Pilot study on indoor climate investigation and computer simulation in historical museum building: Amerongen Castle, the Netherlands

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Raha Sulaiman
Henk L Schellen
Jan LM Hensen


The indoor climate is one of the most important factors contributing to climate-induced damage to the building materials and cultural collections of a monumental building. The Dutch monumental building - Amerongen Castle, and the collections housed in it show severe deterioration caused by inappropriate historical indoor environment. Assessments of the indoor climate, especially on the room temperature and relative humidity, are necessary to analyze the causes and impacts of climate change. As the building was flooded in year 1993 and 1996, extra attention is paid to investigate the effects of flooding to it. This pilot study was aimed to identify the buildup linkages between the known past, historical data on indoor environment and indoor climate performance in the building through simulation based-prediction. This paper focuses on the methodology of indoor climate investigation from the past to the current situation. A hypothesis was developed on backcasting-based prediction simulation which can be used to identify the accepted historical indoor climate where during those times there probably was no damage to the building and the collection. A simulation method based on heat, air and moisture transport is used with the HAMBase program. The computer model representing the Grand Salon of Amerongen Castle was calibrated by comparing real measurements to simulation results. It shows that the differences were only to the minimum of -1.8„aC and maximum of 3.2„aC. The data for the historical outdoor weather files was obtained by interpolating outdoor ancient climatology constructed by MATLAB. Based on archival research, indoor thermal history was gathered as input for the profiles used in simulation. Further, the calibrated computer model can be used to simulate past indoor climate and investigate the process of the deterioration of the room and the collections mainly due to the fluctuation of indoor temperature and relative humidity. At the end, the climate related damages of the building from the past to current situation can be described and documented.

Keywords: historical building, backcasting simulation, indoor climate, temperature, relative humidity


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