HEAT,TECHNICAL PROBLEMS IN BASEMENTS AND HISTORICAL BUILDINGS
There are so many buildings that need to be rehabilitated for another different uses than the ones they were originally designed for, but this is not an easy task, because modern installations in some cases are not prepared to preserve original materials of the buildings, and not only the installation, either the own effect of theinstallations (heat, air conditioning…), could cause dangerous consequences for the structures, or even change the facades of the buildings, thus modifying the architecture, losing partially the value of these buildings.
In light of studies, the buildings with the poorest energy efficiency are actually those built between 1940 and 1975. Older buildings were found to use less energy for heating andcooling and hence probably require fewer weatherization improvements. They use less energy because they were built with a well-developed sense of physical comfort and because they maximized the natural sources of heating, lighting and ventilation.
To reduce heating and cooling expenditures there are two broad courses of action that may be taken. First, begin passive measures to assure that abuilding and its existing components function as efficiently as possible without the necessity of making alterations or adding new materials. The second course of action is preservation retrofitting, which includes altering the building by making appropriate weatherization measures to improve thermal performance. Undertaking the passive measures and the preservation retrofitting recommended herecould result in a 50% decrease in energy expenditures in historic buildings.
Taking some of the passive measures under outlined can save as much as 30% of the energy used in a building. They should be the first undertakings to save energy in any existing building and are particularly appropriate for historic buildings because they do not necessitate building alterations or theintroduction of new materials that may cause damage.
* Lowering the thermostat in the winter, raising it in the summer
* Controlling the temperature in those rooms actually used
* Using operable windows, shutters, awnings and vents as originally intended to control interior environment (maximize fresh air)
* Cleaning radiators and forced air registers to ensure proper operation…
In addition to passive measures, building owners may undertake certain retrofitting measures that will not jeopardize the historic character of the building and can be accomplished at a reasonable cost. Preservation retrofitting improves the thermal performance of the building, resulting in another 20 to 30 percent reduction in energy.
When considering retrofittingmeasures, historic building owners should keep in mind that there are no permanent solutions. One can only meet the standards being applied today with today's materials and techniques. In the future, it is likely that the standards and the technologies will change and a whole new retrofitting plan may be necessary. Overzealous retrofitting, which introduces the risk of damage to historic buildingmaterials, should not be undertaken.The preservation retrofitting measures presented here, were developed to address the three most common problems in historic structures caused by some retrofitting actions.
THREE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS
The first problem concerns retrofitting actions that necessitated inappropriate building alterations, such as the wholesale removal of historic windows, or theaddition of insulating aluminum siding, or installing dropped ceilings in significant interior spaces.
The second problem area is to assure that retrofitting measures do not create moisture-related deterioration problems. One must recognize that large quantities of moisture are present on the interior of buildings.
* In northern climates, the moisture may be a problem during the winter...
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