Special Issue "Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings"

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408). This special issue belongs to the section "Architectural Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2021) | Viewed by 13239

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Tor Broström
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Uppsala University, 75236 Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: indoor climate and energy efficiency in historic buildings

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on energy efficiency in historic buildings addresses the balance between two different aspects of sustainability, i.e., environmental and socio-cultural. On the one hand, amidst growing pressure to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, historic buildings stand for a considerable part of societal energy use that necessitates energy-efficient interventions. On the other hand, the historic building stock is an important cultural and material resource that merits management and preservation for the benefit of present and future generations. Thus, we must find ways to balance the needs of historic building conservation and energy conservation to facilitate the sustainable management of historic buildings. This Special Issue calls for research on a multitude of aspects, with various scientific perspectives, from the natural sciences and engineering to the social sciences and humanities.

The following topics are meant to illustrate the possible scope of the Special Issue rather than exclude novel topics:

  • Policies at international, national, and local levels. Conflicts of interest and ways forward;
  • Decision-making for the planning of energy refurbishment in individual buildings as well as building stocks;
  • Understanding the historic building as a technical system: simulations, risk assessment of measures, and balancing supply and demand;
  • Development of new technical solutions appropriate for various types of historic buildings;
  • Multi-criteria assessment of measures: life-cycle perspectives on environmental impacts and costs integrated with the impact on heritage values and aesthetics;
  • Users’ aspects in the planning of energy retrofits and energy management: attitudes, lifestyles, and collaboration. What are the drivers/motivators?
  • Values and valuation: historic buildings are defined by their heritage significance. How are the values defined and introduced into the decision-making process on energy efficiency?
  • Best-practice case studies presenting state of the art both in terms of achieved results and methods;
  • How is energy refurbishment planned and carried out in practice, and what are the roles for professionals in architecture, preservation, and engineering?

Prof. Tor Broström
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Heritage is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • historic buildings
  • energy efficiency
  • heritage
  • policies
  • decision-making
  • building physics

