General idea for the project

Linking energy renovation to local authorities’ energy planning strategies by using digital technologies (web platform & geolocalised data (GIS layers)) to support the various stakeholders (private property owners and local authorities in particular) in reducing the energy and climate footprint of the building stock, particularly older buildings with heritage value.

Bâtiments à valeur patrimoniale des centres urbains
Detailed summary of the project

The historeno project aims to develop an integrated cross-border platform to support the renovation of historic urban centres in order to decarbonise and reduce energy demand and local air pollution associated with old buildings with heritage value (i.e. those built before 1945 and/or benefiting from protection measures). To achieve this, the platform is based on this website and an energy potential calculation tool in web format that can be connected to geographic information systems (GIS) such as the cantonal geoportals in Switzerland. This platform includes analysis grids to help planners get started on an energy renovation project for an old building by combining administrative, technical and heritage requirements. Analysis sheets for buildings on their site and feedback sheets on energy renovations carried out on these buildings are also available. A calculation tool that can retrieve geodata completes the platform. It incorporates building types to help building owners guide their energy renovation choices by working both on reducing energy demand (by improving the thermal envelope) and on replacing the production of heat, which is often fossil fuel-based, with a renewable energy supply (to reduce the carbon footprint and limit local air pollution). This calculation tool allows you to contribute to the energy pre-audit phase of your building by drawing on best practice. This tool has been developed in close collaboration with the stakeholders and the calculation rules in force, to ensure that it will continue to be used after the end of the Interreg historeno project.

The link below allows you to download the project work plan. Some of the results are presented in the “Resources” section of this website.

Context and issues associated with the renovation of old buildings and buildings with heritage value in urban centres

The historeno project is a response to the current issues surrounding the enhancement of cultural historic buildings, while at the same time proposing solutions for adapting them to the challenges of sustainable development. The historeno project deals with reducing the energy demand of these buildings and the pollution associated with winter heating (greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants). One of the main challenges remains to convince owners to carry out energy renovations on these buildings and to provide incentives to do so. For older, historic buildings, it is not always possible to “replicate” the “standard” energy renovation solutions applicable to existing buildings that are not protected or do not have a heritage character. This may explain, among other things, why their renovation rate remains very low. In Switzerland, for example, the energy renovation rate for historic buildings (i.e. those dating from before 1945) is 1% per year for collective buildings, compared with 1.8% for buildings dating from the 1970s, according to a study by Jakob et al (2014). The energy renovation of older and historic buildings therefore remains limited, in particular because of the complexity of the operations linked in particular to heritage protection and the limited space of town centres. In total, if we look at buildings built before 1945, this still represents almost 500,000 buildings out of a total of 1,666,276 buildings in the current stock (OFS, 2018), or 32%. The problem of renovating this segment of the stock (i.e. buildings built before 1945, whether protected or not) is by no means negligible.

The note drawn up by the HEIG-VD in May 2020 and available at the link below sets out the various issues associated with renovating the old and historic buildings in our urban centres, towns and villages.

Download the briefing note on the context and issues associated with historeno
Pilot regions
Canton of Vaud (VD)
Canton of Valais (VS)
Canton of Geneva (GE)
Canton of Jura (JU)
Canton of Bern (BE)
Canton of Neuchâtel (NE)
Department of Jura (F)
Department of Doubs (F)
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Scientific and technical partners