Energy Efficiency and Preservation in Our Cultural Heritage
Paper in proceedings, 2011
Energy Efficiency and Preservation in Our Cultural Heritage, EEPOCH, concerns our built
heritage. The aim is to find models for integrated balancing of energy and preservation
Preserved objects for a number of case studies are chosen within the co-operation project Halland
Model performed in the County of Halland in the 1990s recession. The aim at that time was regional
growth, strengthening competitiveness, sustainability and development of building conservation.
For economists a buildings lifecycle is about 50 years and during this time the lion’s share of the costs
lies within managing. A building holds many investments and physical resources within. Hence
energy efficiency is considered a key action and a path to social, financial and environmental
sustainability. The potential is pointed out in the existing building stock. What this implies for the
building itself is rarely mentioned.
In officially protected monuments energy efficiency is of minor interest. But most of our older
building stock is not protected and the buildings are not considered as monuments. How about all
these buildings not so ancient and sometimes at risk, yet important for the cityscape and for the
experience of a neighbourhood? Are these tangible and intangible values protected when energy
experts do their job according to the directive 2010/31/EU on energy performance? There is a complex
set of problems that hold between energy efficiency and preservation perspective. In Halland both
perspectives were taken into account in the conservation work.
EEPOCH has two parts. Through generic research the case studies form a foundation for a theoretical
model directed on application for integrated balance of energy and preservation demands based on
well grounded practical skills and on theoretical expertise. EEPOCH is financed by the National
Energy Agency and local companies in Halland and these are also engaged in workshops where
The qualitative research includes interviews for analysis on communication between different
occupational cultures to illuminate methods within and between connected professions, especially
their interdisciplinary approach. This part begins late autumn 2011.
Cautious increase of efficiency can make our built heritage useful for the future creating attractive
environments with low running costs. EEPOCH will provide the models for managing of energy
performance without diminishing cultural values in our built heritage.