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Towards Differentiated Energy Renovation Strategies for Heritage-Designated Multifamily Building Stocks
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 4318-4334; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040238 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1417
Abstract
The historic building stock is not homogeneous, which implies a need for differentiated energy renovation strategies in order to balance energy efficiency requirements and building conservation goals. This paper presents a new method for developing a base for differentiated energy renovation strategies for [...] Read more.
The historic building stock is not homogeneous, which implies a need for differentiated energy renovation strategies in order to balance energy efficiency requirements and building conservation goals. This paper presents a new method for developing a base for differentiated energy renovation strategies for heritage-classified multifamily building stocks. Our suggested method combines different building databases using an extract, transform and load (ETL) technology. The method for this study was tested on the available information for heritage-designated and -classified multifamily buildings in the municipality of Stockholm, Sweden, and in the county of Halland, Sweden. The two cases reflect the heterogeneity of the Swedish Building stock. An important achievement is that the results visualise the relationship, not detectable before, between energy use, energy performance, year of construction and heritage classification within each of the selected building stocks. A specific result is that the energy-saving potential in the older building stock is insignificant in relation to the entire stock. The results contribute to an improved understanding of relationships both within and between the two historic building stocks, which is useful for developing differentiated energy renovation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings)
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Article
On the Thermal Resilience of Venetian Open Spaces
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 4286-4303; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040236 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2048
Abstract
Venice is known for its urban heritage fragility. The city is experiencing an increase in yearly average temperatures affecting outdoor–indoor comfort and average energy expenditure. Owing to existing literature demonstrating how local microclimate depends on urban density, form, and materials, this investigation studies [...] Read more.
Venice is known for its urban heritage fragility. The city is experiencing an increase in yearly average temperatures affecting outdoor–indoor comfort and average energy expenditure. Owing to existing literature demonstrating how local microclimate depends on urban density, form, and materials, this investigation studies the influence of the changing local climate on Venetian vernacular open spaces, known as Campi. Based on the comparison of contemporary weather and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) future predictions for the 2050 scenario, this investigation highlights how Campi’s open spaces and the surrounding buildings, canals, and green public areas contribute to building climate resilience. By employing advanced modelling, the study analyses microclimate and outdoor comfort with respect to users’ perception of Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET). The ENVI-met tool is used to simulate the thermal behaviour of two representative Campi: SS. Giovanni e Paolo and S. Polo. Despite significant temperature growths, Venetian urban fabric characteristics seem to play a crucial role in strengthening the climate resilience of open spaces, thus preserving outdoor comfort quality in a warmer future. The analysis shows how the historical matrix of open spaces and buildings cooperate. Thus, this study offers a contribution to how built heritage should be considered in light of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings)
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Article
The Role of Ab-Anbars in the Vernacular Architecture of Iran with Emphasis on the Performance of Wind-Catchers in Hot and Dry Climates
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 3987-4000; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040219 - 27 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1489
Abstract
Vernacular and traditional Iranian architecture has always acted rationally, harmoniously, and climate-friendly to meet the needs of the people in dealing with the environment. In addition, without harming the environment, they have achieved the best initiatives with the least facilities. For example, we [...] Read more.
Vernacular and traditional Iranian architecture has always acted rationally, harmoniously, and climate-friendly to meet the needs of the people in dealing with the environment. In addition, without harming the environment, they have achieved the best initiatives with the least facilities. For example, we can mention that the Ab-Anbars in arid and desert areas of Iran, which are used to store water in seasons with precipitation for use in the rest of the year, has been an optimal way to use natural resources and provide climate comfort. The Ab-Anbars are realized with ventilated cisterns through openings on their roof or wind-catchers to keep the water cool and provide comfortable conditions for the occupants. In order to study the essential role of natural ventilation and cooling in the Ab-Anbars, thermal analysis with CFD software was carried out to assess the effectiveness of a typical wind-catcher according to different wind directions in Yazd city. The results showed that Ab-Anbars have played an important role in reducing cooling loads and supply the necessary ventilation rate of buildings and can be used in the future for application in contemporary architecture and urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings)
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Article
Energy Efficiency Measures Applied to Heritage Retrofit Buildings: A Simulated Student Housing Case Study in Vienna
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 3919-3937; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040215 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1566
Abstract
One pavilion was selected for deep retrofitting from the Otto Wagner area situated in the west of Vienna. The retrofitting process involves sustainable and energy-efficient construction to improve the energy performance and energy production potential of the building while preserving the cultural heritage [...] Read more.
One pavilion was selected for deep retrofitting from the Otto Wagner area situated in the west of Vienna. The retrofitting process involves sustainable and energy-efficient construction to improve the energy performance and energy production potential of the building while preserving the cultural heritage and significance. This four-story pavilion was re-designed according to the proposed regulations of a net positive energy university building to become a student residence. Architectural, building envelope, and engineering interventions along with various changes were simulated through the Sefaira tool in the SketchUp model. These included: optimization of the U-values of the roof, walls, and floor; the addition of different layers of sustainable energy-efficient insulation materials to decrease the overall energy demand. The specific energy demands for heating, cooling, and lighting were decreased in the proposed model to reduce the total energy use intensity from 248.9 kWh/(m2 year) to 54.3 kWh/(m2 year) resulting in a 78.2% reduction. The main goal of this study is to try and achieve a net positive energy status building as part of the Otto Wagner area by improving the building envelope and integrating renewable energies. A total of 22.5% of the annual energy consumption was generated by the designed PV system. The selected building achieved the passive house standards in Austria by optimizing the energy performance with the proposed energy efficiency measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings)
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Article
Applying International Guidelines on Historic Building’s Retrofit in New Zealand: A Critical Context View
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 3697-3711; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040203 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1245
Abstract
Interest in the energy retrofit of historic buildings reflects the current drive to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. New Zealand (NZ), unlike Europe and USA, has no country-specific guidelines considering heritage conservation, energy efficiency, reduced carbon emissions and cost. The paper explores benefits [...] Read more.
