Climate for Culture

Influence of climate change on cultural assets

Within the scope of the 7th. Framework Programme of the European Union, the “large-scale integrated project” entitled “Climate for Culture” was funded. Together with 27 partners, the impact of climate change on cultural assets in Europe is being ascertained.

The work package “Hygrothermal Building Simulation” is led by Fraunhofer IBP’s Department of Hygrothermics. In order to predict the anticipated indoor climate, simulated future climate data were used as weather data for the hygrothermal building simulation model WUFI®Plus. This enables changes in damage probabilities and the cost of operating air-conditioning systems in buildings to be determined.

Map of Europe
© Fraunhofer IBP
Map of Europe.
Roggersdorf Church
© Fraunhofer IBP
Roggersdorf Church.
Model of Roggersdorf Church
© Fraunhofer IBP
Model of Roggersdorf Church.

One of the partners uses global climate models to downscale climate predictions via regional climate models to obtain high-resolution climate data for the whole of Europe. The first task was to find out whether the simulated climate data could be applied to hygrothermal building simulation. For this purpose, historical long-term and short-term measurements of weather data in various European locations were compared with simulated climate data for the period between 1960 and 1990. The comparison spans different time scales, from long-term averages to diurnal fluctuations in climate parameters. Data sets for two emission scenarios were generated and converted into weather data sets for hygrothermal building simulation in Europe. To do this, hourly values were calculated for more than 900 sites 120 kilometers apart from one another over a period of 30 years for 1960-1990, 2020-2050 and 2070-2100.

As a result, the anticipated indoor climate can now be mapped for Europe and the probability of damage occurring can be forecast for different types of damage. Changes between current values and future predicted values can also be displayed in maps.

Together with another project partner, these simulations, which required extensive computing time, were implemented to develop a new inverse modeling approach for unheated buildings via a state space model. This allows the resulting indoor climate to be rapidly determined for each type of building studied throughout the whole of Europe.

To further investigate hygric and thermal conditions on and in building components with regard to energy requirements for heating, cooling, humidification and dehumidification, dynamic hygrothermal building simulation is necessary. Purely thermal simulation environments, which do not take into account either the moisture exchange or the transport processes taking place in the surfaces enclosing a space, yield incorrect results when calculating the humidity of the ambient air. This would lead to an incorrect assessment of the probability of damage occurring.


Demonstration Centre

Fraunhofer Center for Conservation and Energy Performance of Historic Buildings in Benediktbeuern


Business Unit

Cultural heritage research at the Fraunhofer IBP