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Conservation of a historic building through sympathetic thermal enhancement.

Stinson, Jon; Bros Williamson, Julio; Reid, Alasdair; Currie, John


Julio Bros Williamson


This paper documents research undertaken by the Scottish Energy Centre at Edinburgh Napier University to refurbish a historic library building by means of thermal improvements. The interventions selected were specifically chosen to minimalise any impact on the architectural integrity of the building.

The study involved thermally enhancing the ceiling using a hygroscopic insulation material (200mm wood fibreboards). The objective was to measure the thermal transmittance and hygrothermal performance of the building, both pre and post intervention, with the aim of reducing heat loss without causing condensation problems.

The research demonstrated that, through the use of a modern, natural insulation material, the thermal transmittance (U-value) was reduced from 1.3 to 0.2 (W/m2K) – reducing the buildings energy consumption and associated carbon emissions, but most importantly conserving thermal comfort and preserving the buildings literary content. The hygrothermal analysis showed that the natural, vapour permeable insulating material altered the hygrothermal profile of the attic space. Extended monitoring of this environment detected conditions for one prolonged condensation episode However; visual surveys suggest that the hygroscopic insulation material acted to mitigate any detrimental effects of condensation build-up

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (Published)
Conference Name STREMAH 2015
Start Date Jul 13, 2015
End Date Jul 15, 2015
Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Sep 16, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Pages 633-642
Book Title Structural Studies, Repairs and Maintenance of Heritage Architecture XIV
Keywords conservation; preservation; historic building; retrofit; thermal; hygrothermal;
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