Special Issue "Preventive Conservation and Energy Efficiency of Heritage Buildings"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability of Culture and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Elena Lucchi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
EURAC Research, Institute for Renewable Energy, Bolzano, Italy
Interests: energy efficiency of historic buildings; non destructive technologies; energy audit; energy simulation; preventive conservation of cultural heritage; highly efficient materials; renewable energy sources; BIPV integration in heritage sites
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Davide Del Curto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. da Vinci 26, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: architectural conservation; preventive conservation; energy efficiency of historic buildings; 20th century architecture; conservation management plan

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

European studies show that more than 40% of the European residential buildings have been constructed before the 1960s [1] and more than 50% before the 1970s [2]. European households are responsible for 68% of the total final energy use in buildings, mainly related to heating, cooling, hot water, cooking and appliances [1]. Historic buildings form a large proportion of the existing building stock of most European cities. They represent significant territorial resources and constitute an essential part of the cultural heritage. Improving energy efficiency in historic heritage, certainly preserving the value and the historical characters, is a topic of great importance. In fact, in recent years, the European Commission fostered several policies to reduce the final energy use (20 %) and greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions (20 % compared to 1990 levels), and to increase the share of renewable energy (20 % of overall energy consumption) until 2020 (Directive 2010/31/EU [3]; Directive 2009/28/EC [4] and Directive 2012/27/EU [5]). These Directives showed the big potential for achieving energy savings and CO2 emissions reduction through the refurbishment of existing buildings, besides the construction of new low-energy buildings. Conservation and energy refurbishment of historic buildings involves a series of complex issues that require a balance between preventive conservation, human comfort, energy efficiency, compliance with regulatory constraints, integration with renewable energy sources, economic feasibility, and microclimate monitoring to ensure an appropriate preservation of structures and artworks, as well as users’ comfort. Therefore, this Special Issue provides a forum to discuss and to identify new trends and developments in preventive conservation and energy efficiency of heritage buildings.

Some of the potential issues/themes covered include one or more of the following areas in both global and local contexts (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Preventive conservation of cultural heritage: a contemporary perspective and new approaches
  • Energy and environmental monitoring of heritage buildings and sites
  • Criteria and methodologies for energy efficiency of historic buildings
  • Case studies of energy retrofit of historic buildings
  • Energy efficiency of heritage sites and city centers
  • The impact of political and social agendas on energy efficiency of historic buildings
  • Technical standards / National and international legislation
  • Non-destructive technologies for cultural heritage (e.g. infrared thermography)
  • Energy audit and simulation of historic buildings
  • Building-HVAC modeling
  • Conservation and management of 20th Century architecture
  • Methodological approaches, specific methods and tools for preventive conservation and energy efficiency of cultural heritage
  • High energy performance materials applied to cultural heritage
  • Integration of heritage buildings and landscapes with renewable energy resources
  • The human factor in the issue of energy efficiency of historic buildings (behavioral sciences: economics, sociology)
  • Smart Solutions (e.g. Smart Home Technology) for preventive conservation and energy efficiency

References

[1] Buildings Performance Institute Europe: Europe’s buildings under the microscope. A country-by-country review of the energy performance of buildings. European Commission: Bruxelles, 2011.

[2] S. Birchall et al. Survey on the energy needs and architectural features of the EU building stock Deliverable 2.1a, European Project iNSPIRe. www. inspirefp7.eu, 2014.

[3] European Parliament, Directive 2010/31/EU of The European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings (recast), Official Journal of the European Union.

[4] European Parliament, Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC, Official Journal of the Europe.

[5] European Parliament, Directive 2012/27/EU of The European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC, Official Journal of the Europe.

Prof. Dr. Elena Lucchi
Prof. Dr. Davide Del Curto
Guest Editors

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 papers will be 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Stochastic Approach to LCA of Internal Insulation Solutions for Historic Buildings
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1535; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041535 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Abstract
Internal insulation is a typical renovation solution in historic buildings with valuable façades. However, it entails moisture-related risks, which affect the durability and life-cycle environmental performance. In this context, the EU project RIBuild developed a risk assessment method for both hygrothermal and life-cycle [...] Read more.
Internal insulation is a typical renovation solution in historic buildings with valuable façades. However, it entails moisture-related risks, which affect the durability and life-cycle environmental performance. In this context, the EU project RIBuild developed a risk assessment method for both hygrothermal and life-cycle performance of internal insulation, to support decision-making. This paper presents the stochastic Life Cycle Assessment method developed, which couples the LCA model to a Monte-Carlo simulation, providing results expressed by probability distributions. It is applied to five insulation solutions, considering different uncertain input parameters and building heating scenarios. In addition, the influence of data variability and quality on the result is analyzed, by using input data from two sources: distributions derived from a generic Life Cycle Inventory database and “deterministic” data from Environmental Product Declarations. The outcomes highlight remarkable differences between the two datasets that lead to substantial variations on the systems performance ranking at the production stage. Looking at the life-cycle impact, the general trend of the output distributions is quite similar among simulation groups and insulation systems. Hence, while a ranking of the solutions based on a “deterministic” approach provides misleading information, the stochastic approach provides more realistic results in the context of decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventive Conservation and Energy Efficiency of Heritage Buildings)
Open AccessArticle
The Application of Photovoltaic Systems in Sacred Buildings for the Purpose of Electric Power Production: The Case Study of the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel in Belgrade
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041408 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Abstract
In light of climate changes, technological development and the use of renewable energy sources are considered very important nowadays, both in newly designed structures and reconstructed historic buildings, resulting in the reduction in the commercial energy consumption and CO2 environmental emissions. This [...] Read more.
In light of climate changes, technological development and the use of renewable energy sources are considered very important nowadays, both in newly designed structures and reconstructed historic buildings, resulting in the reduction in the commercial energy consumption and CO2 environmental emissions. This paper explores the possibilities of improving the energy efficiency of sacred heritage buildings by utilizing photovoltaic systems. As an exceptionally significant cultural good, the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel in Belgrade shall serve as a case study, with the aim of examining the methods of mounting photovoltaic (PV) panels, taking into account the fact that the authenticity and the aesthetic value of this cultural monument must remain intact. A comparative analysis of the two options for installing PV panels on the southwestern roof of the church was performed using simulations in PVgis and PVsist V6.84 software, with the aim of establishing the most efficient option in terms of power generation. The simulation results show that photovoltaic panels can produce 151,650 kWh (Option 1) and 150,894 kWh (Option 2) per year, while the required amount of energy is 42,726 kWh. The electricity produced exceeds the electricity requirements for the decorative lighting of the Cathedral Church, so it can be used for other purposes in the sacred complex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventive Conservation and Energy Efficiency of Heritage Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle
Historical and Scientific Investigations into the Use of Hydraulic Lime in Korea and Preventive Conservation of Historic Masonry Structures
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5169; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195169 - 20 Sep 2019
Abstract
In addition to non-hydraulic lime, natural hydraulic lime (NHL) is a material widely used to repair and restore historic buildings. In Korea, although lime mortars have been used as important building materials for thousands of years, the sharing of information and technology with [...] Read more.
In addition to non-hydraulic lime, natural hydraulic lime (NHL) is a material widely used to repair and restore historic buildings. In Korea, although lime mortars have been used as important building materials for thousands of years, the sharing of information and technology with other countries has been relatively inactive. While not recognizing the suitability of NHL as a repair material, undesirable materials such as Portland cement have often been selected due to their high strength, ease of use, and hydraulicity, but unfortunately, this has resulted in the irreversible damage of existing elements, especially in historic masonry structures. This study aims to emphasize the need for hydraulic lime for the sustainable preservation of Korea’s architectural heritage. To justify its use, historical and scientific investigations were conducted. By reviewing literature written in the 15th century, it was found that dark limestone was used to manufacture building lime. Based on this, the chemical compositions of different-colored limestone were experimentally analyzed, and significant evidence was found that dicalcium silicate was formed in the quicklime manufactured by calcining blue-green and green-black limestone. Prior to the 19th century, it would have been impossible to record the chemical compositions of various types of limestone, except for visual observations such as color differences. Fortunately, this important information was recorded in royal documents and has been handed down to the present day. Thus, knowledge from 500 years ago could be scientifically interpreted using the latest technology. The link between the historical record and the experimental results shown in this study can contribute to the selection of a suitable material. This is a method for the preventive preservation of historic masonry structures, as it can significantly lower the possibility of future damages caused by efflorescence and freeze–thaw. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventive Conservation and Energy Efficiency of Heritage Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle
Energy Efficiency and Economic Viability as Decision Factors in the Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4946; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184946 - 10 Sep 2019
Abstract
The restoration of historical buildings often implies a change in the main use of the building so that it can once again become a part of people’s lives. Among the interventions needed to adapt the buildings to their new purpose, improving the energy [...] Read more.
The restoration of historical buildings often implies a change in the main use of the building so that it can once again become a part of people’s lives. Among the interventions needed to adapt the buildings to their new purpose, improving the energy performance is always a challenge due to their particular construction solutions and the influence that these improvements can have on their protected elements. The regulations in force in European Union (EU) member states leave a gap in how the energy performance evaluations in these types of buildings can be defined, and even exclude them from the process. However, rehabilitation of buildings is always seen as an opportunity, because it allows the building to once again be useful to society and play an important role in people’s lives. At the same time, it can also improve their performance and allow benefits to be gained from their use through a reduction in maintenance costs. In the rehabilitation process, the economic viability of the renovation plays a fundamental role which must be compared, in the case of protected buildings, to its impact on the architecture of the building. Since 2002, the EU has issued directives with the aim that countries should define objective methods to improve the energy performance of buildings and, in recent times, methods that demonstrate the amortization of such improvements. Within the process of implementing the new methodologies adapted to the EPBD, Spain was one of the last EU countries to define a process for the energy assessment of existing buildings, introducing an analysis of the economic viability of the construction improvements suggested in the process. The objective of this research was to describe the decision-making process during the evaluation of the feasibility of introducing construction improvements to the energy performance of two catalogued historic buildings located in a warm climate. The estimated energy consumption was evaluated, the net present value (NPV) and the payback period of the investment calculated, and the results obtained were compared with the real energy consumption. At the end of the process, it can be said that the methodologies adopted in Spain offer results that can lead designers to make wrong decisions that may affect the protected heritage values of these buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventive Conservation and Energy Efficiency of Heritage Buildings)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Experimental study of salt enrichment on earthen sites by using a soil-relics coupled system
Authors: Xilian Luo, Yike Wang, Yin Xia, and Zhaolin Gu
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