Preservation of historical monuments, building conservation and energy efficiency

The preservation of historical buildings and energy efficiency do not necessarily have to be in conflict with one another. At the Fraunhofer Center for Conservation and Energy Performance of Historic Buildings in Benediktbeuern, scientists are researching into energy-efficient renovation methods that are suitable for listed buildings. In times of increasing ecological awareness and against the background of the global debate on climate change, the need to save energy in the building sector is growing. This also applies to listed buildings. However, it makes no sense to convert every single historical building into a PlusEnergy house. Bearing in mind the value of the historical monuments and the respective possibilities and implementation constraints, solutions tailored to individual requirements must be found.

Fraunhofer Center for Conservation and Energy Performance of Historic Buildings in Benediktbeuern

In order to provide tradesmen, architects, engineers, monument conservationists and other interested parties with the latest research results and consulting services, the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP and several partners set up the Fraunhofer Center for Conservation and Energy Performance of Historic Buildings in Benediktbeuern.

Numerous issues, such as investigating and evaluating energy efficiency, comfort and the potential of wall heating systems to prevent damage have already been studied here in detail. In Benediktbeuern, the development of materials and technologies to preserve historical monuments is also being driven forward, e.g. reversible building component solutions for insulating the interior of historical buildings. New techniques for preserving historic windows and improving their energy performance are also being investigated. Further research topics include removing contaminants/pollutants from wood, protecting historical beam heads from destruction by microorganisms and acoustics in historical buildings. The life cycle of construction products and buildings is also playing an increasingly important role.

Areas of expertise

  • Development of general concepts for renovating historical buildings
  • Assessment of the compatibility of measures for historical buildings in terms of sustainability and damage prevention
  • Development of materials and technologies for preserving monuments
  • Development of insulating materials, e.g. from renewable sources (typha)
  • Development of a reversible interior insulation system
  • Computational evaluation of solutions, e.g. for repairing roofs or insulating interiors
  • Mortar used to preserve historical monuments and buildings, lime and clay - materials and processing
  • Building and material pathology; microbiological building forensics: identifying and eliminating or preventing microbial problems and damage related to historical buildings and monuments
  • Concepts for technical building equipment in historical buildings and control technologies
  • Energy sources and regenerative energies in listed buildings
  • Acoustics in historical buildings
  • Room acoustics
  • Sound insulation between rooms / impact sound transmission
  • Organ acoustics


  • Analysis and monitoring of buildings
  • Hygrothermal building simulation with WUFI®
  • Determination of hygrothermal material properties
  • Field studies
  • Identification and classification of materials of biological origin (e.g. wood, fibers)
  • Analysis of pollutants / determination of historical wood preservatives
  • Analysis of materials and mortar
  • Analysis and identification of salts harmful to building materials
  • Acoustic measurement methods (impact sound transmission, reverberation time etc.)
  • Life cycle analysis / “gray energy”

How to become a partner

In order to guarantee a high level of practical relevance, research projects are often carried out in cooperation with partners from the construction industry. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have a research issue!




EU project EFFESUS

As part of the EU project EFFESUS, an international consortium researched into new ways to improve the energy efficiency of historic buildings in urban districts (duration 2012 to 2016).


Product Development

Renewable raw materials to preserve historical monuments

Typhaboard - an innovative solution for interior insulation: Renovation of a half-timbered building in Nuremberg.



Energy-efficient renovation of half-timbered buildings

Half-timbered houses usually have a homely appearance and their dark wooden beams radiate a rustic coziness. However, if the historical walls are to be renovated to make them more energy-efficient, there are a number of challenges involved and special expertise is required.