Passive microclimate frames are exhibition enclosures able to modify their internal climate in order to comply with paintings’ conservation needs. Due to a growing concern about the effects of climate change, future policies in conservation must move towards affordable and sustainable preservation strategies. This study investigated the hygrothermal conditions monitored within a microclimate frame hosting a portrait on cardboard with the aim of discussing its use in view of the climate expected indoors in the period 2041–2070. Its effectiveness in terms of the ASHRAE classification and of the Lifetime Multiplier for chemical deterioration of paper was assessed comparing temperature and relative humidity values simultaneously measured inside the microclimate frame and in its surrounding environment, first in the Pio V Museum and later in a residential building, both located in the area of Valencia (Spain). Moreover, heat and moisture transfer functions were used to derive projections over the future indoor hygrothermal conditions in response to the ENSEMBLES-A1B outdoor scenario. The adoption of microclimate frames proved to be an effective preventive conservation action in current and future conditions but it may not be sufficient to fully avoid the chemical degradation risk without an additional control over temperature.
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