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Konrad Fischer: Altbauten kostengünstig sanieren Konrad Fischer
Konrad Fischer's Homepage: Restoration, Preservation and Refurbishing of the Old Building and Patrimonial Monument
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Die Huellflaechentemperierung - Richtig und falsch heizen - the complete german version about the topic of this page
Restoration of old buildings, conservation of monuments - Tips and Tricks +++ Mold attack - What to do? A Guide
Rising Damp - A Fake? +++ Low-cost Repair, Renovation + Refurbishing of your old House
Traditional Craftmanship in Modern Mortars – Does it work in practice?

Altbauten kostengünstig sanieren: Heiße Tipps gegen Sanierpfusch im bestimmt frechsten Baubuch aller Zeiten (PDF eBook + Druckversion)




Conservating historic buildings and interiors of patrimonial monuments by a temperating heating system - Examples

The Room Surface / Room Envelope Heating System 2
Properly or Risky Heating

Building conservation and the perfect indoor climate without HVAC-Systems
Sustainable interior room surface / building structure heating via IR-radiating heat

by Konrad Fischer

Back - The Room Surface / Room Envelope Heating System 1

Then in 1989, the archeologically excavated cellar of the medieval castle Burgthann, where I had been responsible as the restoration architect, should be heated for winter use. For this I recommended not added layers but an ring of heating pipes following the external walls and the steel joists / girders / beams of the new prussian vault I planned as ceiling structure. Frankly and openly visible in front of the walls, columns and ceiling system and hidden in the sanded gap between the new brick floor and the unrendered huge stones of the medieval castle wall, they increase the base temperature of the cellar. The additional heating for higher temperature during use has been made by mobile air vents. These low-cost heating - on account of the currently blower vent system no pure radiant heating - brought my projects in the turnaround. Both in the old building, as well as new buildings. No more dusty typhooned rooms, the high heat air losses, the damp and mildew risk of common air heating convection systems!

What are the alternatives for the 'new' system by radiation heating / infrared heating system? In principle: Open protruding or covered sytem parts of the heating. The heat radiation technology with wall- or underfloor-integrated heat pipes in an esthetically point of view is not so 'disturbing' for the eye and will heat the contacting surfaces to emitt thermal radiation. Otherwise this covered system also implicates disadvantages: the building gets miles of slots or massive additional layer structures, an increased risk of damages inside the covered heating pipe systems and the costs for the refurbishing, the renovation in long term sight and for energy increase substantially. Huge problems could be the lack of sufficient warmth if there had not been installed enough pipes or the pipes had been installed a bit to deep inside the wall. Some of these conflicts came to the court.

Building Rehabilitation, Conservation, Preservation, Repair, Maintenance, Restoration, Renovation for Public and Private Use
The common and more or less blockish base-board systems operating with small convectors behind the boards uses the coanda effect to warm the wall and from there indirectly the room. They cause a significant pollution risk to the nearby wall surface over the convectionally working base board systems by the emitted hot-air dust. And teh biggest joke regarding infrared heating systems are the electric 'inrared' heaters: Their very high surface temperature - always much more higher than any convector - is the most safest warranty for the biggest convectional heating efficiency you can imagine. Remember: The convectional part of a heated surface is only depending from its temperature difference to the air. 20 °C heater surface and 20 °C room air: Zero convection. But 90 or 300-500 °C: Very high convection. Despite this physical facts the heating branche wants to convince the mass of their mostly convectionally working 'infrared heating systems' with very high surface temperatures. In contrast, I prefer openly installed low temperature - in the range of normal heater surface temperatures - heating elements and optimized in radiant effectivity, by which the building and the owner's purse gets far less affected, as in hidden systems in the wall and floor. This particularly simple construction - admittedly not everyone has to like it - takes use of open pipes along the base region of preferably the external walls.

