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Austigard, M S and Mattsson, J (2019) Monitoring climate change related biodeterioration of protected historic buildings. International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, 38(04), 529–38.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Microclimate; Monitoring; Biodeterioration; Biological degradation; Climatic factors; Heritage buildings;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 2398-4708
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-11-2018-0094
  • Abstract:
    Expected rates of biodeterioration in heritage buildings under historic conditions are well known. Deteriorating organisms will benefit from a warmer and wetter climate, giving faster and less predictable rates of deterioration. The Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway has requested development of a programme for long-term monitoring of climate change impacts to historic buildings. The development process and resulting monitoring system are previously described. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach An initial conditions survey is performed, and reference points are chosen in each building. Two microclimatic biodeterioration monitoring panels (MBM panels) are mounted in every building. The MBM panels monitor temperature, relative humidity and wood moisture content, and have standard wooden blocks for investigation of mould growth. The panels will show both the influence of outdoor climate on microclimate inside the building, and the connection between microclimate and activity of degrading organisms. Findings High competence and multi-disciplinary approach from the personnel involved are essential to balance flexibility and rigidity and decide the damages that are probably influenced by climate change. Extensive knowledge and experience in surveys of biodeterioration damages in heritage buildings is necessary to distinguish “normal” biodeterioration from biodeterioration caused by climate changes. The MBM panels are essential for possible establishment of causality between damages and climate change. Originality/value The authors believe that the methods described give the best possible grounds for future evaluation of damages and microclimatic conditions in buildings compared to changes in regional climatic conditions. Establishment of causality between climate change and development in biological deterioration is still a challenging task.