Energy Efficiency for Sustainable Reuse of Public Heritage Buildings: The Case for Research

Energy Efficiency for Sustainable Reuse of Public Heritage Buildings: The Case for Research


Department of Engineering & the Built Environment, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK

30 April 2014
| Citation



There is a wide consensus that buildings, as major energy consumers and sources of greenhouse gas emis-sions must play an important role in mitigating climate change. This has led to increasing concern and greater demand to improve energy efficiency in buildings. Although, there has been increased efforts to reduce energy consumption from existing building stock; the heritage sector still needs to accelerate its efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Presently, much concentration has been on improving the energy efficiency of heritage buildings in the domestic sector while, the non-domestic sector has only received little attention. In particular, studies focusing on reuse and adaptation of heritage buildings for public use to achieve more efficient use of energy are urgently required. The main focus of this paper is the need for research into sustainable reuse of public heritage buildings with reference to maximising energy efficiency in the process of considering their conversion to other uses. The paper presents part of a broader on-going research with the aim to investigate problems associated with maximising energy efficiency in reuse and conversion of public heritage buildings. It identifies the ability of heritage buildings to play a role in global reduction of energy use and CO2 emission whilst maintaining its unique characteristics. Issues and challenges associated to improving energy efficiency in heritage building conversion projects were discussed. Holistic approach through identification of various options and innovative techniques for their sustainable reuse were suggested. The paper concluded that in spite of the exemption of listed buildings from energy performance requirements, these buildings can still accommodate some energy efficiency improvements. However, further studies to identify the most suitable options for long term sustainability is required if the goal to reduce green-house gas emissions by 80% by 2050 is to be achieved.


Adaptation, conservation, conversion, refurbishment, energy efficiency, heritage buildings, renewable technology, reuse, sustainability


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