Simple room envelope heating system: Open heating pipes and a additional heat irradiating surface of a flat radiator
The simple room envelope heating system: Open heating pipes and a additional heat irradiating surface of a flat radiator


After the operation experience in my own home and others the open installed warm pipes can heat the room unto an outside temperature of about 5 °C. If it is colder, reinforcing additional flat radiators will do the work. Even existing convectionally heating systems can be be converted to a well working radiation mode system easily by abandoning the nightly setback, covering the convector's duct / shaft, may be some changes in the heating control and some additional pipes or flat radiators. Simple means using this system can also transform wet cellars in dry rooms (if hygroscopic condensate is the damp source. Belonging to this topic see more details here).

As the current building and engineering practise is nearly totally disagreeing the simple radiation heating, it had been inevitable to develop the necessary planning skills by me and my staff.

Convection heating by hot air - convector
The usual convector heater: Hot air heats only certain parts of the room envelope, depending from the contact with the convectionally heated air stream. Head hot - and feet cold. The colder parts of the room envelope are dusted and moistened up by condensate.

Today, we use not only the common hot-water heating systems. Also electrical systems with temperated stone plates or electrical heating cables / wires can be a alternative. A simple and free programmable control rule technology can fulfill the residential needs. For the conservation purposes in important patrimonial buildings like castles, churches and museums sometimes air damper / humidifier and more complex temperating systems have to be developed.

How is the radiation heating constructed? Two major presuppositions are basically:

- The real radiation power and heat supply of warm surfaces (for example line pipes, radiators) according to the corrections of Prof. Meier and
- the real loss of the warm building envelopes / shells (front walls, roof).

The first is much more higher, the second is much lower than the standard calculation is providing, following the usual building regulations and norms.

Heat radiation heats - infrared thermal radiation
Radiant warmth is heating the room envelope by infrared thermal radiation.

Reasons for this: Large amounts of he sun's radiation are not considered sufficiently in the norms. The solar radiation is stored outside into the solid front walls with high efficiency. Otherwise the solar rays are penetrating through the windows and their power is absorbed inside and stored in the entire building. These both effects are not estimated correctly by usual thermal calculations.

Material temperature development at the Building front in the winter
Storing of sun light in a solid brick wall in February. Source of the diagram: Wichmann & Varsek, Rationeller Bauen, February 1983

The incoming short wave light rays will be absorbed from the lighted materials and reemitted as long wave IR-radiation. So the directly and diffusivly incoming solar light is converted into heat. Good to know: Heat radiation can not and never penetrate a single window glass pane!

Glass pane is not penetratable / permeable for IR-radiation / heat radiation
Electromagnetic waves and glass. A diagram of Professor Dr.-Ing. habil. Claus Meier: The simple glass pane of usual windows is not permeable for the wavelengths of the shortwave UV radiation (< 0.3 µm) and longwave electromagnetic IR radiation (infrared radiant heat > 2.7 µm). Only the visible light range will penetrate the glass.


For our calculation of the dimension of the heating system we consider Prof. Meier's alternative Ueff-Values (Reff values) for building materials and the behaviour of window glass and come so much closer to reality. So many corrections will follow out of this aspects to our thermal calculation and planning the system construction. Thus a cost-effective systems technology (boiler, pump, lines, radiators) can be used and a holistic energy-saving heating system will be installed. Just in opposite to the common methods of engineering hvac heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

The not at all insulating, harmful and expensive use of so called 'thermal insulation' and the replacement of the good old single glazed windows can thus be eliminated. If there are really needs of additional insulation, f.e. for loft conversion to living rooms, only solid building materials such as wood and brick make sense. Only solid materials can really absorb, store and thus insulate heat conduction / transport through the wall and roof construction. Lightweight materials as (mineral wool, polystrene, foam, fibre etc.) will be penetrated by heat in seconds. We proofed this in our "Lichtenfelser Experiment / Experiment of Lichtenfels" and detected by many investigations that years ago 'insulated' structures can not diminish the heat loss from inside but shadow and reduce the free admission of solar energy into facades. Result: Increased energy consumption, not savings, and besides the structural damages by wetting up the water and condensate sucking layers of thermal insulation in- and outside.

