Efficient Energy for EU Cultural Heritage


October 2010 - March 2014




The project 3ENCULT bridges the gap between conservation of historic buildings and climate protection, which is not an antagonism at all: historic buildings will only survive if maintained as living space. Energy efficient retrofit is useful for structural protection as well as for comfort reasons - comfort for users and “comfort” for heritage collections.

The joint task of conservation and energy efficient retrofit is highly interdisciplinary. The 3ENCULT consortium consists of scientists and stakeholders, especially on the level of SMEs, from the fields of diagnostics, conservation, building physics, sustainability, architecture and lighting up to cybernetics, thus guaranteeing both, the development of sustainable solutions and the impact on European economy.

Eight case studies will demonstrate and verify solutions that are applicable to the majority of European built heritage in urban areas. Building owners and local historic preservation agencies are integrated in local case study teams.




Project presentation - Historic buildings:

- Are the trademark of numerous European cities

- Are a living symbol or Europe's rich cultural heritage & diversity

- Reflect the society's identity and need to be protected

- Show high level of energy inefficiency

- Contribute with considerable CO2 emissions to climate change

- Do not always offer "comfort" - to people as well as to artworks


Project results - further exploitation


1. Energy Efficiency Solutions for Historical Buildings - A Handbook

This project deliverable will be released as a reference manual for the energetic rehabilitation of historic buildings.

The handbook holistically summarizes the principles of energy retrofitting historic listed buildings, from the first diagnosis to the clearly and pragmatically designed intervention.

Available as of October 2014 (see page 6)


2. Public deliverables related to HVAC

2.1. D3.5 Assessment of performance of combined solutions - deliverable

Historic buildings could be retrofitted with compatible and conservatively passive and active solutions in order to reach high efficiency energy standards. The aim of this study is to define a combination of measures aimed to decrease the energy demand and improve the energy performance of the building. Both active and passive strategies need to be considered for this kind of study.

2.2. D4.3 Detailed architecture design and specification of the wireless sensor network nodes - deliverable

This deliverable treats the design, implementation and deployment of a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) targeting the energy efficiency and preservation of historical buildings.

2.3. D4.4 Report on development of BMS system - deliverable

This deliverable contains the design, specification and drivers of the Building Management System (BMS) as well as the services and interfaces to monitor and control such services. This BMS is developed according to the constraints presented by heritage buildings and according to the ZigBee sensor network developed in the project in order to fullfil with the premises required by this kind of constructions.

2.4. D4.5 Guideline for the implementation of monitoring system - deliverable

Monitoring and automation systems are one of the main challenges to be addressed in every building because of the context constraints, especially in existing ones, in terms of impact on building functions and users operations. To fill the gap, several standards and open protocols are available in the market, such as lonWorks or BACnet, but also, new approaches such as ZigBee, which solves some typical wireless issues. In particular, cultural heritage presents further peculiar constraints, due to conservation and preservation issues.

2.5. D7.2 Toolkit and self-training material - deliverable

A particular advantage of numerical simulation is that the investigation of constructionsconsisting of different materials under various climatic loads requires relatively little work in comparison to field experiments. Thus a hygrothermal assessment of constructions can be evaluated in a short time. Construction building details and building materials can be optimized using the numerical simulation as well as renovation measures can be planned.

2.6. D7.6 Report on conservation compatibility of the developed solutions and methods - deliverable

Conservation experts provide a final analysis and comments on the selected deliverables from the conservation point of view. This deliverable presents the conservatory view point for each single case study of the 3ENCULT project.

2.7. D7.7 Relation historic buildings, EPBD and EPBD CEN standards - deliverable

This document introduces the recast Energy Performance of Builidings Directive (EPBD) with a focus on old and historic buildings. The link between the EPBD and the EPBD CEN standards is discussed and also the relation between the EPBD CEN standards and historic buildings.

2.8. D7.8 Proposal integration historic buildings in EPBD - deliverable

The aim of this deliverable is to give input to the EPBD and CEN EPBD working groups under Mandate M/480.


3. Case studies

3.1. CS1 Public Weigh House Bolzano (Italy) - documentation

3.2. CS2 Palazzo d'Accursio Municipal Palace Bologna (Italy) - documentation

3.3. CS3 Palazzina della Viola Bologna (Italy) - documentation

3.4. CS4 The Material Court of the Fortress Copenhagen (Denmark) - documentation

3.5. CS5 Primary School Hötting Innsbruck (Austria) - documentation

3.6. CS6 Wilhelminian Villa Dresden (Germany) - documentation

3.7. CS7 Engineering School of Béjar Salamanca (Spain) - documentation

3.8. CS8 Strickbau Appenzell (Switzerland) - documentation


4. Education material to be used for University Studies

The material was developed for a university training package with different modules. (general information link)

4.1. Indoor Environment Monitoring

- Monitoring and control: Technology and methodology approach (The lesson regards the monitoring and control concept and in particular the development of sensors, sensors interfacing, data acquisition and data transmission.) UNIBO presentation 1 (en)

- Densely Instrumented Physical Infrastructure for Enegy-Efficient Buildings (The lesson regards the basic concept of energy savings of historic building and living comfort, with a particular attention to monitoring instruments and control concept.) UNIBO presentation 2 (en)

4.2. Energy Efficient Solutions for Sustainable Renovations

- Sustainable Renovation of Buildings - Lessons learnt from 3ENCULT case study CS5 (Within the University of Innsbruck students learn refurbishing strategies and how to include energy efficiency. The content includes some introduction in terms of basic building physical issues as well as the principles of conservation. The school building CS5 was used to demnostrate how to find well adapted solutions for a specific building, based on detailed building diagnosis and measuring results for comfort and air quality parameteres.) UIBK presentation 1 (en)

