IPERION HSIntegrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science

Preventive Conservation Lab

The UCL Preventive Conservation Lab consists of fixed and mobile laboratory facilities, as well as online tools and expertise that assist users in the development of preventive conservation strategies for heritage buildings and collections. UCL has been leading the development of preventive conservation standards for the past few decades and a wealth of tools have become available for access and further development, e.g. for modelling of indoor pollution, particulate matter deposition, collection degradation and damage development and for modelling of building behaviour, energy consumption and associated costs. In addition, the associated expertise involves building physics and engineering, sustainable management of collections, value assessment. The facility covers a range of preventive conservation applications including (but not exclusively): Monitoring, visualisation and modelling of indoor environments, e.g. temperature and relative humidity as well as modelling of environmental scenarios using software tools such as Energy+ or WUFI to understand building behaviour and the impact of climate change; Monitoring, visualisation and modelling of pollution, e.g. volatile organic compounds, traffic generated pollutants and particulate matter, their interactions with collections and buildings as well as transport phenomena, using tools such as IMPACT and CFD, to understand the susceptibility of collections to pollution damage and the evaluation of filtration and other pollution mitigating tools and strategies; Monitoring, visualisation and modelling of degradation and damage to cultural heritage materials and collections using collection management tools e.g. COLLECTION DEMOGRAPHY, in order to devise scenarios of the effect of environmental management and access management on damage accumulation in collections; Monitoring, visualisation and modelling of light and the effect of light (daylight or artificial) on buildings and indoor environments, using architectural modelling tools; Other facilities to support the above, including H-BIM (heritage building information modelling), and other modelling tools, e.g. based on epidemiology, agent-based and systems modelling; Laboratory facilities to support the above, e.g. gas chromatography, pollution modelling using NOx, SO2 and O3 data loggers, CO2 logging and monitoring, particulate matter monitoring and logging, thermal cameras, systems for air exchange measurement, monitoring of water and moisture in buildings etc.; Potential applications include all aspects of preventive conservation, including the development of new strategies for collection and building management, either in the immediate or far future, taking into account aspects of climate change, funding and policy change. The laboratory also supports odour qualitative and quantitative characterisation and historical significance assessment of olfactory dimension of artefacts and environments.