University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Sustainability in the Built Environment (GreenBRIDGE) > Sensing the Historic Environment – Its Nature and Relevance

Sensing the Historic Environment – Its Nature and Relevance

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Speaker #1

Title: Sir John Soane and the climate of 19th century London

Speaker: Prof. DEAN HAWKES (Emeritus Professor of Architectural Design at the Welsh School of Architecture, and Emeritus Fellow of Darwin College, University of Cambridge)

Abstract: This paper will argue that Soane’s unique combination of an original architectural language and mechanical systems represented a conscious response to the polluted microclimate of the city. In addition to a review of Soane’s own house, museum and workplace at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, this paper will present analyses of his work at the Bank of England (1788-1833) and the Law Courts at the Palace of Westminster (built 1822-24, demolished 1882). These will be illustrated with representative drawings of the original mechanical systems in these buildings.

Speaker #2

Title: On the use of history in the study of environmental design in architecture: the 1851 Great Exhibition Building, Hyde Park

Speaker: Dr. HENRIK SCHOENEFELDT (Lecturer of Sustainable Architecture at the University of Kent)

Abstract: Henrik Schoenefeldt explores the use of historic research to uncover the environmental design intentions behind historic buildings, and to reconstruct their environmental behaviour. Joseph Paxton used his experience with the environmental management of glasshouses to adapt a glass structure as a space for mass congregation and the display of artefacts. A study of post-occupancy evaluation and ventilation experiments conducted between May and October 1851 illuminates the difficulties with managing the interior temperature encountered during the summer of 1851.

Speaker #3

Title: Sensing a historic low-CO2 future

Speaker: Prof. COLIN PORTEOUS (Professor of Architectural Science at the Mackintosh Environmental Research Unit, Glasgow School of Art)

Abstract: This paper will use the exploration of historical precedent regarding Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) research to inform the present situation. Surprisingly, despite radical changes to the ‘bad company cocktail’ present in indoor air, the 1872 Pettenkofer standard for CO2 appears to hold good today as an IAQ indicator, and the drive to energy-efficient airtight envelopes means that control of ventilation is more vital than ever.

This talk is part of the Sustainability in the Built Environment (GreenBRIDGE) series.

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