Hygrothermal performance of worship spaces: preservation, comfort, and energy consumption

Carmen Mª Muñoz-González, Angel Luis León Rodriguez, Rafael C. Suárez Medina, Catherine Teeling

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The energy problem, one the most important on a global scale, greatly affects the environment. Much of the current energy consumption occurs in existing buildings, including heritage buildings with varying protected status. Energy intervention and heritage conservation conflict to some extent, as research focuses more on the search for improved energy efficiency solutions for materials and systems than on their application to heritage buildings. This study describes experimental research on environmental conditioning techniques in spaces of worship in a temperate climate in southern Spain. Buildings were monitored and assessed in the implementation of different environmental techniques—active and combined (passive and active)—with the aim of improving the thermal comfort conditions of the faithful while preserving the cultural heritage of these buildings. The need for a control system of RH and the air system was concluded, as well as radiant floors and radiators, which, in the considered case studies, would barely affect the artworks. 24- and 12-h operation are better suited to heritage preservation than occasional use. All operation schedules are valid for thermal comfort.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3838
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2018


  • cultural heritage
  • energy consumption
  • preservation
  • comfort
  • HVAC
  • worship spaces
  • movable heritage


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