Note: The Rth-values/U-values (= "U") are not common with the changes of the temperature and the practical effect of the thermal insulation. The crazy joke: The experts of R-values define their results without any regard of the time and amount of heating energy in the proof before they start measuring. Heavy materials suck up and store huge amounts of energy. Therefore they can lose much more energy than air filled insulation. Likewise such experts could compare the losses of water of a filled lake with a filled pint. They neglect the free daily energy radiation outside the building from the sun and the surroundings in their dark laboratory and soul too. So they forget the creeks and rivers, which fill up the storable lake again and again. Think about it, then you will detect the unbelievable deceit even if you are no doctor and only a normal stupid guy and moron like me. All is done by a big conspiracy against your wallet since many years: the insulation industries, the producers of prefabricated houses and their 'scientific', planning and working staff - maybe also your craftsmen, architects and civil engineers - get your money for their shit.

Surprised? Please don't believe me, have only a look to all the examples here for drunken insulation & thermal imaging scam and proof the language skills of your school time or your automatical translator by clicking this link to the best german invention ever made (2009, patent 2011): The Two Possible Heating Systems for thermal insulated (ETICS) fronts / facades to hinder destruction by condensate. And please don't die lauging ... ;-) Conclusion: To save energy, we must first of all consider and improve the heat system and distribution - without any hermetically sealing our living rooms. The standard error relying building physics, false heating, thermal insulation and sealing our houses to proper breeding places for all sorts of mold, mildew and other air polluting micro-organism, wasting energy and making people and materials sick by bad indoor conditions must be finished. The need for better solutions is apparently necessary.
Some examples:


Some pictures of typical building damages pictures in important historic architectural monuments which are unfortunately (still) not heated correctly. An absolutely doubt-worth material collection of my consultation projects:

1. A rococo-garden castle / pleasure palace in the Rhineland

Rococo-garden castle / pleasure palace Rhineland
The building

Rococo-garden castle / pleasure palace heating with electric shaft convector heaters
The splendour rooms and stairwells are heated in the winter half-year with mobile aerial-heating electric shaft convector heaters

Gilt leather wallpaper in space with Chinoiserie/chinoise equipment / decoration
The splendour room with gilt stamped leather wallpaper, inlaid work pieces of furniture and chinoise/chinese equipment is getting much 'fresh' external air by his situation near of the head-visitor's entrance. This means in the summer half-year with high air dampness a lot of condensate load and in winter with extremely dry air a reinforced dehydration of the aired room materials.

Rococo-garden castle / pleasure palace: Sly stamped and gilt leather wallpaper in the splendour room
Result: The leather wallpaper becomes fragile and shows cracks, the seams burst, the leather buckles and becomes wavy.

The wall clothings from painted wooden boards (panels / Lambris) burst and get gaping joints. The painting layers free themselves of the subsoil / chalk reason and stand hollow mainly about the particularly claimed glue joints.
A few rooms further: The wall clothings from painted wooden boards (lambris) burst and get gaping joints. The painting layers / coatings are destroyed by cracking off the subsoil / chalk ground and stand hollow mainly about the particularly stressed glue joints.

Rococo-garden castle / pleasure palace: mirror hall with crystal candlesticks / chandeliers, gilt piece work, tender stucco and chinoise ceiling painting
A mirror hall with crystal chandeliers, gilt piece work, tender stucco and chinoise ceiling painting on chalk ground

Chipping off versions / painting layers on the Boiserie / wooden panels / Lambris. Painting layer damages / separations in the version of the wall disguising. Damages in the oil painted / laqued surface of the lambris
Chipping off painting layers / separations on the oil painted / laqued boiserie / wood boards / panels / lambris

Rococo-garden castle splitting off historical versions of the door clothing
Splitting off laque paint coatings of the door panels

Rococo-garden castle / pleasure palace dining room with gilt piece work / carvings and ceiling stucco and china / porcelain centrepiece
The magnificent dining room with gilt piece work / carvings and ceiling stucco and china / porcelain centrepiece

Rococo-garden castle / pleasure palace Rhineland
The aired painted and oil-gilt wall panel is cracked and deformed.

