As flooding is a very complex phenomenon, a project, targeting at investigating flood mechanisms and related issues, has to reach for ambitious goals. Looking at the work plan of CHEF, it appears that the project can be regarded as a series of interwoven tasks and activities, which try to bring out the big picture and integrate many different aspects of flooding and Cultural Heritage protection. In the following an overview about the main objectives, each reflected also by a designated work package, is given:
1 Classification of movable and immovable Cultural Heritage according to their vulnerability and sensitivity to flood a. Analysis of previous floods and related environmental hazards, quantification of their characteristics in terms of suitable hydraulic parameters b. Evaluation of results of related projects c. Analysis of exposure by means of adequate survey d. Risk assessment of Cultural Heritage based on quantified hazards, exposure maps and GIS.
2 Analysis and classification of damage processes in different materials (soil, brick, stone, wood, metal, textile, paper, etc), structures (buildings, bridges) and sites (cities, gardens, archaeological sites) induced by flood and flood related environmental impacts in close cooperation with museums and further stakeholders. This includes:
a. Set-up of a damage catalogue b. Investigation of the influence of water, salt and biodegradation on material properties c. Comparison to results of modelling.
3 Validation and evaluation of methods and sensors for non-destructive testing and monitoring of material and structural parameters, environmental technologies will have to be provided.
4 Definition of threshold levels for exposure and damage before restoration, also in relation to the use of the objects/buildings.
5 Analysis of preventive measures before flood and temporary (emergency) measures during and soon after flood for movable and immovable Cultural Heritage. The influence of these measures on material and structure will be adressed.
6 Assessment of restoration and repair techniques after flood.
7 Assessment of running and new case studies on different objects concerning infrastructure, buildings, parks, cities.
8 Generation of practical recommendations by definition of strategies for the protection, conservation and repair of movable and immovable Cultural Heritage.
The potential impact of the project on the conservation of Cultural Heritage is direct and transparent: The strategies to be developed in the project can help to make protection and repair of Cultural Heritage against flood and related hazards far more effective and allow carrying out these measures on a large scale. With a reasonable management of Cultural Heritage sites, whole neighbourhoods can be prevented from deterioration. Another aspect is the understanding of damage processes not only induced by flood but also by other aggressive environmental conditions, such as air pollution, microclimate, earthquakes, traffic vibrations, etc. This knowledge will help to take precautions against it and will thus reduce the impact of environmental damage on historic structures. But also social problems like unemployment, equal opportunities and health and safety of citizens will be positively influenced by CHEF. The project results will be disseminated by publications, project reports, contacts with end-users and mainly by publishing recommendations
which will be practical and adapted to the needs of a broad array of institutions, operational services and specialists in the public sector dealing with civil protection, land development, regional planning and risk management.
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