Building typology, energy efficiency and historical preservation: a literature review

M. Lei, A.R. Roders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Energy efficient renovations are considered effective to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings. Existing buildings of similar typology can, in principle, apply similar renovation strategies to improve their energy efficiency. That enables an urban-based approach to renovation strategies, rather than a building-based approach, with tailored surveys applied per building. Urban-based approaches are considered more resource-efficient, for taking less time, human resources and budget – as one assessment can be valid to buildings of alike typology. Building typology as a clustering principle of buildings to further understanding on the existing building stock and its diversity, has been widely theorized in earlier studies. However, its implementation to standardize renovation strategies among buildings of typologies alike is a far more recent field of research. Scholars often rank renovation strategies based on cost-benefit analysis, assuming energy efficiency and costs are the only criteria influencing the selection of renovation strategies. That is not the case for all buildings, and surely not for historical buildings, where a combination of strategies might be a better option, than one single very effective one, if this same strategy is proven to have negative impact on the cultural significance of the historical building. This paper presents and discusses the results of a review on the literature focused on energy efficiency and building typology, comparing aspects such as the theoretical framework, methods, tools and key findings, between studies with and without a focus on historical preservation. Results reveal the state-of-the-art and its knowledge gaps, and guide future research in further understanding on the application of buildings typologies to better match renovation strategies to historical buildings. Moreover, results are expected to enable the contribution of historical buildings to improve the energy efficiency of the existing building stock, now often assumed as unsustainable, and therefore excluded from energy efficiency programs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHERITAGE 2018
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development
EditorsRogério Amoêda, Sérgio Lira, Cristina Pinheiro, Juan M. Santiago Zaragoza, Julio Calvo Serrano, Fabián García Carrillo
Place of PublicationGranada, Spain
PublisherEditorial Universidad de Granada
Number of pages8
Edition10th Anniversary Edition (1st edition)
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-338-6261-7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Event6th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development: HERITAGE 2018 - Green Lines Institute for sustainable development, Granada, Spain
Duration: 12 Jun 201815 Jun 2018


Conference6th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development
Internet address


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