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The Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies

- the research arm of the Department of Architecture

Studying at Cambridge


Heating Historic Churches

Magdalini Makrodimitri

Completed PhD churches 1   Completed PhD churches 2

This PhD explored the problems of providing thermal comfort in historic churches. It used surveys to establish comfort levels in churches, in depth documentary research to establish existing acceptable levels of humidity and temperature for the conservation of the various materials found in historic churches, and energy usage and then a series of different monitoring techniques to examine a series of existing churches with a variety of heating regimes. In the process it established that compromises between thermal comfort of the inhabitants and conservation of the fabric were essential. While some heating was essential for conservation, many approved heating schemes turned out on closer examination to be positively detrimental to the church fabric, and still give rise to thermal conditions that are not regarded as comfortable.