Track 4: This New World: Preservation technology and emerging issues within our historic buildings and built landscapes

APT Student Scholar Abstract

4 - An Alternative Technique for Low-Cost, Non-Destructive Moisture Monitoring in Adobe Walls using Embedded RFID Technology

Monday, September 24
2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Location: BNCC-106BC
Faculty Advisor: Frank Matero, Chair, the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation – University of Pennsylvania

Historically, in situ monitoring of moisture movement in existing walls has been a challenge. Even today, few reliable, validated methods exist which are non-invasive or destructive. The task is made far more difficult for earthen materials (rammed earth, adobe, etc.) for which destructive techniques can be especially damaging, and feasible, nondestructive methodologies are generally absent from the discussion. Given the contemporary, as well as future context of intensifying, global climatic phenomena, particularly the evolving severity and frequency of precipitation patterns, earthen constructions remain among the most vulnerable. This investigation reviews current strategies for moisture monitoring in adobe walls and reviews the implementation of new methods for doing so, namely the use of passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as a nondestructive, early indicator of moisture ingress. Following the four-tiered approach established by the National Park Service in its Climate Change Response Strategy, this research not only aims to develop a new monitoring methodology for vulnerability assessment, but to contribute to the dialogue among preservation scientists and site managers by sharing the methodology and its results. The product of this investigation will have broad applicability to other climate sensitive materials and construction types, both new and old.

Learning Objectives:

Evan Oskierko-Jeznacki

Doctoral Student Fellow
University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Design Department of Historic Presrvation

Evan is a doctoral student fellow at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, where he recently completed both a MS. in Historic Preservation and a Master of Environmental Building Design, and is currently a research associate at the Architectural Conservation Lab and Center for Environmental Building and Design. His ongoing research includes modeling and validating the thermal behavior of traditional Mongolian Ger (yurts) to improve indoor thermal comfort, reduce energy consumption and improve indoor air quality in the coldest, most polluted capital city in the world; an evidence-based risk assessment and monitoring protocol for climate sensitive historic structures at Fort Union National Monument; environmental diagnostic survey and monitoring methodology for the Vizcaya Mansion Grotto and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument; and the use of RFID technology as a low-cost, non-destructive moisture monitoring technique.

Presentation(s):

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4 - An Alternative Technique for Low-Cost, Non-Destructive Moisture Monitoring in Adobe Walls using Embedded RFID Technology



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