Working model and methods for balancing energy performance, cultural and architectural values in our built heritage
Doktorsavhandling, 2015

About 40 per cent of the energy produced within the European Union is consumed in and by the residential and business sector, and the same applies to Sweden. Today’s necessary focus on the climate issue with the concomitant energy issue connected to greenhouse gas emissions has resulted in stringent energy requirements even for preservation work on historically important buildings. The scope of this thesis is topical. It is about our built heritage and how to preserve it. The issue is current EU directives on requirements for energy efficiency implemented into national legislation combined with a lack of national inventories defining what our built heritage consists of and its values. The question is whether the historic value of our built heritage will be lost in an effort to improve energy efficiency. An imbalance of preservation and energy interests within legislation is presented, showing that the concern is justified. A model for balancing those interests to avoid one-sided valuations is therefore proposed. A transdisciplinary arena was created comprising multiple professions from academia as well as from practice because the scope is too broad to be covered by one discipline. A case study with multiple units of analysis was performed. The case study has been applied to restored buildings and the management of the preservation work carried out. The combined energy, architectural and preservation issues and the management have been investigated for use as part of the basis for the proposed model. Nine workshops have been carried out forming a transdisciplinary arena and together with the case study and studies of the disciplines and their methods they form the foundation from which the working model has emerged as an iterative design process. This thesis is a theoretical work based in large part on many professionals´ practical experiences. The overall objective was to create a working model for practical application regarding the balancing of energy and preservation demands, and furthermore to design methods for management and collaboration for engaged professions, particularly architects, the conservation professions and engineers who work with the properties and values at risk of being neglected. The premise is that most buildings must be used if they are to be preserved, and improved energy efficiency for better comfort and indoor climate and reduced energy costs is a prerequisite for their use. The aim was to design a model and methods that can provide a working environment built on transparency and mutual respect for the different professions and their skills, an environment in which participants feel free to question motives and causes of proposed actions for an enhanced understanding of their impact on specific aspects of a project and on the project as a whole. To facilitate the process, a framework for the balancing has been created consisting of documents and templates organised in a model with seven steps, intertwined with some investigated possible methods and concepts that are useful for the performance of the working model. The designed model and supporting methods can be used in various kinds of early stages in building processes, and is hence relevant for use even in countries other than Sweden.

cultural historical and architectural values

supporting methods

balancing model

case study


energy efficiency


Sven Hultins gata 6
Opponent: Prof. Elena Mussinelli


Heidi Norrström

Chalmers, Arkitektur


Hållbar utveckling


Building Futures (2010-2018)








Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 3816



Sven Hultins gata 6

Opponent: Prof. Elena Mussinelli

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