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Historical buildings’ energy conservation potentialities: A methodology focused on building operation

Giorgia Spigliantini (DENERG, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy) (Fachgebiet Bauphysik & Technischer Ausbau (FBTA), Karlsruher Institut fur Technologie Fakultat fur Architektur, Karlsruhe, Germany)
Valentina Fabi (DENERG, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy)
Marcel Schweiker (FBTA, Karlsruher Insitut fur Technologie, Karlsruhe, Germany)
Stefano Corgnati (DENERG, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy)

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation

ISSN: 2398-4708

Article publication date: 5 December 2018

Issue publication date: 20 June 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

Today, about 30 per cent of European existing buildings can be entitled as “historical buildings”. Nowadays, their energy retrofit is important to reach the ambitious European CO2 emissions’ reduction objectives. The purpose of this paper is to outline a methodology to investigate the potential energy savings and the enhancement of historical buildings’ liveability by acting only on their operation, so that the building fabric could be maintained as much as possible as the original evidence.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes the framework’s theoretical phases and their application in two real case studies. The methodology was conceived with a pre-test and post-test design approach.

Findings

The research demonstrated that the elaborated methodology is flexible and allows the adoption of different energy retrofit strategies for the different cases.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations arise out of the circumstance that the methodology is based on occupants and technicians willingness to engage in the strategies, so it is not possible to quantify its efficacy ex ante.

Practical implications

Practical implications can be found in the way of addressing energy retrofit strategies through a user-centric approach with minimum impact on the building itself.

Social implications

At the same time, the methodology has a strong social aspect with its potential to change people’s attitudes towards energy usage and behaviour.

Originality/value

This study not only represents the first attempt of applying a systematic energy retrofit strategy based on occupants and technicians behavioural change in historic buildings, but also is one of the first studies dedicated to occupants’ comfort and behaviour assessment in this context.

Keywords

Citation

Spigliantini, G., Fabi, V., Schweiker, M. and Corgnati, S. (2019), "Historical buildings’ energy conservation potentialities: A methodology focused on building operation", International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 306-325. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-12-2017-0062

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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