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Dr Eshrar Latif is awarded Bath Abbey hygrothermal monitoring and modelling project

14 October 2021

Bath Abbey inside
Bath Abbey inside

The course leader of MSc Sustainable Mega Buildings, Dr Eshrar Latif, has been awarded the Bath Abbey hygrothermal monitoring and modelling project in September 2021.

Bath Abbey is the last great medieval cathedral built in England and is situated in Bath city centre.  Parts of Bath Abbey’s historic floor had been gradually sinking for years. Excavations in 2011 uncovered massive voids caused by thousands of church burials decomposing over time, making the floor unstable.

Bath Abbey's collapsing floor has been recently restored and an innovative underfloor heating system, powered by renewable energy from Bath's famous hot springs, is also installed. Dr Eshrar Latif will monitor and assess the impact of underfloor moisture build up and its management by certain features of the renovated floor.

Dr Eshrar Latif said:

'While renovating historic buildings such as abbeys and churches, designers, engineers and contractors needs to be aware of maintaining the breathability of traditional envelope systems. I am happy that during the renovation of Bath Abbey, there was a conscious effort to keep certain parts of the floor breathing so that there is no critical moisture build up underneath since for 300 years, thousands of people have been buried below the stone flooring of Bath Abbey. Now that the renovation is almost complete,  I am trying to assess the effectiveness of the designed solutions by hygrothermal monitoring and modelling. The finding of this hygrothermal assessment project will also be used as a case study to explain the need for sympathetic renovation of certain historic mega buildings to the MSc Sustainable Mega Buildings students.’

The hygrothermal study of Bath Abbey will feed into teaching on the MSc in Sustainable Mega Buildings, to find out more about this programme, please visit the course pages.