Microclimate for Cultural Heritage

Microclimate for Cultural Heritage

Conservation, Restoration, and Maintenance of Indoor and Outdoor Monuments

2nd Edition - October 4, 2013

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  • Author: Dario Camuffo
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444632982
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444632968

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Microclimate for Cultural Heritage: Conservation and Restoration of Indoor and Outdoor Monuments, Second Edition, is a cutting-edge, theoretical, and practical handbook concerning microclimate, environmental factors, and conservation of cultural heritage. Although the focus is on cultural heritage objects, most of the theory and instrumental methodologies are common to other fields of application, such as atmospheric and environmental sciences. Microclimate for Cultural Heritage, Second Edition, is a useful treatise on microphysics and a practical handbook for conservators and specialists in physics, chemistry, architecture, engineering, geology, and biology who work in the multidisciplinary field of the environment, and, in particular, in the conservation of works of art. Part I, devoted to applied theory, is a concise treatise on microphysics, which includes a survey on the basic ideas of environmental diagnosis and conservation. The second part of the book focuses on practical utilization, and shows in detail how field surveys should be performed, with many suggestions and examples, as well as some common errors to avoid.

Key Features

  • Presents updated scientific and technological findings based on the novel European standards on microclimate and cultural heritage
  • Includes the latest information on experimental research on environmental factors and their impact on materials, such as the behavior of water and its interactions with cultural heritage materials
  • Contains case studies of outdoor and indoor microclimate conditions and their effects, providing ideas for readers facing similar problems caused by heat, water, radiation, pollution, or air motions
  • Covers instruments and methods for practical applications to help readers understand, to observe and interpret observations, and avoid errors


cultural heritage conservationists, restorers, curators, environmental scientists, atmospheric scientists, chemists, physicists

Table of Contents

  • Preface to the First Edition (1998)

    Preface to the Second Edition (2014)

    Foreword to the First Edition (1998)

    Reviews to the First Edition (1998)

    Il Nuovo Cimento Vol. 22, no. 1, p. 121 (1999)

    2 Studies in Conservation Vol. 45, no.2, p. 143 (2000)

    3 Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 111, p. 309 (2002)




    The Author

    Part I: Atmospheric Physics Applied to Microclimate Analysis and Conservation

    Chapter 1. Microclimate, Air and Temperature


    1.1 Microclimate

    1.2 Air, Water Vapour, Perfect and Real Gases

    1.3 Temperature

    1.4 Mechanisms of Temperature Degradation

    1.5 Temperature in a Building, a Room

    1.6 Temperature in a Showcase

    1.7 Is it Possible to Combine People Comfort, Conservation Needs and Sustainability?

    1.8 Monitoring Air Temperature to Study Air–Surface Interactions and for Environmental Diagnostics


    Chapter 2A. Theoretical Grounds for Humidity


    2A.1 Partial Pressure of Water Vapour

    2A.2 Derivation of the Latent Heat

    2A.3 Mixing Ratio of Water Vapour and Dry Air

    2A.4 Specific Humidity

    2A.5 Absolute Humidity

    2A.6 Relative Humidity

    2A.7 Dew Point: The Temperature of Condensation

    2A.8 Frost Point: The Temperature of Freezing

    2A.9 Wet Bulb Temperature: The Temperature of Evaporation

    2A.10 The Psychrometric Chart


    Chapter 2B. Humidity and Conservation


    2B.1 Air–Surface Interactions and Environmental Diagnostics

    2B.2 The Equilibrium Moisture Content and Dimensional Changes in Wood

    2B.3 Mechanisms of Humidity Degradation in Paper and Parchment

    2B.4 Biological Habitat

    2B.5 Metals, Pipe Organs and Other Materials

    2B.6 What is the Best Microclimate for Conservation? The European Standard EN15757: 2010

