Advertisement

Heritage Wood pp 143-164 | Cite as

An Original Approach to Active Climate Control Based on Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) as Set Point in a Middle-Age Building in Palermo, Italy

  • Paolo Dionisi-ViciEmail author
  • Daniela Romano
Chapter
Part of the Cultural Heritage Science book series (CUHESC)

Abstract

In the frame of a more sustainable approach to climate control, a long term strategy has been developed and is under advanced phase of implementation by technical staff of the University of Palermo in an important building, Palazzo Steri, owned by the University. The monumental room under climate control, the Sala dei Baroni (also known as Sala Magna), has a precious wooden ceiling where the previously loadbearing elements are covered with wooden painted panels. Many of them, painted in the fourteenth c, underwent important restorations in the past due to climate related damage (cracks, warpings, paint layer delamination) and biological infestations. The room is currently undergoing an important installation, using an HVAC system designed differently from the standard approach to climate control. The adopted design approach deals with the control of the air surrounding the wooden artifact as a function of the potential Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) that the panels could achieve. EMC is a synthetic parameter useful in correlating the response of panel paintings to climate fluctuations, and the behaviour of wooden objects may be better expressed as a function of EMC than to Relative Humidity (RH) fluctuations alone. Indeed, the correlation between a specified climate expressed with a parameter that takes into account both T and RH as experienced by wood is more correct. In this case-study the benefits of such an approach are even greater: due to the fact that it is possible to obtain the same EMC values with different combinations of Temperature and Relative Humidity values, the climate can be kept stable around the objects in the way the objects would feel it, meanings that the same EMC values (or hygro-mechanical stability of the artifacts) can be obtained in different seasons by adapting the Relative Humidity to the corresponding EMC value, letting the system free to follow the Temperature seasonal variations without compromising its stability.

The expected improvements of such a design are:
  • energy efficiency,

  • greater stability,

  • better use of the HVAC systems,

  • better comfort for the visitors during the year, with smaller differences between the indoor and the outdoor climate.

Keywords

Microclimate monitoring Equilibrium moisture content Sustainability Preventive conservation Wooden cultural heritage 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work has been carried out thanks to the support of Eng. Antonio Sorce, Technical Area Head, and Arch. Costanza Conti, Architectural Restoration Department Head from the Technical Area of the University of Palermo. The data provided by the 2004 monitoring have been a useful support for the technical decisions adopted in this intervention and the Authors thank therefore Professors Costanzo, Cusumano, Giaconia C., Giaconia G., Trapani and Barbaro for their precious work.

References

  1. 1.
    Hailwood, A.J. and S Horrobin. 1946. Absorption of water by polymers. Analysis in terms of a simple model. Transactions of the Faraday Society, 42B: 84–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brunauer, S., P.H. Emmett and E. Teller, 1938. Adsorption of gases in multi molecular layers. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 60: 309–319, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/ja01269a023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Guggenheim, E.A. 1966. Applications of statistical mechanics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Anderson, R.H. 1946. Modification of the BET equation. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 68, 689–691.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    de Boer, J.H. 1953. The dynamic character of adsorption. 2nd Ed. Oxford: Clarendon PressGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dionisi-Vici P., M. De Vincenzi., and L. Uzielli. 2011, An analytical method for the characterization and the determination of the climatic distance of the microclimates for the conservation of wooden Cultural Heritage objects, Studies in Conservation, 56:41–57, DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1179/sic.2011.56.1.41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    UNI 10829: 1999, Beni di interesse storico e artistico - Condizioni ambientali di conservazione - Misurazione ed analisi, Italian StandardGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    EN 15757:2010, Conservation of Cultural Property - Specifications for temperature and relative humidity to limit climate-induced mechanical damage in organic hygroscopic materialsGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jakiela, S., L. Bratasz, and R. Kozlowski. 2008. Numerical modelling of moisture movement and related stress field in lime wood subjected to changing climate conditions, Wood Science and Technology 42–1 21–37, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00226-007-0138-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Strlič, M., D. Thickett, J. Taylor and M. Cassar (2013). Damage functions in heritage science. Studies in Conservation, 58(2), 80–87. doi: https://doi.org/10.1179/2047058412y.0000000073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Strojecki, M., M. Łukomski, L. Krzemień, J. Sobczyk and Ł. Bratasz. 2014. Acoustic emission monitoring of an eighteenth-century wardrobe to support a strategy for indoor climate management, Studies in Conservation, 59: 4, 225–232, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1179/2047058413Y.0000000096CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kramer, R.P., M.P.E. Maas, M.H.J. Martens, A.W.M. van Schijndel, and H.L. Schellen, 2015, Energy conservation in museums using different setpoint strategies: A case study for a state-of-the-art museum using building simulations, Applied Energy 158, 446–458, DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.08.044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Anaf W. and O. Schalm, 2019. Climatic quality evaluation by peak analysis and segregation of low-, mid-, and high-frequency fluctuations, applied on a historic chapel, Building and Environment, 148, 286–293 DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2018.11.018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Klein L. S. Bermudez, A. Schrott, M. Tsukada, P. Dionisi-Vici, L. Kargère, F. Marianno, H. Hamann, V. López and M. Leona, 2017. Wireless Sensor Platform for Cultural Heritage Monitoring and Modeling System, Sensors, 17(9), 1998, doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/s17091998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Allegretti O., and P. Dionisi-Vici 2018. Technological improvements in creating controlled thermo-hygrometric conditions in sealed microenvironments: the Dew Point Climatic Generator, 2018 IOP Conf. Ser.: Materials. Science and Engineering. 364 012026, doi: https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/364/1/012026CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Costanzo S, A. Cusumano, C. Giaconia, G. Giaconia, S. Trapani and S. Barbaro. 2004. La salvaguardia dei beni artistici e culturali. Un caso studio: la sede del Rettorato dell’Università di Palermo. Paper presented at 59° Congresso Nazionale ATI, Genova.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Costanzo S., A. Cusumano, C. Giaconia, G. Giaconia, 2006. Preservation of the artistic heritage within the seat of the Chancellorship of the University of Palermo: A proposal on a methodology regarding an environmental investigation according to Italian Standards, Building and Environment, 41, 12, 1847–1859 doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2005.06.010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Engelund E. T., L.G. Thygesen, S. Svensson, and C. A. S. Hill. 2013., A critical discussion of the physics of wood–water interactions, Wood Science and Technology, 2013, 47–1, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00226-012-0514-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    ASHRAE Handbook, HVAC application, Chapter 21, 2007Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Uzielli L., L. Cocchi, P. Mazzanti, M. Togni, D. Jullien, and P. Dionisi-Vici, 2012, The Deformometric Kit: A method and an apparatus for monitoring the deformation of wooden panels, Journal of Cultural Heritage, 13, 3, S94–S101, DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2012.03.001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Avramidis, St. and J. F. Siau, 1987. Experiments in nonisothermal diffusion of moisture in wood Part 3, Wood Science and Technology, 21, 4, 329–334 DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00367738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schito E., P. Conti, and D Testi, Robust microclimate control for artwork preservation in response to extreme climatic conditions: simulation of museum halls for temporary exhibitions with a validated dynamic tool, 2018. IOP Conf. Ser.: Materials. Science and Engineering 364 012008, DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/364/1/012008CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Free-lance conservation scientistMassaItaly
  2. 2.University of PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations