Italy has a huge cultural heritage, most of which consists of historical buildings that have changed their original function and use over time. The complex question of building and plant system refurbishment and retrofitting mainly derives from this crucial aspect. The aim of this paper is to provide a simple provisional tool useful for the assessment of efficient, energy sustainable refurbishment solutions for historical buildings and their plant systems. The Dante Alighieri high school (with an important music department) in Florence was the case study. We proposed a method based on dynamic simulations that allows plant design guarantying indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort, as well as energy efficiency, but, at the same time offering reversibility and mobility as well as ease of management and maintenance. Transient simulations of building-plant system were specifically addressed dynamic control and adaptive proportional regulation, so as to ensure that the plant adapts to the change of building and indoor environment thermo-physics and thermo-hygrometric parameters. Results showed that important refurbishment and retrofitting operations for energy saving are possible and effective for historical buildings if they are oriented to sustainability—i.e., low environmental impact, indoor thermo-hygrometric conditions, ventilation, air quality, and user wellbeing improvement—in compliance with preventive protection constraints.
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