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Historic Building Energy Retrofit Atlas: a new database for exemplary energy efficient renovation of historic buildings

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Historic buildings are the trademark of numerous cities, but they will only survive if maintained as living spaces. This means that we need to find renovation approaches and solutions that are compatible with their conservation and allow protecting their historic and aesthetic values while increasing comfort, lowering energy bills and minimizing environmental impact.


The Historic Building Atlas brings together cases of building renovation that are exemplary both in terms of heritage protection and energy efficiency. Through a comprehensive and detailed documentation, including building description, design considerations, and implementation details, the case studies have the potential to inspire others and foster energy retrofits.


The database will include any building of historic and/or cultural value independent of the level of protection, from medieval buildings over buildings from the 1920s to post WWII architecture. The basic requirements for good practice examples are:

  • A project that has been implemented
  • Renovation of the whole building
  • Significant reduction of energy consumption (towards “lowest possible energy demand”)
  • The heritage compatibility of the solutions was evaluated
  • Available documentation of technical solutions

The information displayed in the database is structured in four categories: First, images of the whole building and some key figures about the intervention. Second, a description of the context and the rationale behind all the solutions adopted. The different retrofit solutions implemented are presented in the third section. Lastly, the result of the intervention is evaluated in terms of energy efficiency, internal climate control, financial assessment and environmental impact.


The database is a joint development of two research projects, both under the coordination of EURAC Research:

Initially, the partners of both projects are contributing with evaluated case studies. In a second stance, owners and designers of suitable example are invited to participate. The case studies will be documented and presented on a publicly accessible website. A demo of the database is already available at: https://www.hiberatlas.com. The final version of the website is expected to be launched at the beginning of 2020.