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A systematic intervention approach for the integration of energy-efficient ventilation system in historic buildings

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Image by Anja from Pixabay

Ventilation in historic buildings is very important to foster health and comfort of the occupants as well as for the conservation of the building structure. Moreover, energy-efficient ventilation (e.g. demand controlled ventilation DCV and heat recovery ventilation HRV) can significantly reduce energy consumption.


However, such renovation measures should take into account not only inhabitants' comfort but also the historic value of the building, its artistic and cultural heritage. Hence, an interdisciplinary effort from professions is requested and thus systematic guidelines are necessary. This means finding a scientific valid, systematic approach to combine appropriate ventilation system with airflow distribution solutions with historic buildings.


Within the Alpine Space project ATLAS and Task 59, the HiBERtool was developed as a systematic approach to have a pre-selection of measures, working in terms of preservation, building physics and technical feasibility. The user can find a lot of information of real cases with detailed documentation, photos and technical data.


This paper is an overview of the interrelationships between heritage conservation and the need for ventilation in energy-efficient buildings. It also provides an assessment of different measures and variants according to the standard EN 16883:2017 which can help finding the best renovation solutions.


In order to assess those measures, the assessment criteria of the standard were adapted to the topic of ventilation in a fictitious practical examples, showing the complexity of renovation measures for historic buildings.

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