PARNASSUS: Ensuring integrity, preserving significance: value based flood resilience for protection of cultural heritage from climate change impact

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Architecture and Civil Engineering

Abstract

The proposal develops an interdisciplinary system to quantify risk of historic buildings and archaeological sites to driving rain and flooding as caused by climate change; it will evaluate structural vulnerability by defining adequate impact indicators and propose adaptation strategies classified by increased resilience against loss of significance. Project activities are set within the framework of risk management and uncertainty methods.
The proposal addresses how the causes of damage or material change to cultural heritage can be better understood, and when is material change acceptable and damage unacceptable.
This requires investigation of the nature of changes and transformation in materials and of the resilience and adaptation capacity of the built heritage. The objectives of the proposal are:
- Definition of criteria and protocols to identify acceptable limits of damage; define consistent protocols for modelling material change; use of risk, monitoring and simulation to inform life-cycle and cost/benefits studies and new or improved conservation interventions.
- Impact of flooding, rising water level, driving rain and thermal cycles on structural integrity of historic buildings and archaeological sites
- Assessment of novel adaptation techniques to be implemented to enhance resilience of historic buildings and sites to climate change impacts.
The collaboration of structural and environmental modellers and specialists in cultural heritage, working on specific case studies and supported by professional practitioners and the heritage institutional bodies, ensures robust results applicable in practice.
Roughly dressed, rubble masonry, earth structures, infilled in timber frames, are the chosen constitutive materials as they are particularly vulnerable at joint and footing level to driving rain and flood. Hence effects of exacerbated structural damage caused by environmental agents can be successfully measured within the project timeframe. An overall approach based on extreme events statistical analysis and quantification of uncertainty will inform all aspects of the research, so that reliability will be in-built in the evaluation of the risk and adaptation measures The research will be case study based to facilitate direct feedback of results into practice. On-site monitoring and laboratory tests will be conducted, considering the combined effects of driving rain and flooding.
The proposed case studies areas are: Tewkesbury, scheduled area at south end of town near the Abbey; Deerhurst, archaeological sites and significant historic buildings; Cottown, Perthshire, cob walls compromised by flooding; Winchester cathedral crypt and Winchester College; York, Lendal Bridge towers and buildings on the Eastern riverbank; Bodiam Castle. The case studies have been chosen according to flooding hazard and to the diversity of age, materials, construction techniques, significance and historical documentation of the heritage buildings and archeological remains in the six areas. Their continued occupation through time allows to: gain historical perspective by looking at past adaptations to documented climate changes; investigate effects on current risk; define urgency of adaptation. Research tasks cover:
-Survey of buildings and stakeholders of study area to identify selected buildings for in depth study
-Study of secondary literature to identify significance of historic climate change
-Flood and driving rain probability analysis and scenarios
- Laser scanning and restitution of the building at different scales
-On site monitoring and lab testing to define damage thresholds
-Hydraulic an structural modelling
-Assessment of resilience and validation of adaptation measures.
-Generalisation and dissemination of results through drafting of guidelines.

Planned Impact

Four levels of beneficiaries can be identified for this proposal:

Project partners
Wider academic community
Heritage organisations
Local inhabitants

Besides the Academic Partners' staff and their PhD students whose research expertise and knowledge will benefit directly from the outcome of the project, the industrial and institutional partners will also directly benefit by taking part in the project. The research will impact on the nation's economic performance by assessing materials performance and by indicating measure to prevent flood and driving rain damage. Furthermore, the successful completion of the project and wider application findings will enhance the quality of life and the nation's historic building stock. The timescale for the benefits to be realized is as follows:

Immediate and medium-term benefit (up to five years from end of project). Academics, heritage organizations will benefit at completion of the project and after publication of journal articles. The final report will be sent to Governmental bodies and other conservation organizations.
Long-term benefit (five years onwards) will be gained after publication of the BRE Guidance document on Effectiveness of Adaptation measures for Improving resilience of Historic Buildings from Flood and Driving Rain. The implementation of such guidance will not only reduce costs of impact of major dmaging events, but will also improve the environmental health and hence public health.
In order to determine whether the project is feasible for development beyond research (commercial impact), cost relative to preservation measures will be assessed.
Several tools will be employed to increase the likelihood of impacts:
Dissemination to the academic community will occur by participation of the academic partners to key international conferences, and by major peer reviewed journal articles, for example in Journal of Archaeological Science, Antiquity, Materials and Structures, International Journal of Architectural Heritage, Journal of Architectural Conservation, Climatic Change, etc.
Other forms of outputs will be: VAST Eurographics for the modelling and scanning; On-line data sets available through ADS; upload of data and findings to European NET-Heritage Portal.
A one day International workshop will be organized by Bath University with key researchers and end users;
The publication of the Guidelines will be an essential tool for building users and practitioners on how to prepare and what to do after flooding.
A website will be online after 2 months form the inception of the project and after completion of the project as a showcase for the project progress and main results of use to the wider audience.
Open days on the case study areas will be organised with the help of local authorities and local/national Heritage organisation to explain the activity carried out on specific buildings and divulgate the potential impacts to the wider community.
If the project is successful further funding will be sought form professional Institutions to organise training and CPD courses to disseminate findings to surveyors, conservators, engineers, insurers.