- Innovative concepts for energy saving refurbishment in historic buildings (The energy requirement of a historic building can be substantially reduced finding the right solutions and implementing them in high quality. For the energy retrofit of a historic building the multidisciplinary exchange between all stakeholders starts with a comprehensive diagnosis of the status quo, supports the development of solutions and selection of the most approapriate one, and does not end before an integrated monitoring and control, which verifies and guarantess performance.) EURAC presentation 2 (de) & EURAC presentation 2 (en)

- Refurbishment - definition (The lesson described the procedure to understand if a building is historic or not. Subsequently it describes the evolution of construction techniques in the course of time as regards masonries, roofs, basement, ceilings and windows.) TUD presentation 3 (de)

- Building surveying and diagnostics (The lesson explains a procedure for understanding the conservative conditions of historic buildings through the use of various non destructive techniques NDT, which include the geometric relive and infrared thermography. It also describes the damages that a building can undergo during time, investigating every building component.) TUD presentation 4 (de)

- Energy efficient renovation (To understand the behaviour of historic buildings it is necessary to develop a deeper knowledge of the cultural heritage property. An accurate audit is the first step to identify the need for suitable intervention.) TUD presentation 5 (de)

- Energy efficient renovation (The lesson describes in detail the techniques of internal insulation of walls, indicating advantages, disadvantages, potential problems, materials and tools used for the calculation and assessment. Examples of thermal bridges analysis for buildings are presented.) TUD presentation 6 (de)

- Protection from driving rain (The lesson describes the problems of deterioration of buildings caused by water in masonries, roofs and basements.) TUD presentation 7 (de)

- Moisture damage - mold (The lesson describes the degradation phenomena related to interstitial condensation, mold and biological germination.) TUD presentation 8 (de)

- Windows & Basements (The lesson describes how to analyze historic windows and then the techniques and the methods for the energy retrofit.) TUD presentation 9 (de)

4.3. Daylighting in historic buildings

- Daylighting in historic buildings: approach and solution (Principle questions to be considered when the task of 'Daylighting in historic building' is commisioned. Showing an assessment approach, key questions and key answers. Case study examples show specific solutions.) BLL presentation 1 (en)

4.4. Methodology for energy retrofittint: diagnosis procedures

- Methodology for energy retrofitting in historic buildings (The lesson describes the methodology developed in the framework of the 3encult project for the diagnosis and evaluation of interventions in historic buildings, combining tools of building energy performance simulation, monitoring techniques and non-destructive testing in buildings.) CARTIF presentation 1 (es)

- Building Energy Performance Simulation (The lesson is focused on Building and Facilities Energy Performance covering and introducing the Energy Performance principles and simulation tools.) CARTIF presentation 2 (es)


5. REHVA Journal articles:

Several REHVA Journal articles have been published for further exploitation of technical solutions developed within the 3ENCULT project.

REHVA Journal issue 03/2014 go to article A ZigBee based Building Management System for heritage

REHVA Journal issue 03/2014 go to article Energy retrofit of cultural heritage buildings

REHVA Journal issue 05/2013 go to article Special HVAC Solutions for the refurbishment of historic buildings



REHVA Annual Meeting 2014 - Annual Conference "Energy Efficient, Smart and Healthy Buildings" - Düsseldorf, 28-30 April 2014

3ENCULT results and further exploitation were discussed at REHVA Annual Meeting 2014. Close to the project end, 3ENCULT was presented to REHVA Members and Supporters during the REHVA Annual Meeting and Conference. REHVA's Project Officer, Anita Derjanecz, presented the final results of the project. (download the presentation here)

February 2014: Watch the 3ENCULT video report on EuroNews!

October 2013: 3ENCULT Study Tour. Historic buildings renovation in Bolzano and Innsbruck

ICLEI Europe and the 3ENCULT project consortium organised a study tour for local authorities on energy efficient solutions to preserve historic buildings. Visits took place in the cities of Innsbruck (Austria) and Bolzano (Italy), allowing attendants to see first-hand examples of successful retrofits. Several technical solutions and prototypes where shown to participants, which were developed during the project according to the specific requirements of listed buildings.

One comprehensive example related to HVAC systems is the refurbishment of the heating and ventilation system developed for the Höttinger School in Innsbruck described in detail in the article "Special HVAC Solutions for the Refurbishment of Historic Buildings" of Rainer Plugler in REHVA Journal Issue 5 October 2013.

June 2013: Workshop "Special HVAC Solutions for the Refurbishment of Historic Buildings"

Chair: Alexandra Troi; Co-Chairs: Rainer Pfluger, Enrico Zara

3ENCULT project consortium organised a workshop that presented special HVAC solutions for the refurbishment of historic buildings having beed developed during the project.

Project coordinator Alexandra Troi (EURAC) gave an overview about the main aims, challenges and outcomes of the project pointing out the importance of the multicidsiplinary approach and the involvment of different stakeholders in the planning and implementation of refurbishment of listed buildings.

Rainer Pflugler (University of Innsbruck) presented the case study of the listed Höttinger school building in Innsbruck, where the HVAC system was refurbished and special tailor made solutions complyig the local regulations on listed buildings were developed by a multidisciplinary team.

Enrico Zara closed the session with a presentation on the Multidisciplinary design for integrated solution in historical buildings. After the presentations attendees discussed the different aspect and challenges of the refurbishment of historical buildings and gave some useful views for the next period of the project.

Download the 3ENCULT workshop report published in the REHVA Report Nr. 5 about CLIMA2013 workshops.

This project is supported by the European Commission under FP7