoor climate control in historic buildings: knowledge, uncertainty and the science-practice gap
University of Gothenburg.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2546-0981
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Balancing use, preservation and energy use is a fundamental challenge for the whole heritage field. This is put to the point in designing and operating systems for indoor climate control in historic buildings, where competing objectives such as preservation, comfort, accessibility, energy use and cost have to be negotiated in the individual case. The overarching aim of this thesis is to explore the gap between research and practice regarding energy efficient indoor climate control in historic buildings. The thesis deals with historic buildings where both the building fabric and the movable collection are vulnerable and where the management of the building is more or less professionalized. Examples of such buildings are palaces, churches and historic house museums, ranging from the large and complex to the small and simple. A key to a more sustainable management of these buildings is to understand how scientific knowledge related to indoor climate control can become usable for the professional practitioner. The thesis comprises six published papers introduced by a thesis essay. The papers reflect a progression both in terms of the research questions and the methodology. The first three papers outline the background needed for a technical understanding of the involved matters through an identification of key knowledge gaps. The three remaining papers use qualitative case studies to understand the nature of the gap between science and practice by paying more attention to the social aspects of decisions related to indoor climate control. Generally, the results of the thesis contribute to an expanded problem definition and to a better understanding of the gap between research and practice regarding energy efficient indoor climate control in historic buildings. It is shown how the specific social and material context is crucial for enabling or limiting a transition toward more sustainable ways of controlling the indoor climate. Furthermore it is discussed how uncertainty can be managed and communicated to support decisions, and suggestions are given for how decision processes regarding indoor climate control can be supported with improved standards to facilitate a more sustainable management. A conclusion for further research is that scientific knowledge alone will not be able to guide the transition to a sustainable, low carbon future; technical esearch has to be complemented with reflexive research approaches that explore the actual practices of heritage management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 2016. , 196 p.
Series
, Gothenburg studies in conservation, ISSN 0284-6578 ; 36
Keyword [en]
Preventive conservation Environmental control, Energy efficiency, Decision-making, Knowledge sharing
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-307359ISBN: 978-91-7346-825-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-307359DiVA: diva2:1046313
Public defence
2016-10-03, Hörsalen, Geovetarcentrum, Guldhedsgatan 5 A, Göteborg, 08:27 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-18 Created: 2016-11-14 Last updated: 2016-11-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Bevarandeklimat i historiska byggnader - Några kunskapsluckor
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bevarandeklimat i historiska byggnader - Några kunskapsluckor
2009 (Swedish)In: Meddelser om konservering, ISSN 0106-469x, no 1, 22-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

The indoor climate in a number of Scandinavian historic buildings such as churches, castles and manor houses deviates considerably from climate recommendations given for museums. Nonetheless, these buildings accommodate fragile and valuable movable and immovable objects. In the present article, a brief literature review of the risk of mechanical damages to art objects caused by fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity is given. Two cases are presented to illustrate the problems with indoor climates that deviates from common standards. The two cases were chosen because they are interesting from an energy saving perspective. The first case is an intermittently heated church in northern Sweden, typical for a Scandinavian rural church used only for services. The second case is a completely unheated building with an indoor climate closely following the fluctuations of the outdoor climate, including sub-zero temperatures in winter. The research about mechanical damages is discussed with reference to these cases. Two areas are identified where more research is needed. There is limited knowledge on the correlation between a fluctuating indoor climate and the risk of mechanical damages, i.e. the rate of temperature and relative humidity changes. Secondly, the knowledge of how low temperatures affect the risk of mechanical damages is inadequate.