    2B.7 Keeping Constant Relative Humidity in Rooms and Showcases

    2B.8 Condensation on Cold Surfaces


    Chapter 3. Parameters to Describe Air Masses and Vertical Motions


    3.1 Equivalent Temperature

    3.2 Adiabatic Gradients in Troposphere

    3.3 Potential Temperature

    3.4 Equivalent-Potential Temperature

    3.5 Virtual Temperature


    Further Reading

    Chapter 4. Radiation and Light


    4.1 The Emission of Radiation from Bodies and the Effects of the Absorbed Energy

    4.2 Radiometric Temperature

    4.3 Angular Distribution of Radiant Emission of Bodies

    4.4 Attenuation of Light in the Atmosphere

    4.5 Daily and Seasonal Cycles of Solar Radiation on a Surface

    4.6 What is the Colour of Natural Light?

    4.7 Exhibition Lighting and Electric Light Sources

    4.8 Optical Filters and Optical Fibres

    4.9 Deterioration of Works of Art Caused by Light


    Further reading

    Chapter 5. Physics of Drop Formation and Micropore Condensation


    5.1 How a Curved Water Meniscus Changes the Equilibrium Vapour Tension

    5.2 Derivation of the Kelvin Equation for Droplet Formation and Micropore Condensation

    5.3 The Formation of Droplets in the Atmosphere: Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Nucleation

    5.4 Bubbles

    5.5 Micropore Condensation and Stone Weathering

    5.6 Adsorption Isotherms

    5.7 Freezing–Thawing Cycles


    Chapter 6. Atmospheric Water and Stone Weathering


    6.1 Acid Rain, Rainfall and Crusts

    6.2 Mechanisms of Penetration of Rainwater and Evaporation

    6.3 Evaporation from a Damp Monument

    6.4 Capillary Suction

    6.5 The Equilibrium Vapour Tension over a Solution

    6.6 Climate Cycles, Sea Spray and Salt Damage

    6.7 Some Common Errors that Should Be Avoided


    Chapter 7. Atmospheric Stability and Pollutant Dispersion


    7.1 Introduction

    7.2 Vertical Temperature Gradients and Plume Behaviour

    7.3 Effects Due to Topographic Horizontal Inhomogeneity

    7.4 Urban Climate: Heat Island and Aerodynamic Disturbance

    7.5 Dispersion and Transportation of Pollutants in a City

    7.6 Wind Friction Near a Surface

    7.7 Vertical Fluxes of Heat, Moisture and Momentum

    7.8 Heat Balance at the Soil or the Monument Surface

    7.9 Main Parameters Used in Measuring Atmospheric Stability and Turbulence

    7.10 Plume Dispersion

    7.11 Stability Classes to Evaluate Atmospheric Stability


    Chapter 8. Dry Deposition of Airborne Particulate Matter: Mechanisms and Effects


    8.1 Introduction

    8.2 Random Walk and Brownian Diffusivity

    8.3 Brownian Deposition

    8.4 Thermophoresis

    8.5 Diffusiophoresis

    8.6 Stefan Flow

    8.7 Gravitational Settling

    8.8 Electrophoresis

    8.9 Photophoresis

    8.10 Aerodynamic Deposition: Inertial Impaction and Interception

    8.11 Adhesion of Particles to Paintings or Other Surfaces

    8.12 Vertical Distribution of Particles in Still Air and their Resuspension by Turbulence

    8.13 How Soiling Develops

    8.14 What is the Most Appropriate Heating and Air Conditioning System to Avoid Soiling?

    8.15 Inappropriate Positioning of Paintings

    8.16 Uplifting of Giant Particles and Wind Erosion

    8.17 Kinetic Energy and Sand Blasting


    Chapter 9. Consequences of the Maxwell–Boltzmann Distribution


    9.1 The Maxwell–Boltzmann Equation and the Distribution of Molecules by Velocities

    9.2 Thermal Emission of Bodies

    9.3 The Arrhenius Equation

    9.4 Saturation Pressure of Water Vapour in Air

    9.5 Relative Humidity and Mutual Distance between H2O Molecules

    9.6 The Liquid State and the Free H2O Molecules in it

    9.7 The Raoult Law for Ideal Solutions

    9.8 Ebullition and Freezing

    9.9 An Additional Aspect of Relative Humidity

    9.10 The Three Classes of Water Vapour

    9.11 Conclusions


    Part II: Performing Microclimate Field Surveys

    Chapter 10. Introduction to Field Measurements


    10.1 Weather Stations and Observations for Monument Conservation

    10.2 Statistical Representation of the Data

    10.3 Frequency of Observation

    10.4 Length of Observation Period

    10.5 Response Time of a Sensor

