View this email in your browser
Task 59 Newsletter Winter 2020

You have received this free email newsletter because you have subscribed to it to receive news about the project Renovating Historic Buildings Towards Zero Energy (HistoricNZEB).

Welcome to Task 59's Winter Newsletter 

The International Energy Agency's IEA-SHC Task 59: Renovating Historic Buildings towards zero energy (HistoricNZEB) showcases examples of how historic buildings from across the world can be renovated to allow substantial reductions in energy use and associated carbon dioxide emissions, while safeguarding the buildings’ cultural significance.

This newsletter gives you an overview of the project’s latest case studies added to the HiBERATLAS platform, our new blog posts, introductions to  partners University of Innsbruck and Cerema, and updates on the project’s meetings and workshops.

On behalf of all the project’s partners and associates, we would like to thank you for subscribing!



Task 59 Final Conference

EURAC Research with the support of Interreg Alpine Space ATLAS, IEA-SHC Task 59, and HyLAB will be hosting SBE21 in Bolzano, Italy from 14-16 April 2021. The conference will be dedicated to the sustainable improvement of the built heritage. With a focus on “Renovating historic buildings towards a LOW-CARBON built heritage”, the conference will aim at fostering a multidisciplinary dialogue between scholars and practitioners in different field of energy efficiency and historic building conservation in order to find together the solutions that will bring our common heritage into a sustainable future. If you would like to get in touch and learn more about SBE21, please email. A website will be ready soon but for now, please save the date, more information to follow!


Latest Cases

The current beta version of HiBERATLAS includes more than 10 examples representing a wide variety of building types. The platform should grow to more than 50 case studies during 2020, please continue to check back, and for now check out the latest additions to the platform:

Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio, Italy
Politecnico di Milano

The Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio is a masterpiece of Abruzzese Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It is a very important religious site for the original Papal Jubilee devised by Pope Celestine V, who is buried there. The main challenge for this case was to design a heating system comprehensive of its connections and pipes, without interfering with the original appearance of the church and to preserve the cultural heritage of the Basilica. 

School in Mulhouse, France


This hard-stone elementary school is in Mulhouse in the Alsace region, near the border with Germany. It is a listed building, as it witnesses the history of the city of Mulhouse. Originally it was a spinning factory during which Mulhouse was well-known for its textile industry, and then it became a school after the annexation of Alsace and Moselle by Germany in 1870. This case reaches a balance between low energy consumption and heritage preservation, despite a very tight budget. The school is also one of the case studies of the CREBA website (French knowledge center for responsible retrofits of heritage buildings).

Downie’s Cottage, United Kingdom  
Historic Environment Scotland

This project was the refurbishment of an early 19th century croft house located near Braemar in the Cairngorms National Park. It is a rare survivor of a vernacular building type once common in Scotland and is Category A Listed. Works included insulation to walls and the floor, upgrades to the windows and the installation of a ground source heat pump.

FEATURE ATLAS has released a video

The presentation video from our partner project ATLAS is online! What happens when your childhood home is deteriorating and becoming difficult to live in? Can one save it and its century-long history? Discover a tale about childhood memories, cultural heritage and sustainability.

NEW BLOG POSTS - updated monthly!

Reporting on National French Conference on Responsible Retrofitting of Historic Buildings 

Julien Borderon and Elodie Héberlé created this blog entry after their experience at the CREBA Conference in Strasbourg which took place in November. The conference covered qualitative approaches and tools to support the ecological transition in the rehabilitation of historic buildings. 155 people attended the conference, mostly architects, buildings’ physics engineers, professional trainers, students and civil servants in local administrations. To read more about their experience, head over to the blog!

Decision support tool for the innovative and sustainable renovation of historic buildings (HISTool)

Walter Hüttler wrote a summary blog post about the HISTool. The HISTool is a software-based tool for the analysis of the current building status, and a decision support tool for the innovative and sustainable renovation specifically of Gründerzeit buildings. These were built between 1840 and 1918 with partially standardized designs and components in CentralEuropean cities.  

To read more about this decision support tool click here.

Dynamic thermal and hygrometric simulation of historical buildings 

This is a collaborative piece brought to us by Fabrizio Leonforte, Ph.D., from Politecnico di Milano who wrote us a summary blog post. Building dynamic simulation tools, traditionally used to study the hygrothermal performance of new buildings during the preliminary design steps, have been recently adopted also in historical buildings, as a tool to investigate possible strategies for their conservation and the suitability of energy retrofit scenarios, according to the boundary conditions.

