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Open AccessArticle

Mitigating Climate Change in the Cultural Built Heritage Sector

1
School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, High St, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK
2
Department of Architecture and Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Alfred Getz vei 3, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
3
School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, James Parsons Building, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2019, 7(7), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7070090
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Abstract

Climate change mitigation targets have put pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of cultural heritage buildings. Commonly adopted measures to decrease the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of historical buildings are targeted at improving their energy efficiency through insulating the building envelope, and upgrading their heating, cooling and lighting systems. However, there are complex issues that arise when mitigating climate change in the cultural built heritage sector. For instance, preserving the authenticity of heritage buildings, maintaining their traditional passive behaviours, and choosing adaptive solutions compatible with the characteristics of heritage materials to avoid an acceleration of decay processes. It is thus important to understand what the enablers, or the barriers, are to reduce the carbon footprint of cultural heritage buildings to meet climate change mitigation targets. This paper investigates how climate change mitigation is considered in the management and preservation of the built heritage through semi-structured interviews with cultural heritage experts from the UK, Italy and Norway. Best-practice approaches for the refurbishment of historical buildings with the aim of decreasing their energy consumption are presented, as perceived by the interviewees, as well as the identification of the enablers and barriers in mitigating climate change in the cultural built heritage sector. The findings emphasise that adapting the cultural built heritage to reduce GHG emissions is challenging, but possible if strong and concerted action involving research and government can be undertaken to overcome the barriers identified in this paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptation; climate change; cultural heritage; energy efficiency; historical buildings; mitigation; refurbishment; sustainability adaptation; climate change; cultural heritage; energy efficiency; historical buildings; mitigation; refurbishment; sustainability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Sesana, E.; Bertolin, C.; Gagnon, A.S.; Hughes, J.J. Mitigating Climate Change in the Cultural Built Heritage Sector. Climate 2019, 7, 90.

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