    10.6 Drawing Air Temperature and Other Isolines


    Chapter 11. Measuring Temperature


    11.1 Measuring Air Temperature

    11.2 Measuring Artwork Surface Temperature According to EN 15758: 2010


    Chapter 12. Measuring Humidity


    12.1 Measuring Air Humidity According to EN16242: 2012

    12.2 Hygrometers

    12.3 Calibrating Hygrometers

    12.4 Measuring Heat and Moisture Exchanges between Air and Monuments

    12.5 Measuring Moisture Content

    12.6 Measuring Time of Wetness


    Chapter 13. Measuring Wind and Indoor Air Motions


    13.1 Measuring Wind Speed and Direction

    13.2 Measuring Indoor Air Motions


    Chapter 14. Measuring Rainfall and Wind-Borne Droplets


    14.1 Precipitation Measurements

    14.2 Precipitation on Monuments

    14.3 Wet and Dry Deposition Samplers


    Appendix 1. List of Fundamental Constants Met in This Book

    Appendix 2. Summary of Key Equations to Calculate Humidity Variables


    Appendix 3. Essential Glossary

    Relevant Objects, Museums, Monuments etc Exemplified in Figures






















Product details

  • No. of pages: 560
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2013
  • Published: October 4, 2013
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444632982
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444632968

About the Author

Dario Camuffo

Dario Camuffo
Physicist. From 1969 at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, where his last position was Research Director. He retired in 2008, he now continues research and teaching as emeritus Associate. Since 1979, he has been lecturer of Environmental Physics and Physics for Conservation at the University of Padua, the Cignaroli Academy of Fine Arts, Verona, the Polytechnic of Milan. For ten years, he was the Co- Director of the European Doctoral Course “Sciences and Materials of the Cultural Heritage”, of the European University Centre for Cultural Heritage, Ravello. His activities are mainly devoted to atmospheric physics applied to the conservation of the cultural heritage and to climate change. He has recovered and studied the earliest regular observations of the Medici Network (1654-1670) and a number of long-term instrumental series starting from the early 17th century. Similarly with written documentary proxies (e.g. chronicles, annals) over the last millennium: he reads fluent Latin, the official language of the Middle Ages and the language of scientific literature up to the French Revolution, Italian, French, English, Spanish, and ancient Greek. The possibility of reading original documents and books is very helpful in recovering data, but also in the interpretation of old recipes or scientific writings. He analyzed the sea level rise in Venice, over the last 500 years after the algae belt marked on the paintings by Canaletto, Bellotto and Veronese, who reproduced precise details with the help of a camera obscura. He was requested by the Holy Father John Paul II to improve the microclimate of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, and appointed by UNESCO for the Great Sphinx and Pyramid Plateau, Egypt, Thracian Tombs, the city of Nassebur and the Madara Rider, Bulgaria, all included in the World List of Cultural Heritage (WLCH). He also studied the Leonardo's Last Supper, Milan; the Uffizi Gallery, Florence; the Louvre and the Orangerie Museum, Paris; the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; the Orvieto Cathedral, and many other monuments. Active in standardization for cultural heritage, convenor of two working teams of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage, and vice-president of UNI-Normal (Italian Standardization Body). Member of various international scientific committees (e.g. European Commission, UNESCO, U.S. NAPAP) on the conservation of works of art, environment and climate. He wrote over 300 scientific papers and some books. He leaded many research projects, some fifteen of them funded by the European Commission Directorate General Research and Innovation, and the European Science Foundation (COST).

Affiliations and Expertise

National Research Council, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Padua, Italy

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