Energy performance of built heritage in the subarctic climate zone of northern Sweden : Applying existing standards and methodologies for improving energy efficiency of built heritage

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser

Abstract: In Sweden, as well as in Europe, buildings are estimated to consume 40 % of the total energyuse. Moreover, one third of the European building stock consists of buildings with some sort ofdistinguable cultural or historic significance, and it follows logically that a considerablepercentage of Sweden’s and Europe’s total energy is consumed by this category of buildings –historic buildings. Especially when considering that historic buildings typically have inferiorenergy performance than other buildings. The challenge to improve the energy performance inhistoric buildings while also taking heritage values into consideration is undertaken within thescope of this master’s thesis. The European standard “Conservation of cultural heritage –Guidelines for improving the energy performance of historic buildings” (SS-EN 16883:2017) ispartially applied to a case-building in order to approach the challenge methodically.The energy performance of a building and proposed refurbishment measures is evaluatedthrough the use of computer-generated building energy models. Three different scenarios withsets of refurbishment measures have been simulated; (1) light impact, (2) moderate impact and(3) heavy impact on heritage values. Categorization of the refurbishment measures have beenaccomplished by using an objectivistic approach based on contemporary conservation theoriesand definitions. The theoretical framework is primarily based on conservation practices laid outby the Burra Charter.The light refurbishment package would reduce the heating energy use by almost 11 % whilehaving little to no impact on the building’s heritage values. The moderate package would reducethe heating energy use by 34,5 % without having a major impact on the building’s heritagevalues. The most invasive refurbishment package would, the heavy refurbishment package,would reduce the heating energy use by almost 40 %. This significant energy use reductionwould not come without its drawbacks. This package of measures would infact alter some of theexpressed character defining elements of the building.Improving the energy efficiency of built heritage is a challenge, especially when trying toassess the impact it might have on its heritage values. This master’s thesis can provide someinsight into the act of balancing energy improvement measures and cultural heritage valuesagainst one another, especially for buildings that lack formal protection in the form of legislativedirectives or policies.

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