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      The causes of air movement in hidden indoor micro-environments: measurements in historic bookshelves

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            The use of ventilation holes in small micro-environments has been proposed as a mechanism to improve the environmental conditions of moisture and temperature within bookshelves. The National Trust, for example, has used these mechanisms to encourage air movement behind books as a possible strategy to reduce the risk of mould growth. It is believed that including ventilation holes as a passive design solution to promote airflow within micro-environments could prevent decay from occurring in archives of historic buildings. This paper investigates the mechanisms that cause airflow behind bookshelves using field measurements in three National Trust historical libraries. The measurements indicate that small but measurable velocities, up to 4 cm/s, can be generated passively behind bookshelves. Air movement in such confined micro-environments is caused by a combination of natural convection, caused by temperature differences between the interior and the exterior of the bookshelf(stack effect), and forced convection due to drafts in the surrounding environment. While in some cases one mechanism prevailed, both mechanisms may be present simultaneously in most cases. Finally, this paper proposes that air movement as a result of the stack effect in these micro-environments can be predicted with a simple mathematical model, which offers a good fit with the experimental data in the cases where temperature differences promote air motion.


            Author and article information

            UCL Open: Environment Preprint
            UCL Press
            24 March 2022
            [1 ] UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, London, United Kingdom
            [2 ] UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, London, United Kingdom
            [3 ] National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, London, United Kingdom
            Author notes
            Author information

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            : 24 March 2022
            EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK) EP/L016036/1

            The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
            Air movement,Historic buildings,Preventive conservation,Micro-environment,Mould,Built environment


            Date: 28 September 2022

            Handling Editor: Dr Yasemin D. Aktas

            Editorial decision: Request revision. The Handling Editor requested revisions; the article has been returned to the authors to make this revision.

            2022-09-28 12:57 UTC

            Date: 26 April 2022

            Handling Editor: Dr Yasemin D. Aktas

            This article is a preprint article and has not been peer-reviewed. It is under consideration following submission to UCL Open: Environment for open peer review.

            This article is part of the 1st International Conference on Moisture in Buildings (ICMB21) Special Series


            2022-04-27 09:07 UTC

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