Co-creation of local eco-rehabilitation strategies for energy improvement of historic urban areas

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Energy performance and thermal comfort in historic and traditional urban environments are important because of the social and cultural requirement to conserve these areas as living entities, but also for the environmental obligation to decrease the impact of existing buildings globally. The objective of ENERPAT approach is to address this global challenge from the local perspective, through the co-creation of efficient solutions that improve the energy performance of historic areas considering local techniques and skills, taking into account the whole life cycle of the solutions, and supporting local economy and business. The objective is to test the efficiency and suitability of eco-renovation strategies that have been co-created with local stakeholders and are based on traditional energy conservation measures, as a way to work with locally-based business models that can safeguard cultural aspects and enable economic development. Two living labs have been established in the cities of Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) and Cahors (France) in two representative buildings of the historic urban area of each city. The living labs operate as inclusive multi-agent discussion arenas with a long-term vision, where multi-criteria co-creation processes are implemented to select conservation-friendly solutions based on local materials including criteria such as operational energy, impact on heritage values, quality of life, socio-economic development and easy logistics. The energy behaviour of the buildings and the hygrothermal performance of the external walls have been studied using on-site and laboratory experiments, through an efficient partnership between local authorities and universities. Likewise, local-based refurbishment solutions that were designed in the co-creation processes have been thermally characterised in the laboratory, through thermal conductivity and guarded hot box tests. Finally, the energy improvement of the whole renovation strategy has been simulated showing the enhancement of the two buildings.
Egusquiza, A., S. Ginestet, J.C. Espada, I. Flores-Abascal, C. Garcia-Gafaro, C. Giraldo-Soto, S. Claude, and G. Escadeillas. “Co-Creation of Local Eco-Rehabilitation Strategies for Energy Improvement of Historic Urban Areas.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 135 (January 2021): 110332. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2020.110332.