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Smart energy efficiency of historic buildings in cold climates

Published: 5 November 2013

Research project aims to explore, develop methodologies and techniques for improving energy efficiency of historically valuable buildings in cold climates without corrupting the buildings historic and architectural values. The project´s main research question is: how can cultural and historical buildings in cold climates, energy efficient without distorting the building´s cultural heritage? The research will thus be able to respond to the energy saving potential of existing wooden buildings generally and historically valuable wooden buildings specifically.

The research includes an analysis of the management and modernization of buildings and knowledge of these historical processes affecting cultural sector valuation system. The study also discusses how this transformation of value systems can be integrated into a life cycle assessment, LCA, and how it relates to the concept of sustainable development.

Through applied research and development developed new knowledge for use within the cultural environment, construction and management sectors. Historical buildings with different types of buildings and structures are selected in some towns in the North. Architectural and historical values ​​are documented and current energy status is measured and analyzed. Methods and materials for energy efficiency inventoried nationally and internationally. New methods for energy development, exploitation in practical remodeling and tested. New knowledge is disseminated to property owners, managers.

The historically valuable buildings in northern Norrland, in many cases the second trait than settlements in southern Sweden. The colder climate zone also demands higher energy values ​​for insulation, windows and doors so as to achieve higher energy consumption for heating buildings made today. This together means that research on energy efficiency performed on buildings in southern Sweden are not directly transferable for buildings in northern Sweden colder climates. It will then be major differences between the heating costs for the older buildings compared to new buildings.

In Kiruna and Malmberget parts of wooden buildings from the early 1900s designated as historically valuable buildings. Full Malmberget and nearby Koskullskulle constitutes cultural of national interest. Much of this development is today threatened by cracks in the ground caused by the mining operations at both sites and will either be moved or demolished. One of the arguments in discussions informed decisions about the building will be moved or demolished, its power status.

The planned project will be implemented by a trans-disciplinary group of researchers in several disciplines and with practitioners in the field of knowledge: architectural, building conservationists, structural engineer, energy scientist, historian and practical expertise in the careful reconstruction of historical buildings. The group has close contacts with local authorities, management and construction companies in Norrbotten.