Deterioration in brick buildings: hygrothermal performance and measures to save them
Paper in proceeding, 2020

Many former industrial building sites in Sweden have been abandoned and left to deteriorate. Nowadays, there is a large interest to refurbish and retrofit these buildings for other purposes. Commercial and housing developers are attracted to these areas which are often in the outskirts of the city centers. There are several challenges facing architects and engineers to preserve these buildings, also connected to cultural heritage demands. The aim of this study is to propose measures to preserve cultural heritage buildings. A brick building in Gothenburg, on the Swedish west coast, is used as a case study. The building was used for paper production until 2005. After that, it deteriorated quickly after the heating was turned off. The rapid decay affected the hygrothermal performance as well as the load-bearing capacity of the structure. Small scale laboratory investigations of the building materials show a high degree of decay. Measurements of temperature and relative humidity is used to monitor the hygrothermal performance. Observations show that the brick masonry has heavy salt efflorescence and is in need of further protective measures.


Pär Johansson

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Paula Wahlgren

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

E3S Web of Conferences

22671242 (eISSN)

Vol. 172 23005

12th Nordic Symposium on Building Physics (NSB 2020)
Tallinn, Estonia,

Preserve and improve energy efficiency in listed buildings using super insulation materials

Swedish Energy Agency (42856-1), 2016-12-01 -- 2019-06-30.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Construction Management

Other Civil Engineering

Building Technologies

Areas of Advance




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