However, designers often face with the lack of reliable thermophysical input data for various envelope components as well as with some intrinsic limitations in the simulation models, especially to describe the geometric features and peculiarities of the heritage buildings. Click here to read more!

Our blogs are updated monthly, don't forget to check regularly for new posts!


UIBK, The Unit for Energy Efficient Buildings, University of Innsbruck

The Unit for Energy Efficient Buildings in Innsbruck has set its main task in supporting the sustainable renewal process, both through the training of competent engineers and architects, as well as through research and development for the benefit of human health, sustainable development and the protection of the environment.
The Unit for Energy Efficient Buildings is leading subtask C, which has the aim to identify, assess and further develop retrofit solutions and strategies for historic buildings. They are also actively involved in the other subtasks.
The Unit who contributes to Task59 is made up of two people. Rainer Pfluger, picture on the left, who after graduating in mechanical engineering and completing his doctorate in the field of energy efficient buildings, he worked at the University of Stuttgart and at the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt. He has been working as a profession at the Unit for Energy Efficient Buildings since 2008 and leads national and international research projects which focus on energy efficiency, ventilation, room air quality, thermal comfort and building retrofit. Alexander Rieser, pictured on the right, has worked for several years at an architectural office before he studied civil and environmental engineering. He has been working the field of retrofit in research and in practice.


Cerema, The Centre for Studies on Risks, Environment, Mobility and Urban Planning in France


Cerema, Task 59 project partner, from Strasbourg, is a public institute under the supervision of ministries for Ecological and Inclusive Transition and for Regional Cohesion.
Cerema will contribute to tasks A and C within Task 59 by contributing data from case studies from the French CREBA database. For task B, Cerema will contribute their experience on dynamic simulations in historical buildings.
The team that works on the Task 59 task is made up of three engineers with a wide range of skills. Elodie Héberlé, pictured on the left, is the technical manager of the knowledge centre, she has led several projects about the balance between heritage preservation, energy performance, and technical issues with renovation. Julien Borderon PhD, pictured in the middle, is the group leader of the Cerema building team in Strasbourg and is listed as an expert for the ministry in charge of Ecological and Inclusive Transition. Julien has led projects on hygrothermal transfer conferning traditional buildings. Etienne Gourlay PhD, pictured on the right, is a researcher in the Cerema research team on materials and buildings. Etienne specializes in bio-based materials.

IEA - SHC Task 59 Related Conferences 2020

EuroSun, Athens, Greece: 01-04 September 2020

EuroSun 2020 will offer a platform to discuss the latest developments with leading solar energy experts as well as policy makers and industry representatives. The programme will include distinguished keynote speakers in plenary sessions, specialists meetings in breakout sessions and poster exhibitions as well as social events where you will have the opportunity to network, meet old friends and to make new ones.

The Conference is organized by ISES in cooperation with the Cyprus University of Technology, the University of West Attica and supported by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme.

ICBMM, Barcelona, Spain: 24-26 September 2020

The 4th International Conference on Building Materials and Materials Engineering will take in Barcelona, Spain this year. Rapid development of modern technology needs the support of new material. New material together with information and energy are known as the three pillars of modern science and technology. The birth of new materials will lead rapid development of related industries and technologies. Architecture is one of the examples.

The appearance of new building materials not only enhanced the original performance of the materials, such as durability, mechanical properties but also the performance of strength, energy conservation, insulation, waterproof, and appearance. Construction materials are developing towards the pursuit of functional diversity, life-cycle economy and recycling. With the change of living concepts and the demand of the multifarious building function, as the very basic elements of construction, building materials will face plenty of challenges.

REHABEND 2020, Granada, Spain: postponed to 28 September 2020

The Euro-Americain Congress REHABEND 2020 on Construction Pathology, Rehabilitation Technology and Heritage Management is going to be carried out in Granada, Spain in September 2020. The event is organized by twenty organizations of ten European and American countries, and it is co-chaired by the University of Cantabria, through its Building Technology R&D Group (GETD-UC), and the University of Granada.
  • Task 59 are a collaborating entity with the following topics:
    • 217 - 3D-GIS Models to Support the Co-creation of Energy Efficient Strategies for Historic Urban Environments. Authors: Egusquiza, Aitziber; Izkara, Jose Luis; Prieto, Iñaki
    • 552 - Dissemination of Best-Practice in Energy Retrofit of Historic Buildings. Rainhof, A Case Study in the Italian Alps. Authors: Herrera-Avellanosa, Daniel; Exner, Dagmar; Haas, Franziska; Troi, Alexandra
    • 553 - Acceptance of Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) in Heritage Buildings and Landscapes: Potentials, Barriers and Assessment CriteriaAuthors: Polo López, Cristina S.; Lucchi, Elena; Franco, Giovanna