Parts of the gilt wooden panel / board burst. Rococo-garden castle / pleasure palace Rhineland
Parts of the gilt wall panels are bursting

Rococo-garden castle / pleasure palace Rhineland
Large parts of the cover beam, particularly stressed by air condensate, were rotten by dry rot and had been repaired

In planning: Improvement of the room-climatic situation by reduction of the humid- and temperature-changes and their influence on the equipment and mobile decoration by installing a room envelope heating system. As the first step a test phase should be carried out in the particularly affected rooms whose evaluation delivers the bases for the following technical changes appropriate for the conservation of the object.

2. A medieval village church in Bavaria

medieval village church in Bavaria
The building - a choir tower church. On the inspection day had been an air temperature up to 32° C outside and inside from 17 to 20°C. Ideal condition for a thorough humidification of the building inside thanks to the moistured air streams between the during the whole day open tower entrance and at the entrance at the other end of the church situated in the nave.

condensate moisture / painting layer separations in the base / base area in the altar room of a medieval village church in Upper Bavaria
Painting layer separation in the base of the altar / choir room

In the piece figure of the high altar in the choral space: cracks of the oil gilding / painting layers on chalk ground
At the wooden sculpture of the high altar in the choral space: Stripping off of the oil gilding / painting layers on chalk ground

Alga infestation / green algae in the base beside the side altar
Alga infestation / green algae in the base beside the side altar

Alga inestation / green algae in base zone - detail
Alga infestation / green algae in base zone - detail. An extensive certificate of a construction test institute proves nearly no mold load, however, comes on the extensive alga education with no (!) word.

Alga infestation / green algae in base zone - moisture meter / hygrometer measurement
The measurement with a moisture meter / hygrometer gives high results - the accompanying material dampness measurement with the dry method proves values near the material saturation. Quite whimsically what pure condensate is able to perform.

Crude green alga infestation also in the nave
Crude green alga infestation also in the nave. Here particularly humid-loaded airflows come naturally in the cooled down wall surface. Besides, the solid building in the absence of winter heating stores especially long the cold and will therefore in the beginning of the warmer period (spring) catch huge condensate

Baroque piece figure with extensively more torn open, more loose and more removed (cheek on the left) oil gilding, chandelier version and other painting layers on chalk reason
Baroque wooden sculpure - Madonna / Maria with Jesus' child with extensively damaged (cheek on the left) painting layers and oil gilding on chalk ground.

Moistured sculpture base of marbled wood with infestation of woodworm / anobium punctatum
Moistured sculpture base of marbled wood with woodworm infestation (anobium punctatum) - proof for longer persistent wooden dampness more than approx. 20 percent.

Damage picture in oil painting of the crossroads: Craquelée / torn open painting layer on canvas
The damage at the oil painting of the stations of the cross / way of the cross / via crucis / via dolorosa: Craquelée /cracked painting layer on the canvas. Where the canvas lies on the instep frame without streaming along humid air on the backside, the damage / cracking is clearly reduced.

The solution of the extreme climate load to the avoidance of the long-term damage of the church space and his valuable equipment with sensitive pieces of art: Installing a room envelope heating of the church room in the winter period, restriction of the airing in the warmer period.

3. Discovered on a castle study trip in Sweden: The conservational problems in the Kinaslott / China castle in Drottningholm near Stockholm

Kina slott / China castle in Drottningholm
The Kina slott / Chinese castle / China pavilion had been built by Adolf Friedrich (swedish: Fredrik) von Holstein-Gottorp (1710-1771, elected as swedish king by the Riksdag 1743) after plans of Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz, furnished by Jean Eric Rehn and paintings probably by Johan Pasch. In 1753 the king gave the small castle his wife Luise (in Swedish: Lovisa) Ulrike von Preussen (1720-1782), sister of Friedrich II. and the Bayreuthian mark countess Wilhelmine, as birthday gift. The model for the construction probably had been the german / prussian castle Rheinsberg where Friedrich II built a chinese/chinoise pavilion 1747.

The China castle's last restoring inside / interior was done 1959-1968. The "big" exterior renovation and technical modernisation started 1989 and finished 1996. It modernised the castle by use off all kinds of technical modernities in a manner typical for time. It is heated since then during winterly closing by mobile electrical air heaters. Of course - see the also above photo from the 8th of August, 2008 - certain windows during the visit times remain open. Then warm damp air flows through the chilly sensitive building and his valuable surfaces and coverings, condenses in the more or less stable building materials, textiles, leather surfaces and painting layers one and provides constantly temperature stress and humid stress with following secondary damages.

