Special Issue "Built Heritage Conservation and Climate Change"
A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.
Interests: climate change and cultural heritage; conservation; historical building repair; material characterisation and performance
Interests: applied climatology; climate variability and change; cultural heritage; water resources
Interests: conservation and restoration of cultural heritage; mitigating climate change in the built heritage sector; sustainable architecture and zero energy buildings; vulnerability and adaptation of cultural heritage to climate change
Climate change promises to have a significant impact on cultural heritage, in all its forms. The context of the tangible Built Heritage—historical buildings, sites and internal collections—is particularly critical, as it is exposed directly to environments that engender decay. Layered on this is the potential, arguably now being realised, for an increase in extreme events such as flooding, compounded by gradual sea level rise, landslides and fire. The need for assessment of vulnerabilities and planning for adaptation to protect heritage assets against the impacts of climate change is clear, and responsible authorities, from the local to the international (e.g., UNESCO), are preparing policies and policy development guidelines. Moreover, there are pressures to adapt historical buildings to increase their energy efficiency to meet climate change mitigation targets. However, cultural heritage poses arguably a special case in terms of limits of acceptable change for both mitigation and adaptation. Inclusion of cultural heritage in the periodic reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been growing, though anecdotal evidence suggests that insufficient research continues to undermine its recognition as an area of priority.
Recognising the components of vulnerability as specified by the IPCC, we invite papers for this Special Issue analysing:
- Methodological approaches to assess vulnerability in the built heritage sector;
- Links between vulnerability and adaptation in the built heritage sector; mainstreaming climate change in built heritage conservation;
- What adaptive measures are used to deal with current vulnerabilities in the built heritage sector? Assessments of interventions to reduce vulnerability and facilitate adaptation of cultural heritage;
- Is adaptation in the built heritage conservation sector mostly reactive or also anticipatory? What is the learning process in adapting cultural heritage to climate change?
- Limits to adaptation; how can we adapt historical buildings to mitigate climate change while preserving their authenticity?
- Lessons learned in adapting cultural heritage to mitigate climate change and increase its resilience to climate change impacts.
Dr. John J. Hughes
Dr. Alexandre S. Gagnon
Dr. Elena Sesana
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Heritage is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Climate change and world heritage
- Adapting cultural heritage to climate change impacts
- Local knowledge and adaptation at heritage sites
- Mainstreaming climate change in built heritage conservation
- Strengthening resilience of built heritage to climate change
- Mitigating climate change and preserving built heritage authenticity
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: A review of study methods for traditional roof behaviour – towards a new approach under a changing climate
Authors: Cassar, J.; Galdies C.; Muscat Azzopardi E.
Affiliation: University of Malta
Abstract: The behaviour of traditional roofs of historic buildings is highly relevant to sustainability, energy efficiency of the internal space, and potential resilience to climate change. This paper is a review of pertinent study methods which serve as a basis for a recently commenced project (in Malta, central Mediterranean). The ultimate aim is to evaluate the behaviour of some of these roofs and to compare this to the behaviour of modified and modern roofs, also on historic buildings. This new approach will combine satellite, drone and in situ data at various levels of detail, not only to evaluate the seasonal effectiveness of these intrinsically porous roofing materials to act as “buffers” to existing climatic variables (especially temperature and moisture movement) but also potentially in changing (hotter) climates. The methodology is a development of contemporary studies on “cool roofs” and “green roofs”, and is embedded within the closely related themes of climate change and historic building behaviour, as well as advances in high resolution satellite technology including Remote Sensing data and Artificial Intelligence in data fusion and interpretation, which will also be reviewed. The relevance of the project to sustainability and energy efficiency of historic buildings, also under a changing climate, will be discussed and presented with practical implications.
Title: Influence of environment on microbial colonization of historic stone buildings, with emphasis on cyanobacteria
Authors: Christine C. Gaylarde
Affiliation: Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
Abstract: Microbial cells that produce biofilms, or patinas, on historic buildings are affected by climatic changes, mainly temperature, rainfall and air pollution, all of which will alter over future decades. This article considers the colonization of stone buildings by microorganisms and the effects that the resultant biofilms have on the degradation of the structure. Conservation scientists require a knowledge of the potential effects of microorganisms, and the subsequent growth of higher organisms such as vascular plants, in order to formulate effective control strategies. The vulnerability of various structural materials (“bioreceptivity”) and the ways in which the environmental factors of temperature, precipitation, wind-driven rain and air pollution influence microbial colonization are discussed. The photosynthetic microorganisms, algae and cyanobacteria, are acknowledged to be the primary colonizers of stone surfaces and many cyanobacterial species are able to survive climate extremes; hence special attention is paid to this group of organisms. Since cyanobacteria require only light and water to grow, can live endolithically and are able to survive most types of stress, they may become even more important as agents of stone cultural property degradation in the future.
Title: RETROFITTING HISTORIC WALLS: feasibility of thermal insulation and the suitability of thermal mortars for the scope.
Authors: Magda Posani; Maria Do Rosário Veiga; Vasco Peixoto De Freitas
Affiliation: 1 Building department, LNEC – National laboratory of Civil engineering, Lisbon, Portugal 2 CONSTRUCT(LFC – Laboratory of Building Physics), Faculty of Engineering (FEUP), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Abstract: In order to contrast the escalating climate crisis, the European Union is pursuing an ambitious policy on climate actions and it is urgently calling to accelerate and underpin the transition towards net-zero emissions by 2050. In this context, retrofitting historic constructions can play a key role in reducing European energy consumptions and consequent emissions. What is more, beyond the opportunity for tackling climate change, thermal retrofits can improve indoor comfort while lowering operational costs, factors that are fundamental to ensure the continued use of historic constructions over time, and, with that, improving their preservation and durability. The suitability of thermal insulation for this scope is still a debated topic. Thus, this study aims at contributing to the discussion by providing an overview on the feasibility of adopting thermal insulation for retrofitting external walls of historic buildings, while preserving their significance and unique identity. Finally, the advantages of adopting thermal mortars rather than more traditional insulation solutions are outlined and their potential efficacy is discussed. Keywords: historic buildings, thermal mortars, thermal insulation, thermal retrofit, renders, plasters, energy efficiency, thermal conductivity, heritage, climate change.
Title: Traditional plasters for built heritage: contribution for relative humidity passive regulation
Authors: Alessandra Ranesi; Paulina Faria; M. Rosário Veiga
Affiliation: 1. CERIS and Dep. Civil Engineering, FCT, NOVA University of Lisbon, Quinta da Torre 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal. 2. National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, Avenida do Brasil 101, 1700-066 Lisbon, Portugal * corresponding author. e-mail address: [email protected] , tel: (+39) 3899975619, address: Avenida do Brasil, 101, 1700-066 Lisboa, Portugal.
Abstract: Plasters cover wide surface areas of buildings since ancient time with the main purpose to protect the substrate on which they are applied. When no longer functional, they might need to be substituted by solutions which can combine compatibility with the substrate with the nowadays need of mitigating buildings emissions. Indeed, plasters can contribute to lowering buildings energy demands while improving indoor air quality and comfort of buildings’ users, as they can be used as passive regulators of relative humidity. Hence, this study presents the relative humidity dependent properties of different plastering mortars based on clay, air lime and natural hydraulic lime, and finishing pastes based on gypsum and gypsum-air lime, tested through small size specimens. A cement-based plaster is also analysed for comparison. The clay based plaster is the most promising material for relative humidity passive regulation and certainly appropriate for substitutions in traditional earthen constructions. Finally, for application on traditional porous walls the highest relative humidity passive regulation is performed by the pastes based on air lime-gypsum. The sorption behaviour of cement plaster appeared interesting, however its water vapour permeability was found the lowest, as expected, discouraging its application on historic walls. Keywords: plaster, mortar, paste, water vapour permeability, hygroscopicity, moisture passive regulation, clay, gypsum, air lime, natural hydraulic lime.
Title: Effect of climate and habitat change on museum insects during COVID-19 closures
Authors: Peter Brimblecombe; Marie-Christine Pachler; Pascal Querner
Affiliation: National Sun Yat-sen University
Abstract: COVID-19 spread globally, and as there was little immunity, quarantine, isolation and social distancing became widely practiced. As people were restricted to their homes in many countries, public venues, such as museums, galleries and historic houses were typically closed. This allowed insect abundance, under changed conditions, to be explored using traps from the Technical Museum, Schönbrunn Palace, Hofburg Museum and Weltmuseum in Vienna. The trap contents reveal an increase in Lepisma saccharinum, the common silverfish, but also the Zygentoma Ctenolepisma longicaudatum and C. calvum at some museums. Other insects such as Tineola bisselliella, Anthrenus verbasci and Attagenus smirnovi, though found in reasonable numbers, did not increase. Museum interiors were likely a little cooler and drier during lockdown, but a difference too small to explain increased silverfish activity. The larger rooms were certainly quieter, which allowed insects freedom to range more widely. Nevertheless, museums did not observe increased damage to collections from the larger numbers. The infestations during the closures suggests a need for low level cleaning and regular inspections, with initial focus examining those areas frequented by insects in the past.