Keyword
Historiska byggnader, mekaniska skador, relativ luftfuktighet, temperatur, intermittent uppvärmning, låg temperatur
National Category
Architectural Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-307221 (URN)
Available from: 2016-11-10 Created: 2016-11-10 Last updated: 2016-11-14
2. Uncertainties in damage assessments of future indoor climates
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Uncertainties in damage assessments of future indoor climates
Show others...
2013 (English)In: Climate for Collections - Standards and Uncertainties / [ed] Ashley-Smith, Jonathan and Burmester, Andreas and Eibl, Melanie, Munich, 2013, 405-418 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A significant amount of uncertainty is generated in the processof combining projections of future climate, building simulationsand damage functions to produce risk maps for historic buildings.The objective of this paper is to identify and qualitatively describethe main uncertainties in the production of such maps. The mainsources of uncertainty for each modeling step are identified. It isconcluded that the level of uncertainty in risk maps is so high thatdeterministic approaches have severe limitations, and that furtherresearch is needed to assess the levels of uncertainty introducedby each modeling step.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Munich: , 2013
Keyword
Damage functions, Climate change, Risk maps, Uncertainty
National Category
Building Technologies
Research subject
Building Conservation (HGO)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219931 (URN)978-1-909492-00-4 (ISBN)
Conference
Postprints of the Munich Climate Conference 7 to 9 November 2012
Projects
Climate for Culture
Available from: 2014-03-07 Created: 2014-03-07 Last updated: 2016-11-14
3. The Indoor Climate in Skokloster Castle
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Indoor Climate in Skokloster Castle
2010 (English)In: Historical buildings as museums: Systems for climate control and heritage preservation / [ed] Davide Del Curto, Firenze: Nardini Editore , 2010, 84-93 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Skokloster castle is a heavy stone and brick building without any active climatization. It houses a large collection of artefacts shown in their historic environment without any showcases. The objective of this study is to analyse the indoor climate, make a risk assessment and to propose interventions to improve the indoor climate with respect to the long term preservation of the collection. Relative humidity and temperature have been monitored within the castle for more than one year. Air exchange in selected rooms has been measured quarterly using diffusive sampling. The indoor climate is characterized by extremely low temperatures and high relative humidity in the winter. Even though the building does reduce the effect of outdoor variations, the variations in the indoor climate are larger than one would prefer in a museum. The primary risks associated with the indoor climate are mould growth, mechanical damages and chemical degradation. The variations in RH can be reduced by enhancing the effective hygrothermal inertia of the building through a reduction of the air exchange. In order to substantially reduce the mould risk, conservation heating and/or dehumidification would be needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Firenze: Nardini Editore, 2010
Keyword
Indoor climate, risk assessment, historic buildings, museums
National Category
Energy Systems Building Technologies
Research subject
Conservation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hgo:diva-1188 (URN)978-88-404-42 (ISBN)
Conference
Historical Buildings as Museums, Milano, April 2010
Available from: 2011-12-02 Created: 2011-12-02 Last updated: 2016-11-14Bibliographically approved
4. Rethinking indoor climate control in historic buildings: The importance of negotiated priorities and discursive hegemony at a Swedish museum
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rethinking indoor climate control in historic buildings: The importance of negotiated priorities and discursive hegemony at a Swedish museum
2014 (English)In: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, Vol. 4, no 0, 117-123 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract Much effort has in recent years been directed to support sustainable indoor climate control strategies in historic buildings. In this paper we show the necessity to complement the dominant technical approaches with research that take a wider interest in specific contexts, social practices, and negotiated decisions. The objective of the paper is to illustrate how the interactions between perceptions and experiences of different professional groups are pivotal for the management of the indoor climate. An ethnographic study of decision making in an historic house museum was carried out in 2009 and 2012. Interviews were made with individuals who either took part in management or were affected by the indoor climate. The findings show how discussions among social actors and the way their respective priorities are negotiated are essential features of the management of the indoor climate and have a strong impact on the ability to modify it. It turns out that a hegemonic discourse about preservation as the dominant rationale for indoor climate control in tandem with “acceptable” conditions with respect to preservation have reinforced a state of stability. This explorative study opens up for a re-framing of how a more sustainable management of historic buildings can be achieved.

Keyword
Environmental management, Decision making, Practices, Preventive conservation
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-240317 (URN)10.1016/j.erss.2014.10.005 (DOI)
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Available from: 2015-01-07 Created: 2015-01-07 Last updated: 2016-11-14
5. Making sense of climate risk information: The case of future indoor climate risks in Swedish churches
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making sense of climate risk information: The case of future indoor climate risks in Swedish churches
2016 (English)In: Climate Risk Management, ISSN 2212-0963, Vol. 13, 76-87 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organizations and institutions managing built heritage have to make use of increasingly detailed, elaborate and complex climate change impact assessments. It is a challenge to determine how, when and by whom climate predictions should be translated into risk estimates usable for decision-making. In this paper results from the Climate for Culture project are used to study how heritage decision-makers interpret future indoor climate-related risks to Swedish churches. Different sets of risk maps were presented to ten engineers, ten building conservators and five experts on indoor climate related risks. Interviews were used to understand how the interviewees made sense of the presented information and if they associated it with a perceived need for adaptation. The results show that the risks were interpreted and assessed largely dependent on their pre-understanding and familiarity with the individual risks. The magnitude of change and the lack of uncertainty estimates were subordinate to the overall impression of the information as being credible and salient. The major conclusion is that the dissemination of risk information, also from projects which at the outset have aimed at producing knowledge relevant for end-users, should be both customized and tested in collaborative efforts by stakeholders and scientists.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keyword
Risk communication; Cultural heritage management; Sensemaking; Adaptation
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Studies of Missions
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-306947 (URN)10.1016/j.crm.2016.05.003 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-11-07 Created: 2016-11-07 Last updated: 2016-11-14
6. Standardizing the Indoor Climate in Swedish Churches: Opportunities, Challenges and Ways Forward
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Standardizing the Indoor Climate in Swedish Churches: Opportunities, Challenges and Ways Forward
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Standardization for indoor climate control in historic buildings has recently taken a new direction with standards and guidelines that focus more on decision processes than outcomes. The objective of the paper is to explore and discuss how standards can evolve to both fit and guide decision processes to facilitate a sustainable managementof Swedish churches. Interviews with engineersand heritage professionals in the Church of Sweden in combination with indoor climate monitoring were used to understand the technical and organizational context.The results show that the development of process standards solves some of the problems related to the conventional outcome-oriented approach by opening up for a wider set of solutions. However, available guidelines are difficult to apply and integrate in the existing management of churches. A stronger focus on strategic feedback and an increased use of local guidelines are suggested.

Keyword
Indoor climate control, Process standards, Knowledge sharing, Sustainable management
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-306949 (URN)
Available from: 2016-11-07 Created: 2016-11-07 Last updated: 2016-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Leijonhufvud, Gustaf
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