Kinaslott Drottningholm: Painting layer damages to the facade - dispersion silicate paint (deceitfully named as a mineral coating / painting) on cementous mortar / render / plaster
Painting layer / coating damages also outside at the facade. The dispersion silicate colour of the 80th restoring (in the market deceitfully recommended as "a mineral painting / paint / coating / Mineralfärg" ) on crusty cementous mortar / render / plaster is cracking. With the rain the capillary penetrating dampness is stored behind the painting layer islands. When frost comes, the painting layer is damaged and the subsoil / coating ground loses it's cohesion. Other critical info to the painting problem.

Kinaslott Drottningholm: Detail: Painting layer damages in dispersive / synthetic resin-containing coat of paint
Detail: Painting layer damages at the synthetic resin-containing coat of paint

Kinaslott Drottningholm: The chinoisen paintings on the canvas tapestry burst as a result of the stored moist / damp / moisturing. The painting layer cracks off.
Inside: The chinoise paintings on the canvas tapestries / wallpapers burst as a result of the moist stress. The painting layer cracks. The light protection by inside curtains can't prevent enough the constantly increasing surface destruction .

Kinaslott Drottningholm: Detail: Painting layer damages / Craqelée on canvas wallpaper
Detail: Craquelée / painting layer damages / cracking on canvas coating

Kinaslott Drottningholm: Painting layer damages on boiserie / wooden panels / boards in the green cabinet room. Kinaslott Drottningholm: Detail: Painting layer damages in dispersive / to synthetic resin-containing coat of paint
Painting layer damages on boiserie / wooden panels / boards and chalk ground separation in the green cabinet

Kinaslott Drottningholm: Extensive painting separation on the sill in the green cabinet
Extensive painting separation on the sill in the green cabinet

Kinaslott Drottningholm: Corroded leather coating of the seats
Corroded leather coating on the seats in the green cabinet

Kinaslott Drottningholm: Painting layer damages on door and chalk ground separation in the yellow passageway room. Kinaslott Drottningholm: Painting layer separation on door in the yellow passageway room
Painting layer damages on door and chalk ground separation in the yellow passageway room

Kinaslott Drottningholm: In the red cabinet also serious painting layer separations
Injured / damaged painting layers / surface coatings in the porcelain cabinet

Kinaslott Drottningholm: In the red cabinet also serious painting layer separations. Kinaslott Drottningholm: In the red cabinet - designed after prints of William Chambers' Design of Chinese Buildings, London 1757, also serious painting layer separations
In the red cabinet - like the yellow formed after copperplate engravings / prints of William Chambers' "Design of Chinese Buildings", London 1757, also serious painting layer separations

Kinaslott Drottningholm: Damages and losses in the painting layer on boiserie and plaster also in the blue cabinet
Damages and losses in the painting layer on boiserie and plaster / render also in the blue cabinet


Video clip Kina Slott Drottningholm

What could help here, would be a room envelope heating. If such modern preservation technology - experienced and proofed in Germany since the 1970s could be realised in Sweden under the strict rule of a castle architect, the state castle management (Statliga Fastighetsförvaltning) and the monument office (Riksantikvarieämbetet) as well as the partly very strange restoration traditions and influence of the chemically contaminated "renovation industry" as well as the common building technology (HVAC) and climate technology for museums, the future must show ...

Info: Kina slott (SFV)
Kina slott (De kungliga slotten)
Kina slott (Nina Ringbom: Historiesajten)
Kina Slott Drottningholm (Wikipedia)

Thus, for example, the actual heating technology looks by smart convector heatings in the famous and modern museum of the Vasa ship in Stockholm:
Heating technology by smart convectors in the famous and modern museum of the Vasa ship in Stockholm
The wool between the heating lamellae is a dusty mud. In the heating period (photograph shot in August, 2008) this dirt is exhausted / puffed in the museum's rooms ...

The BIG German Version: Die Huellflaechentemperierung Kapitel 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25




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