Renovation of Historical Facades: The Rescue or the Kiss of Death?

Doctoral dissertation Klaas Calle

Many historic facades struggle with water infiltrations or other hygrothermal issues.

The sustainability, interior climate and thermal/mechanical performance greatly suffer under these circumstances. Hence during renovations or restorations, the question quickly arises whether certain measures will impact the sustainability of the construction.

Heat, Air and Moisture (HAM) simulations are a valuable tool to estimate this impact but currently only find limited use in practice, as masonry constructions have highly variable properties and therefore the simulations might deliver unreliable results. Next to the usual uncertainties concerning climate, high incertitudes are also to be expected on component and material level for masonry constructions.

The first part of this research focusses on mapping the variations in hygrothermal material properties and material interactions in historical masonry constructions. In a second part, the impact of the found variabilities is investigated based on diverse damage criteria and sensitivity analysis on probabilistic HAM simulations.

To translate the output of these analyses into practice, decision trees are used. With such a tree structure, the risk for potential damage increase can be relatively and preliminary expressed for multiple boundary conditions and specific renovation or restoration interventions.


Doctoral student: Klaas Calle
Public defense: 2018-12-18
Supervisors: prof. dr. ir. -architect Nathan Van Den Bossche, prof. dr. ir. -architect Arnold Janssens

Examination Board:
prof. dr. ir. Filip De Turck (UGent, voorzitter)
prof. dr. ir. -architect Marijke Steeman (UGent, secretaris)
prof. Dr.-Ing. John Grunewald (Technische Universiteit Dresden)
ir. Roald Hayen (Koninklijk Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium)
prof. dr. Veerle Cnudde (UGent)
prof. dr. ir. -architect Jan Belis (UGent)
prof. ir. -architect Charlotte Nys (UGent)

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