EEHB 2020, Benediktbeuern, Germany: 07-08 October 2020

EEHB 2020 will take place in, Germany. The conference aims to present new research and best practices on a wide range of topics relating to energy efficiency in historic buildings. This year the focus will be on the role digital technologies can play in improving the energy performance of historic buildings, whilst respecting the principles of conservation. You can register here.
There will be a workshop a part of the EEHB 2020 taking place on Monday, Oct. 5th 2020 and Tuesday, Oct. 6th 2020. The workshop will focus on recording historic buildings using digital workflows. It will focus on different technologies to capture reality into a 3D point cloud and how to use this information for developing retrofit solutions.

EVENT LISTINGS from across the world


IEA SHC Solar Academy: Renovating Historic Buildings Towards Zero Energy - Task 59 Webinar

On January 28, 2020 the Solar Academy of the IEA SHC Programme organized a webinar which was hosted by ISES, the International Solar Energy Society. Presenters included Walter Hüttler, Tor Broström, Pavel Sevela, and Daniela Herrera; Bärbel Epp was the moderator. In the webinar real-world renovation experiences were shown and diverse tools were introduced that help in the decision and design process of historic building energy retrofit projects. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.

Energy Efficiency Seminar 2020

On February 6 and 7, 2020 Historic Environment Scotland and Task 59 hosted the Energy Efficiency Seminar in Stirling, Scotland at the Engine Shed. The seminar had a two day programme that covered both practical measures for Scottish homes and wider technical and policy issues in refurbishment. For presentation slides, please email here.

ATLAS presents at MONUMENTO, in Saltzburg

The MONUMENTO International trade fair for Cultural Heritage and Preservation of Monuments took place in Salzburg from March 5 to 7. ATLAS attended with the Task 59 touring exhibition. Please get in touch here if you would like to use the touring exhibition.


Adapt Northern Heritage Conference, online: 05-06 May 2020

Climate change is threatening historic places across the world, especially in the northern regions. The international Adapt Northern Heritage Conference 2020 will explore practices and research concerned with assessing the environmental impacts of climate change on, and associated risks to, historic places; and planning and/or implementing adaptation measures to make historic places more resilient to, or manage their loss because of, climate change.  This conference will now be going digital, more details to follow on Twitter.

6th Expert Meeting, online: 22-24 April 2020

The Expert Meeting that was originally planned to take place in Louvain will now be in the form of an online meeting. 

Keep in touch #HistoricNZEB


We would like to keep our subscribers up to date on events concerning the energy performance of historic buildings and their energy-related renovations. If you know of any events, please email us. We would love to hear from you!
Please forward this free newsletter to those of your colleagues who might be interested in subscribing to our newsletter. You can find more information about the project and its current activities on our project website and on Twitter and now LinkedIn. You can also follow #Task59.


Project particulars

Renovating Historic Buildings Towards Zero Energy (HistoricNZEB) is a project for the International Energy Agency, as Task 59 and Annex 76 of the agency’s Solar Heating & Cooling Programme and Energy in Buildings & Communities Programme respectively.

The project’s full title is: Deep Renovation of Historic Buildings Towards Lowest Possible Energy Demand and CO2 Emissions (NZEB). The abbreviation in the title stands for Net Zero Energy Building.

The project is led by EURAC Research, a research organisation in Bolzano / Bozen, Italy. The project coordinator, Ms. Alexandra Troi, Vice Head of EURAC’s Institute for Renewable Energy, can be contacted by email at:

This newsletter is coordinated by Historic Environment Scotland, a public body of the Scottish Government.
Copyright © 2020 The Project Partners of Deep Renovation of Historic Buildings Towards Lowest Possible Energy Demand and CO2 Emissions (NZEB), except for the imagery, which is copyrighted as stated

Creative Commons Licence
This work, except its imagery, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You are free to republish this email newsletter both online and in print, excluding its imagery. Please do not edit the piece, ensure that you attribute the project Renovating Historic Buildings Towards Zero Energy (HistoricNZEB) and, where stated, any authors and their institutes. If you would like to republish images, you need to contact the image copyright holder(s).

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter at any time, if you no longer wish to receive it.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
HNZEB · c/o Historic Environment Scotland · Longmore House, Salisbury Place · Edinburgh, Scotland EH91SH · United Kingdom

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp