Integration of Energy-Efficient Ventilation Systems in Historic Buildings: Review and Proposal of a Systematic Intervention Approach

Alexander Rieser*, Jørgen Rose, Kirsten Engelund Thomsen

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Historic building restoration and renovation requires sensitivity to the cultural heritage, historic value, and sustainability (i.e., building physics, energy efficiency, and comfort) goals of the project. Energy-efficient ventilation such as demand-controlled ventilation and heat recovery ventilation can contribute to the aforementioned goals, if ventilation concepts and airflow distribution are planned and realized in a minimally invasive way. Compared to new buildings, the building physics of historic buildings are more complicated in terms of hygrothermal performance. In particular, if internal insulation is applied, dehumidification is needed for robust and risk-free future use, while maintaining the building’s cultural value. As each ventilation system has to be chosen and adapted individually to the specific building, the selection of the appropriate system type is not an easy task. For this reason, there is a need for a scientifically valid, systematic approach to pair appropriate ventilation system and airflow distribution solutions with historical buildings. This paper provides an overview of the interrelationships between heritage conservation and the need for ventilation in energy-efficient buildings, regarding building physics and indoor environmental quality. Furthermore, a systematic approach based on assessment criteria in terms of heritage significance of the building, building physics (hygrothermal performance), and building services (energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and comfort rating) according to the standard EN 16883:2017
are applied.
Translated title of the contributionIntegration af energi-effektive ventilationssystemer i historiske bygninger: Evaluering og forslag til systematisk handlingsplan
Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number2325
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2021

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