To date, the progress of the Academic Project Partners towards PARNASSUS are:
- University of Bath, Architecture and Civil Engineering
- University of Bristol, Civil Engineering
- University of Bristol, Geographical Sciences
- University of Southampton, School of Humanities
As part of the Parnassus project the development of a novel laboratory test procedure has been pursued, which looks to expose historic buildings to simulated wind-driven rain and flood conditions. The test will expose full-scale wall constructions to the climate conditions, in order to monitor and measure the structural and material effects on the stability and condition of a wall element. To date, a series of solid brick masonry, and timber-frame with masonry infill, wall specimens have been constructed using reclaimed historic building materials and air lime. On completion of curing these are scheduled for testing in Spring 2012. In addition, a programme of testing to define the characteristics of the reclaimed materials, such as porosity and strength has been carried out. Materials have also been sourced for the characterisation programme from the historic buildings where monitoring has been undertaken, to complement the data collected using the on-site instrumentation.
Currently, four buildings are being monitored: Abbey Mill and 1 Mill Bank in Tewkesbury, Old School Building in Cottown, Scotland and Odda’s Chapel in Deerhurst. The monitoring system is designed to measure Temperature and Relative Humidity of the walls both internally and externally, on their surface and their interior to build a complete profile to correlate Wind-driven Rain load with walls moisture content and depth of penetration, and the content of moisture in the lower levels of the walls with rising damp due to water table level oscillations. Rainfall, wind speed and wind direction, ambient pressure and water level in the nearby watercourse are also being measured outside the buildings to understand the relevance of each parameter. The following buildings which are being considered for monitoring using the designed monitoring system are Blickling Hall, Norfolk, Norwich and Arlington Court, Arlington. The modelling of the Abbey Mill and 1 Mill Bank in Tewkesbury is in progress and Numerical modelling will start soon.
A full modelling cascade is now in place consisting of regional climate models, rainfall-run-off models and a 2D flood inundation model. Further analysis of the application of climate models in future flood risk projection has revealed the inadequacies of many current methods. Alternative techniques of future flow generation have been explored and tested, identifying the most suitable application of climate models in future flood projection. The climate model ensembles' includes future projections of temperature and precipitation for the 1960-2099 period. With rainfall runoff models and flood inundation models in place, projected changes to rainfall and temperature can be used to simulate future flooding. The HBV-light rainfall run-off model has been implemented for both the Severn at Saxons lode, and Avon at Evesham with the models being calibrated to 1970-2008 observations. With runoff models in place first projections of future flow scenarios have been carried out for the 2070-2099 period. Further improvement of the 2D flood inundation model of Tewkesbury and Deerhurst has also been carried out. In addition to simulating the 2007 flood event, the December 2000 event has also been simulated. This will be used to produce design flood hydrographs for differing exceedance probability events i.e 1:100 1:50, under future climate conditions.
Several Hartham Park Bath Stone samples have been tested at the University of Bristol, to determine the stone’s water absorption characteristics. The test results have been presented as upper bound, lower bound and average curves along with associated power law expressions for the water ingress rates over time. A useful observation from this work has been that curve fitting through data points obtained by application of the Newton-Raphson method to determine approximate water ingress rates from the raw test data leads to power law relationships which are similar to those obtained via the time square root approach defined in EN 1925. Photographs were used to record the time-changing height of water, evident from the change of colour of the Hartham Park Bath Stone. Retests were performed to explore potential effects of redistribution / ejection of salts etc within / from the stone due to the first cycle of water ingress and egress, with no palpable effect. These determined water ingress properties will be used to inform on immersion strategy during the imminent Freeze-Thaw (FT) testing of Hartham Park Bath Stone. A main feature of the FT testing will be application of vertical compression (to reflect load-bearing in reality) to the stone samples throughout the freezing, thawing and immersion phases. A 100 tonne axial capacity machine will apply the compression through steel platens to the samples during the freezing and thawing phases in an environmental chamber. To permit retention of the compression during immersion, a special stainless steel prestressing rig has been designed and fabricated at the University of Bristol. Instrumentation including strain gauges and thermocouples will be used to quantify changes to the mechanical integrity of the stone samples throughout the FT regime to conclusion.
In collaboration with Penny, Matthew has been leading the survey work at Bodiam Castle and landscape. Bodiam, in south-east England, is one the most famous castles in Europe; it was built in the 1380s by Sir Edward Dallingrygge, at the same time as the surrounding landscape was transformed. Bodiam is particularly significant for the PARNASSUS project as it was deliberately placed and designed to sit in water -- the artificial moat that surrounds it laps up against the walls. Matthew is preparing papers on the lived experience of the castle and drawing together secondary material on the long-term climatic and environmental history of the region.
Matthew is also engaging with the wider understanding of climate change, definitions of environment, and society. He is writing (with Penny) a joint paper on "Early Modern Housing and the Little Ice Age" at the AHRC-funded Environment and Identity Conference being hosted by English Heritage in July 2011.
Penny Copeland has recently been researching the historic responses to the worsening weather conditions experienced during the Little Ice Age as demonstrated by changes in building techniques. A joint paper is being given with Professor Matthew Johnson on “Early Modern Housing and the Little Ice Age” at the AHRC funded Environment and Identity Conference being hosted by English Heritage in July 2011.
In particular, she has been looking at attitudes to flooding expressed but the decision to build on flood plains or close to water. As part of this research, Penny has been surveying Bodiam Castle, East Sussex with students on the survey course at the University of Southampton. Bodiam Castle dates to around 1385, and therefore within the Little Ice Age, and is surrounded by an artificially created moat. The goal of the survey is to look at floor levels in relation to the surrounding water levels and living arrangements within the castle.
In addition to survey work at Bodiam, Penny has also been researching the history of the case study buildings chosen for possible monitoring and availability of core information in the local area.