Via EUREC Members, EURAC
The Historic Building Energy Retrofit Atlas made its debut at REDay 2019. The database of good practices for energy efficient renovation of historic buildings is now online
“Deep Energy Renovations: Already All Around us”: this was the theme of this year’s edition of Renovate Europe Day (REDay), organised by Renovate Europe. The idea behind it was to show that energy renovation is not only possible, but it is already happening. On the 8th October, REDay 2019 gathered in Brussels experts in the field of energy renovation and offered a backdrop to the opening of an exhibition showcasing best practice renovations of different types of buildings from all over Europe.
Daniel Herrera from the Institute of Renewable Energies of Eurac Research was invited to present the Historic Building Energy Retrofit Atlas, the first international online database of good practices related to energy efficient renovation of historic buildings. The platform, which is now in a testing phase, has been developed by the Interreg Alpine Space project ATLAS in collaboration with the IEA-SHC Task 59 initiative. It collects information on renovation projects that are exemplary both in terms of heritage conservation and energy efficiency and aims at becoming a useful guide for all the actors involved in the renovation of historic buildings.
Some of the case studies featured in the Historic Building Energy Retrofit Atlas were put on display in REDay exhibition, arousing interest in the visiting public. Among these were Villa Castelli, a listed building from the 19th century located at the riverside of Lake Como, Italy, whose renovation led to a 90% decrease in energy demand and the Viennese convent of Kaiserstrasse, which was particularly challenging to preserve.
«The technologies to renovate historic buildings exist» said Herrera, «it is all about convincing people that we need to renovate such buildings». According to estimates, the built environment accounts for approximately 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in Europe. Considering that historic buildings represent around 25% of the total stock and up to 60% of buildings in rural areas, improving their energy efficiency is key to meet the ambitious targets set by the European Commission. Reaching carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050 as envisioned by the newly-nominated President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen is possible and the launch of the Historic Building Energy Retrofit Atlas marks a significant step towards this goal.