Historic buildings restoration and retrofiting

Environment Planning and Heritage Preservation in European Building Renovation

The importance of deep renovation of existing European buildings to reduce energy consumption.

 Many of these buildings have cultural, architectural, and heritage values that require special attention for conservation purposes. Retrofit solutions can improve building conservation while reducing energy demand, but it may be challenging to balance environmental sustainability with heritage values preservation. 

Approximately 30% of the buildings in Europe are considered historic, listed, or unlisted. These buildings hold cultural, architectural, and identity value, making it crucial to preserve, utilize, and manage them in a sustainable manner. To achieve this, retrofit solutions are needed to enhance indoor thermal conditions, reduce energy consumption, and safeguard their historical significance. However, the implementation of retrofit solutions in historic buildings often faces socio-technical barriers such as regulations, limited knowledge about the hygrothermal behaviour of heritage structures, and economic feasibility.

Historic buildings can be made more energy-efficient without compromising their traditional fabric or unique character. However, conventional retrofitting measures may not be suitable for such buildings, as they can cause issues such as trapped moisture, reduced energy efficiency, and health risks for occupants. To avoid such problems, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the building's construction, context, and all factors affecting energy use. This approach is known as the 'whole house' approach.


PLANNING

Retrofit principles