Thermal Imaging or Infrared thermography (IRT) is increasingly used as a tool for historic building performance assessment and examining factors including heat input, heat loss, solar gain, air infiltration and water penetration. Within the conservation of historic buildings, it also provides useful data for the evaluation of deterioration mechanisms both of the building fabric and sensitive artefacts.
Tobit Curteis Associates has developed techniques using IRT, in combination with environmental monitoring and other survey tools, to provide accurate understanding of historic building performance and in particular the impact of different heating types on sensitive building fabric and artefacts.
We also use IRT to examine the effect of visitor flow and building use on deterioration, as well as the ways in which such damage can be mitigated. Used in combination with time lapse photography, IRT can provide swift and accurate data on the effects of solar gain on building fabric and collections allowing the design of light and temperature control systems.
Because of the speed at which data can be captured and assessed, IRT is an extremely useful and cost-effective tool which we commonly use at the preliminary stage of most environmental assessments.