Interest in the energy retrofit of historic buildings reflects the current drive to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. New Zealand (NZ), unlike Europe and USA, has no country-specific guidelines considering heritage conservation, energy efficiency, reduced carbon emissions and cost. The paper explores benefits to NZ from a policy and practice perspective from such procedures. The adoption of tailored retrofit guidelines would contribute to the national goal of reduced GHG emissions by 2050. The case study investigates the relevance and challenges of assessments such as heritage impact, life-cycle carbon assessment and life-cycle costing for historic building renovations. Through interviews with a range of experts, the results for hypothetical retrofits of a heritage building are evaluated. The interviews reveal how possible trade-offs among different assessment criteria (e.g., energy, cost, carbon footprint and heritage impact) are considered by different specialist groups, as well as exploring the benefits and barriers, and providing recommendations for future renovation guidance. The main findings highlight the importance of a life-cycle perspective and of conservation plans for heritage assessment. The experts all agreed that from a conservation perspective, there was no one energy retrofit solution that fits all building types and cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings)
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Article
Exploring the Relationship between Environmental and Economic Payback Times, and Heritage Values in an Energy Renovation of a Multi-Residential Pre-War Building
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 3652-3675; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040201 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 919
Abstract
Cultural value and heritage have been identified as necessary for a sustainable living environment, alongside environmental concern and energy efficiency. In this study, multiple methods, i.e., life cycle assessment, payback, and questionnaires and interviews with tenants, and empirical data from a recent energy [...] Read more.
Cultural value and heritage have been identified as necessary for a sustainable living environment, alongside environmental concern and energy efficiency. In this study, multiple methods, i.e., life cycle assessment, payback, and questionnaires and interviews with tenants, and empirical data from a recent energy renovation of a multi-residential pre-war building with wooden construction were used to analyse the impact of the renovation on cultural and aesthetic values, environmental impact, financial payback time, and user satisfaction. In the energy renovation, the façade, which had been disfigured in an earlier renovation, was recreated to resemble the original architecture. The main questions are: What impact has the recreation of the façade on the environmental payback time in comparison to a more conventional renovation? What are the consequences for the user satisfaction and financial return on investment? The results show that the recreated façade has improved the building’s aesthetics without compromising the environmental benefits. It also resulted in better thermal comfort, which is highly valued by the tenants. The improved aesthetics are also appreciated by the tenants, but to a lesser extent. Financially, the renovation is estimated to be not viable. Results of this study can be applied in the decision-making of similar renovation projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings)
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Article
Legal Aspects on Cultural Values and Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment—A Sustainable Balance of Public Interests?
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 3507-3522; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040194 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 851
Abstract
Improved energy efficiency and increased use of renewables within the building stock is crucial to ensure the achievement of international and national climate goals, such as bringing about a carbon neutral society. The existing buildings needs to be retrofitted and heated by renewable [...] Read more.
Improved energy efficiency and increased use of renewables within the building stock is crucial to ensure the achievement of international and national climate goals, such as bringing about a carbon neutral society. The existing buildings needs to be retrofitted and heated by renewable energy sources. However, this may lead to conflicts with other sustainability goals, such as the preservation of cultural heritage values within the built environment. The design of the legal system can be assumed to have a decisive role in well-developed Rechtsstaats in how these conflicts are handled. One important criterion for the achievement of overall sustainability objectives is that the legal system as a whole is coherent and without deficits, loopholes, and conflicts contradicting goal fulfilment. Moreover, the norms must be effectively applied and complied with. This article presents and elaborates on deficits in the legal system and its application, in particular within the land use planning and building legislation and the heritage protection law, in handling the conflicts between reaching energy goals while preserving heritage values and achieving a sustainable development. The important deficits identified include the lack of legal requirements on the adoption of holistic approaches and the assurance of adequate knowledge in the planning and building processes. The analyses have been carried out through interdisciplinary cooperation within the research project Law, Sustainable Energy Use and Protection of Heritage (RECO), funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings)
Article
Low-Invasive CO2-Based Visual Alerting Systems to Manage Natural Ventilation and Improve IAQ in Historic School Buildings
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 3442-3468; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040191 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1309
Abstract
Children spend a large part of their growing years in schools, and as they are more sensitive to some pollutants than adults, it is essential to monitor and maximize the indoor air quality (IAQ) in classrooms. Many schools are located in historic and [...] Read more.
Children spend a large part of their growing years in schools, and as they are more sensitive to some pollutants than adults, it is essential to monitor and maximize the indoor air quality (IAQ) in classrooms. Many schools are located in historic and heritage buildings, and improving the IAQ, preserving the architectural features, poses a great challenge. The aim of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a low-invasiveness, low-cost, smart CO2-based visual alerting systems to manage natural ventilation and improve IAQ in historic school buildings. Indoor and outdoor parameters were monitored for three weeks in four schools with different levels of education (two classrooms per school; device installed in one only). Based on indoor CO2 concentration, air temperature and relative humidity, the device suggests when windows should be opened to ventilate. The comparison between the two classrooms show that the effectiveness of the device is highly dependent on the occupants: (i) reduction in the average CO2 concentrations of up to 42% in classrooms with frontal lesson and full occupancy, (ii) the device is not the most ideal solution for kindergarten due to the young age of the pupils, and (iii) it is more used during mild outdoor temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings)
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Article
Comprehensive Energy Renovation of Two Danish Heritage Buildings within IEA SHC Task 59
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 2746-2762; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040155 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 958
Abstract
Historic and heritage buildings present a significant challenge when it comes to reducing energy consumption to mitigate climate change. These buildings need careful renovation, and increasing their energy efficiency is often associated with a high level of complexity, because consideration for heritage values [...] Read more.
Historic and heritage buildings present a significant challenge when it comes to reducing energy consumption to mitigate climate change. These buildings need careful renovation, and increasing their energy efficiency is often associated with a high level of complexity, because consideration for heritage values can often reduce and impede possibilities and sometimes even rule out certain improvements completely. Despite these issues, many such renovation projects have already been carried out, and therefore the IEA SHC Task 59 project (Renovating Historic Buildings Towards Zero Energy) in cooperation with Interreg Alpine Space ATLAS has developed a tool for sharing these best-practice examples—the HiBERatlas (Historical Building Energy Retrofit Atlas). The Internet serves as a best-practice database for both individual energy efficiency measures and whole-building renovation projects. This paper presents two of the Danish projects featured in HiBERatlas. The first project, Ryesgade 30, is a Copenhagen apartment building with a preservation-worthy period brick façade. The second project is the Osram Building, a listed Copenhagen office building from 1959 with a protected façade, which today acts as a culture centre. Both renovation projects achieved significant energy savings and consequently CO2-emission reductions, and the indoor climate in both buildings have also improved significantly. Furthermore, a detailed analysis was carried out regarding possible window solutions and ventilation systems in Ryesgade 30, and for the Osram Building regarding daylighting technologies. This paper investigates the two renovation cases through the available measurement and calculation results before and after renovations and demonstrates that it is possible to reduce energy consumption significantly and at the same time improve the indoor climate without compromising the cultural values of buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings)
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