Heating our history
It’s an artform in itself to respectfully renovate heritage buildings in order to preserve their history for many years ahead. Although the heating aspect may easily be neglected because it isn’t the first obvious concern, it is actually paramount when it comes to conservation of fragile buildings. Historic buildings were built in a time where heating was immensely different than today, and thus many buildings are not constructed for the temperatures we require today. The wrong kind of heating can quite simply physically destroy murals in church ceilings, wallpaper, carpets and other fragile materials.
„Conservation is the process of maintaining and managing change
to a heritage asset in a way that sustains and enhances its significance“
There are currently
listed buildings in England
Danish buildings considered worthy of conservation
As these buildings are renovated, the heating solution often compromises the historic conservation.
Conserving heritage buildings =
The conservation of heritage buildings affects employment positively by being more labour intensive than new construction. A study by the Government of Ontario indicated that restoration was 66% more labour intensive than construction. (Source: Government of Manitoba, Canada)
A large part of our cultural heritage is preserved in museums, galleries and historic buildings. Castles, churches and mansions are safe-keeping or exhibiting places for historic artefacts, but unlike modern buildings they are not provided with a high degree of insulation and complicated indoor climate control equipment. The challenge is to find heating solutions that provide a comfortable temperature for visitors and inhabitants while conserving buildings and artefacts without being obtrusive to the historical architecture.
Though conservation is a big task it has significant benefits over new construction:
It creates less waste
than new construction
It consumes less energy
than new construction
It increases tourism to have
authentic heritage buildings
Most historic buildings were never designed to meet today’s demands in terms of thermal comfort. Responding to these demands may seriously damage such buildings, if heating solutions are chosen that do not also carefully consider conservation requirements and the original structure of the building.
A heating system for a historic building should be based on:
Avoiding cold draughts
Keeping energy consumption down
Integration into the architectural context
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