WSP’s goal was to present a heating and energy efficient strategy where a local area of thermal comfort could be provided to people, while leaving the natural climate environment unchanged in the rest of the church.
In cooperation with Uppsala University Campus Gotland (now Gotland University) and the Church of Sweden, WSP’s Department of Building Physics in Stockholm’s Environmental Division took an ingenious approach of using local heating, namely, warming the air around the congregation with radiant heat, rather than attempting to centrally heat the whole building.
Since local heating diffuses minute amounts of heat, it was deemed more beneficial for non-energy efficient historical buildings as it addressed the issues of heat loss, energy efficiency, preservation of church inventories, as well as enhanced parishioners comfort level while leaving the environment as is.
Producing a comfortable environment required much calculation and original research. Today, the solution has been retrofitted in two of churches in Gotland.
The team has tested similar systems in ruined cathedrals and castles elsewhere in Sweden.