Tinytag Instrumentation data loggers were used with solarimeter sensors, while Plus 2 loggers were used to measure outdoor temperatures.
Paul Baker is a consultant for Historic England, and a Senior
Lecturer in Dept. Construction and Surveying at Glasgow Caledonian
University. Paul has around 20 years experience of using Tinytags,
including in his work at the Building Research Establishment, and
recommendeds Tinytag data loggers as part of this project.
Historic England is the public body that helps people care for,
enjoy and celebrate England's spectacular historic environment.
Following 2015 floods in Appleby, Cumbria,
Historic England has been working with Cumbria Action for
Sustainability (CAfS) and partners to promote best practice in
improving flood resilience and energy efficiency of buildings in
the town. Part of the project included the rehabilitation
of a house in the town centre as an exemplar.
The property at 33A Castle Street (listed Grade II) is a three
storey wing of a late 18th century house, and was flooded in
2015.The aim of the exemplar project is to show how a house
of traditional construction can be made more resilient against
flooding and energy efficient using only traditional and
sustainable materials. Building Conservation and Research
Team (BCRT) is contributing to this project by evaluating the
performance of the building before and after rehabilitation. As a
first step, the thermal performance of the existing building
envelope has been determined by co-heating and air pressurisation
tests, as well as in situ U-value measurements of the walls, roof
and ground floor. In addition, moisture profiles in the building
fabric have been assessed and mapped. These tests and measurements
will be repeated once the rehabilitation project has been completed
and will enable the improvements to be quantified.
When the building is reoccupied, long-term monitoring of
internal and external environmental parameters, internal air
quality, moisture profiles and energy use will be carried
out. And if the building should unfortunately be flooded again, the
data acquired will enable the resilience of the rehabilitated
building to be assessed.
As part of the research, Paul recommended the use of three
Tinytag TGPR-1001 Re-Ed millivolt loggers, which were used with
Campbell Scientific solarimeters which record sun and sky solar
radiation. The latest range of
Tinytag Instrumentation data loggers has now
replaced the Re-ed units, providing voltage, current and
count loggers for use with third party sensors in order to
provide accurate and robust data loggers for specialist
applications such as this.
Several robust Plus 2 TGP-4520 data
loggers with thermistor probes were also used to
measure outside air and building wall
surface temperatures. Data is exported to Excel prior to
applying a calibration factor.
This outdoor data is used in combination with indoor
measurements of air and surface temperatures, heat flows
through walls, and electrical power (heaters etc.) An overall heat
loss and a solar gain factor were calculated, which enable an
energy rating to be determined. This also gives a base line to
estimate improvements in energy efficiency when
improvements to the building, such as increasing insulation, are
made. The individual heat flow measurements and temperature
differences across the walls and surfaces are used to calculate
U-values: the lower the U-value the better the insulation of the
Tinytags were ideal for recording the outdoor
measurements; as standalone battery powered units, they
avoided the practical difficulties of hard-wiring back to an indoor
logging system. The logger memory is sufficient to use a short
logging interval (5 minutes or less) in order to maximise the
amount of data gathered for the Appleby tests over two to four
Paul comments, "In over 20 years of successfully
using Tinytags I've seen improvements in data capacity and battery
life. The introduction of new sensors in the Tinytag range, such as
the CO2 logger, has also increased the possibilities for relatively
low cost monitoring, particularly when a small number of sensors
are required in a domestic setting."
The image shows the front elevation of the building with
sensors. Credit: Heritage England.