Filling the Gaps in Heritage Science research #2 Decay mechanisms and rates of decay of the built historic environment

Continuing our series of posts to map research to the gaps in knowledge and practice identified in the National Heritage Science Strategy (NHSS), this second request for input covers research into decay mechanisms and rates of decay of the built historic environment.

The NHSS identified seven specific topics that would benefit from greater understanding.

These are:

  • the behaviour and methods of control of soluble salts in buildings
  • the impact of multi-pollutant urban environments and nitrogen oxides in particular on building fabric
  • the impact of the use of inappropriate materials for repair
  • the impact of non-conservation stone cleaning which can lead to acid decay and increased microbial growth
  • the interaction between moisture, microbes (e.g. biofilms) and salts in stone degradation
  • vibration damage to historic monuments
  • the impact of fire resistant treatments on the longevity of organic materials (i.e. thatch)

Our survey monkey form at can be used to record information about research in any of these areas, published or unpublished, since 2009.

Please circulate this link/posting and help us to build up, and share, knowledge of existing research as well as identify which gaps remain so that we can promote remaining opportunities to researchers, funders and policy makers.

Many thanks
National Heritage Science Forum

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