Energy Efficiency and Preservation in Our Cultural Heritage : EEPOCH

Sammanfattning: The project EEPOCH concerns our built heritage and the complex set of problems that exist between energy efficiency and preservation perspectives. New legislation demanding efficient energy use is predicated on the documented potential of energy efficiency on both national and international levels. Due to the severe environmental impact of energy consumption and diminishing fossil energy sources, energy efficiency is considered a key action. Concerns have been raised, however, as to whether the historic value of our built heritage will be lost, to the advantage of energy efficiency actions. There is a need for models directed towards the application of an integrated balancing of energy and preservation demands. The aim of this study is to find a way to design such theoretical models. Three cases with objects restored in the 1990s have been studied by analysing and comparing their energy performance and their different historic and architectural values. In doing so, a case study methodology of pattern-matching has been used for literal and theoretical replications. Transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches have been used in the research. The multiple case study and issues concerning both energy performance and conservation have been discussed in workshops. Academics and practitioners participated, some of them providing facts on the cases and all of them contributing with their knowledge, expertise, experience and advice to root the study in approved practice and theory. The results show that some energy efficiency actions may be carried out without diminishing their different historic values, but these have low impact on the energy consumption. The results also show that energy efficiency actions that are too small may result in a poor indoor climate. This study also highlights unforeseen issues. The impact of a new legal and regulatory framework on alterations in existing buildings had to become an embedded unit of analysis, showing that concerns for lost heritage values are justified. The traditional way of assessing the different historic values proved to be insufficient from an architect’s point of view and a complementary way is presented. Moreover, new ways of assessing historic value are currently being tested by the Swedish National Heritage Board and the National Property Board. The case where energy efficiency actions and preserved historic value can be balanced is dependent on this assessment. A thorough evaluation is recommended.

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