Regarded as important cultural heritage, historic churches have been utilised over hundreds of years for worship and community benefit. Simple on/off space heating systems are installed in many churches to increase human comfort. However, the conservation of the important historic artefacts and artwork contained within may not have been fully considered. This review attempts to appraise the standards in place for artefacts and artwork. A consensus of 15–25 °C and 40–65% relative humidity is established as safe from the standards reviewed. Consideration is given to the environment within the church to understand if such exacting conditions can be met. The review finds that the conservation and preservation of artefacts and buildings are aligned goals, although striving to meet specified target ranges for artefact types is not fully compatible with historic churches. The stability of the internal environment is clearly an important factor in conservation and benefits human comfort expectations. Churches may contain microclimates throughout the building, complicating the use of target ranges for artefacts, artwork and comfort. The findings of this study can assist historic churches in managing the change, alteration or installation of heating systems.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This Science and Engineering in Arts Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) study is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). EPSRC Grant EP/L016036/1.
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