Green walls?: integrated laboratory and field testing of the effectiveness of soft wall capping in conserving ruins
Published:January 01, 2007
H. A. Viles, C. Wood, 2007. "Green walls?: integrated laboratory and field testing of the effectiveness of soft wall capping in conserving ruins", Building Stone Decay: From Diagnosis to Conservation, R. Přikryl, B. J. Smith
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Soft wall capping, which involves placing a cap of soil and turf (or other vegetation) on the top of ruined walls, is a potentially low cost, easy to maintain, ecologically sensitive and effective method of conserving ruined monuments. An integrated programme of laboratory and field testing has been designed to test the performance of soft capping in comparison with hard capping at a range of sites in England. A sample of ruined walls has been soft capped and monitored using repeat photography, with more detailed wooden dowel monitoring of wall moisture and electronic monitoring of temperatures and moisture levels at the base of soft caps at some sites. Experiments designed to test the thermal blanketing capability of the soft caps have been run in an environmental cabinet on scaled-down versions of soft and hard caps, and similar set-ups have also been monitored outdoors in Oxford. Short-term data from both field trials and laboratory tests illustrate the success of soft wall capping under a wide range of environmental conditions, but longer-term monitoring is needed to evaluate more fully the conservation benefits of soft capping.
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Building Stone Decay: From Diagnosis to Conservation
Stone buildings and monuments from the cultural centres of many of the world's urban areas. Frequently these areas are prone to high levels of atmospheric pollution that promote a variety of aggressive stone decay processes. Because of this, stone decay is now widely recognized as a severe threat to much of our cultural heritage. If this threat is to be successfully addressed it is essential that the symptoms of decay are clearly identified, that appropriate stone properties are accurately characterized and that decay processes are precisely identified. It is undoubtedly the case that successful conservation has to be underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of the causes of decay and the factors that control them. The accomplishment of these demanding goals requires an interdisciplinary approach based on co-operation between geologists, environmental scientists, chemists, material scientists, civil engineers, restorers and architects. In pursuit of this collaboration, this volume aims to strengthen the knowledge base dealing with the causes, consequences, prevention and solution of stone decay problems.