Publications

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Aktas Y (2015) Environmental performance assessment using monitoring and DVS testing in Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering History and Heritage

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Erkal A (2013) Evaluation of environmental impact on historical stone masonry through on-site monitoring appraisal in Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology

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Erkal A (2015) Laboratory testing of non-standard original historic building materials and related implications for conservation in Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology

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Parkin S (2015) Climate threats to the earth-built heritage of Scotland in Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering History and Heritage

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Stephenson V (2014) A new approach to flood vulnerability assessment for historic buildings in England in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
AH/H032525/1 01/07/2010 30/09/2012 £688,214
AH/H032525/2 Transfer AH/H032525/1 01/10/2012 31/12/2013 £243,018
 
Description Development of a methodology for the assessment of the risk to flood of historic buildings in town centres
Exploitation Route by using specific techniques for testing in climate chambers to determine the loss of integrity of historic materials and assemblies when exposed to given cyclic regimes of environmental loading
Sectors Construction,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/parnassus
 
Description The methodology developed within the PARNASSUS project has been applied and further developed to study the projects risk of flooding of the historic city centre of Bristol with particular attention to listed buildings within the expected flooded areas. This study will inform the decision of flood defences that Bristol City Council will put in place in the future decade
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Construction,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award
Amount £50,139 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K503745/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description Industry Sponsorship
Amount £37,000 (GBP)
Organisation Polygon UK 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2016 
End 11/2017
 
Description Waterproofing cavity walls to allow insulation in exposed areas
Amount £117,575 (GBP)
Funding ID TRN 1303/04/2017 
Organisation Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 08/2019
 
Description Bristol City Council flood risk assessmnet 
Organisation Bristol City Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have conducted a study of the flood risk for historic listed buildings of Bristol city centre by conducting a site survey and developing spreadsheet and GIS based visualization using a quantitatve vulnerability assessment based on breach of openings
Collaborator Contribution Time for meeting, data on flood hazard basic reference city of Briistol GIS model access to their databases.
Impact not yet
Start Year 2015
 
Description Collaboration with Mycometer 
Organisation Mycometer A/S
PI Contribution UCL team used Mycometer's products that were provided them with as an n-kind contribution in order to achieve a thorough mould testing study targeting the UK building stock. This helped further validation of Mycometer's mould testing technology and equipment and helped promote their methodology.
Collaborator Contribution Mycometer provided equipment, training and sample analyses as an in-kind support to our study. Mycometer and UCL is currently working on a number of publications from this study.
Impact This collaboration was born when Polygon UK sponsored UCL CEGE to carry out a study on indoor mould growth. Mycometer's involvement has not only made this study more extensive and robust, but also strengthened our EPSRC IAA application, which has been a success (EP/K503745/1). At the end of the study a public report on indoor mould growth has now been published by UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB) (http://www.ukcmb.org/ukcmb-news/Public-report-mould-testing), and another three academic publications are currently being produced. Interdisciplinary collaboration between remediation industry, structural and environmental engineers and microbiologists.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with Polygon UK 
Organisation Polygon UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We carried out a study for Polygon UK on indoor mould growth upon their request. The study included a rigorous indoor mould testing scheme in a total of 185 rooms within residential properties across England, data analysis and reporting.
Collaborator Contribution Polygon UK provided funds that were used for researcher salary and project expenses. They also provided extensive in-kind contribution towards the study mainly by allocating some of their technicians to help out with testing and finding properties to test.
Impact A public report: http://www.ukcmb.org/ukcmb-news/Public-report-mould-testing. Further funding from EPSRC IAA (EP/K503745/1). Interdisciplinary effort between remediation industry, structural and environmental engineers and microbiologists.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with UKCMB 
Organisation UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution UKCMB is a newly founded organisation which aims to address issues in the built environment with regards to moisture in buildings, a lack of good guidance, and minimal public and industry understanding. CEGE has lent its wide ranging expertise (hygrothermal characterisation, mould growth, flooding and wind driven rain, environmental testing and monitoring among others) and facilities (climate chambers) to a number of projects we collaborated with UKCMB for, including the Polygon sponsored project, EPSRC IAA funded project (EP/K503745/1) and finally for BEIS consultancy (TRN 1303/04/2017). We used our existing contacts and networks for promoting UKCMB's work, and form strong consortia for funding applications.
Collaborator Contribution UKCMB has strong links with the practitioners and the industry, which help disseminate our findings.
Impact Polygon sponsored project, EPSRC IAA funded project (EP/K503745/1) and finally for BEIS consultancy (TRN 1303/04/2017). Interdisciplinary between structural and environmental engineers, building physicists, remediation industry and other stakeholders of built environment, among others.
Start Year 2016
 
Description English Heritage insulation tests 
Organisation English Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution assessment through experimental programme of tests on walls of the effect of internal insulation on condensation and moisture uptake of historic masonry walls
Collaborator Contribution provided materials and evidence form sites
Impact report to English Heritage
Start Year 2015
 
Description Invited talk at UKCMB 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mould Testing and Benchmarking, invited by UKCMB, UKCMB Launch Conference, UCL, 25 May 2016 London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited talk by UKCMB 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Indoor Mould Testing Project Update, invited by UKCMB, UKCMB Re-Launch Conference, UCL, 20 October 2017 London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited talk in Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Parnassus: Climate Loading on Historic Buildings: invited for UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities Workshop organised by the Institute for Resilient Infrastructures, University of Leeds, 30 March 2016 Leeds
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited talk in UKM by Good Homes Allience 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Indoor Mould Growth and Benchmarking, Invited by the Good Homes Alliance: New Homes & Our Health, 25 Nov 2016 London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Polygon UK technicians training 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact As part of the industry sponsorship for a 6 months pilot project funded by Polygon UK, we trained 5 technicians for the testing protocol over 2 days. By means of this training activity, technicians were able to carry out testing independently.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description public blog piece 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Mould: Is it really an unbeatable monster?; UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB) Blog
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://ukcmb.wordpress.com/2016/11/22/mould-is-it-really-an-unbeatable-monster/