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Rosslyn Chapel Thermal Survey

An infrared thermography survey of Rosslyn Chapel was carried out in May 2009. Infrared cameras produces digital images similar to normal visual images, but using infrared rather than visible light. The thermal image is, in effect, a map of surface temperature. It gives us information about a building’s heat loss, detects air leakage, locates dampness and identifies problems such as voids or blistering of surfaces.

The thermal survey was able to show that while, after 12 years under a temporary roof, most of Rosslyn Chapel’s stonework was dry, there was rising damp in several locations on the lower parts of the external walls.

Along with other areas of high heat loss located by the thermal camera, significant heat loss was observed on thermal images of the west end baptistery at its vertical junction with the older part of the structure. This was attributed to the stonework of the baptistery not being well tied into the existing structure so that heat easily escapes through openings between stones. In addition to the significant heat loss that can occur through open joints, the structure is potentially vulnerable to rainwater ingress at these points.  Repairs or alterations to affected areas will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the building.

Combining thermal survey data with the 3D model produced by laser scanning will give us a much better understanding of the performance of the building. It can highlight areas where energy efficiency could be improved and reveal potentially structurally problematic areas.

Contact us

Historic Scotland
Conservation Group,
Longmore House,
Salisbury Place,
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8668