Climate for Culture. Final arrival in Munich

It has been presented, in Munich, Germany, and with a public event lasted two days, the final stage of the European project “Climate for Culture,” lasted five years, to which I had the honor to participate for a short meeting in 2012 at Padua CNR (National Italian Research Council), Italy. The project has deepened the risks to which cultural heritage is submitted to the climate variation. With simulation models, the buildings, decomposed in typologies and parts of constructed elements, have been analyzed. Some cartographies have been produced for each single risk, which are linked to well known climate variables ( temperature, rainfall, moisture absolute and relative for the interiors) and for the historic champion buildings.

The results are very interesting, even though they are linked to uncertainties of climate change. Why this uncertainty? To what is it due? It is because we never could know how economy will evolve, and also the future society. So, as a consequence, the interactions with the technology, energy uses, and then the climate, are also unknown. The climate depends from these variables and from the international agreements that will be possible to reach, to mitigate the dangerous emission’s concentration in the atmosphere. The IPCC scenarios are a way to represent how, varying these variables, data projections on climate will change.

From Global Climate to Room Conditions! 

from global to room

That is the slogan of this European project, and it seems unbelievable how scientists of the Fraunhofer University have been successful, with their methodology, refined in these studies, to link the global level with that very particular about the interiors and historical collections. The technique, as we know, is that called “downscaling,” and here it has been applied with the model “REMO” which allows for the resolution of 10*10 km. In the next weeks, a database of these climate data projections, referred at regional scale and for all the European member states, will be distributed, and even online. So all students and curious that want to deep, in autonomy, some climate analysis of historical buildings or collections, could utilize this kind of “service.” Then this service will be one of the first for architects and planners (as we know there are already many climate services, especially in Germany, but useful for the Administrations and complex planning strategies).

risk map

scenarios maps

Future projections of climate change are the last, even if important, step of this project “climate for culture,” which starts from the construction of simulation models of buildings, chosen as case-study. These simulation models, in turn, are integrated and calibrated with real-time monitoring on the chosen buildings. The monitoring is a very important phase of the project. So experimental investigations on walls’ surfaces have been completed, monitoring physical parameters, in particular, environmental conditions. There is, as a result, a sorption model of moisture to calculate the wood’s deterioration and assess the relative risk. Furthermore, as we know between the conservation parameters, the most important is the mechanical degradation of building-materials, so the heat and the moisture have been modeled, together a reconstruction of the historic indoor climate.

About this project, we will certainly still talk in the future, because of the vastness of the examples of application models and case studies. Moreover, especially because the models are a fixed data that simulates the behavior of the buildings, while the projections of climate parameters will change again, as the climate science will progress. So the database “climate for culture” will be a milestone to call upon to update the results, gradually that the climate will change. Furthermore, it will represent a very important and effective tool for the training of thousands of technicians.



About carolinacollaro

Carolina Collaro is an architect and teacher, Master in Territorial Planning and Real Estate at Turin Polytechnic, Italy, since more than ten years involved in research and education’s field for sustainable development at the global and local scale. She has a strong background in this field at international level, acquired in prestigious universities: such as the EPFL and the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, as well as in U.S. and France. Visiting scholar at the Institute for advanced studies on science technology and society in Graz Austria, she is PhD candidate at Nova Gorica University, in Economics and Techniques of Environmental and Architectural Heritage Conservation, a post graduated program with IUAV-Venice University, Italy. The core of her researches is the adaptation strategies to climate change and ecosystem services’ conservation’s relevance for cultural landscapes and protected areas. She collaborates with UNISCAPE, Universities’ consortium for European Landscape Convention Implementation, and IUCN-CEM Commissions.
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