Renovation and preservation of historical buildings and monuments

Renovation and preservation of historical buildings and monuments
© Fraunhofer IBP
Our experts also help planners and building owners to renovate and preserve historical monuments.

Building on expert knowledge to renovate old buildings from the point of view of energy efficiency


Monuments can only be preserved in the long term if they are used. At the same time, they have to meet today's requirements for comfort and energy efficiency. When renovating old buildings to improve their energy performance, it goes without saying that monument protection concerns must also be taken into account. Within the scope of "cultural heritage research”, the experts at Fraunhofer IBP deal specifically with the issues of moisture control and climate stability that are encountered when renovating old buildings and preserving historical monuments.

The renovation of old buildings should ideally be accompanied by an improvement in the energy efficiency of the building envelope. If exterior insulation is out of the question, interior insulation is generally the only alternative. However, this poses special challenges for the design of the building as far as moisture balance is concerned. Due to the lack of space where connections are located and the increase in room humidity, insulation measures must be planned and executed with particular care.

Based on hygrothermal simulations, as well as laboratory and building-related tests, we analyze interior insulation solutions and use the results to improve the indoor climate.

Among others, we offer planners and building owners the following services:

  • On the basis of comprehensive climate monitoring, we carry out risk analyses and, if necessary, develop suggestions for improvement.
  • We assess, develop or optimize renovation concepts to improve the energy efficiency of  historical buildings with their special needs. 
  • For manufacturers, we check the suitability of products specifically designed for renovating old buildings. To this end, we test systems either on our open-air field test site or on a listed building at the Fraunhofer Center for Conservation and Energy Performance of Historic Buildings.
  • We develop air-conditioning strategies that not only protect and preserve cultural assets, but also aim at improving energy efficiency and visitor comfort. For this purpose, we combine a comprehensive on-site analysis with the possibilities of numerical simulation.
  • For old buildings worthy of protection, we develop renovation measures tailored to material requirements and suitable for listed buildings (e.g. reversible).

Through bundling a wide range of expertise, we can offer integrated solutions to challenging issues in the field of monument preservation and renovation.

Moisture control planning with WUFI®

By simulating hygrothermal conditions in buildings, the impact of measures affecting the indoor climate or the modification of building components can be assessed in advance.

Cultural heritage research

Fraunhofer IBP conducts research on the preservation of material cultural assets. The services and expertise of the various departments are bundled in “cultural heritage research”.