In recent years the use of computer models to study heritage sites has attracted increasing attention. There are various advantages of this type of research. In themselves, computer models offer much more detail than direct measurements since they can provide the values of the parameters being investigated at any point within the domain. It is also possible to carry out virtual experiments without the need of carrying out real experiments
This could be of particular benefit to heritage sites where access could be restricted and certain experiments could impact the climate, and hence the conservation, of the sites. However, before a computer model can be used for these purposes, it need to be set up and also validated so as to ensure that it behaves like the original site. In this respect, this talk will discuss the steps taken in order to obtain a three dimensional working model of the Hypogeum that is able to reproduce the airflow within the site.
In the process, measurements of temperature, relative humidity and carbon dioxide that were made at the site will be analysed to see how these parameters vary over the years. The decay of the carbon dioxide will be used to estimate the air exchange rate in the Hypogeum. Then, the steps that were necessary in order to convert a 3D laser scan of the site into a working model will be briefly outlined.
This will be followed by a discussion on how the integration of measured data and simulation results help in recognising flow features that would be hard to identify using either of the investigative methodologies.