NHSF is asking the heritage science community to help it 'Fill the Gaps' in knowledge and understanding identified by the National Heritage Science Strategy.
In 2015 NHSF commissioned an initial review of the heritage science research that had been carried out since 2009. The resulting report ‘Filling the Gaps’ maps research listed on the Gateway to Research (i.e. funded by the UK Research Councils) to the gaps in knowledge and practice identified in “The role of science in the management of the UK's heritage”, one of the three evidence reports produced to support the development of the National Heritage Science Strategy.

NHSF is now working with the heritage science community to ‘crowd-source’ knowledge of heritage science research to further ‘fill the gaps’ in the 10 topics identified in the evidence report.

We want to identify the gaps in knowledge and practice that remain so that we can promote them to researchers and funders as opportunities to be addressed in the future. We also want to be able to share information on where to find research that has been carried out.

This survey addresses the 7th topic area ‘Adapting to a changing climate'.

The National Heritage Science Strategy evidence report identified the need to adapt to a changing climate by understanding and modelling predicted change to mitigate its impact on collections, the built environment and archaeological material. 

To be able to do this, the evidence report identified a need for research into modelling the impact of a changing climate on collections.

Regarding the built historic environment, it identified a need for research that would inform adaptation to:
  • Greater incidence and intensity of rainfall events on permeable structures
  • The impact of wind-driven rain
  • The impact of increased storminess on salt spray
  • The removal of water on individual buildings due to an increase in extreme rainwater events (i.e. capacity of rain water goods, drainage and roofs to cope with predicted storminess)
  • The impact of ground heave and shrinkage on traditional structures
  • The impact of flooding and drying out on traditional materials and construction methods
As well as research into the following:
  • An improved understanding of thermal transmittance (U-values) of historic materials and constructions
  • Better methods to understand and quantify moisture movements within permeable structures (including internal environment as well as that within walls, floors, etc.)
  • Enhanced knowledge of how historic buildings actually behave and were originally intended to behave, including resilience to climatic fluctuations
  • Further calculations of the embodied energy of historic and traditional buildings
For the survival of archaeological remains, the report identified research areas that would allow better understanding, adaptation and mitigation against:
  • Greater seasonability in rainfall or increased drought conditions on wetland sites
  • Increased salinity from coastal innundation
  • Increased temperature around coastal waters which influences the spread of woodborers on in situ maritime timbers
Please add your knowledge of research that addresses any of these areas against the relevant heading on the following page. It can be published or unpublished research, completed or underway. Our only criteria is that the project started in or after 2009. You can complete the survey multiple times to add more than one piece of information against the same research area.

The areas are listed as separate survey questions with fields for  Author(s), Lead organisation, Project title etc. You don’t have to fill in all the information but clearly the more you can provide, the more helpful a resource we can create.