Paper 364

Sustainability assessment of restored historic buildings: Case study of Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt–Representation analysis of the building and site

Authors: M Aboulnaga (1), P Puma (2) and M Elsharkawy (3)

  1. Professor of Sustainable Built Environments, Dept. of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt
  2. Associate Professor, PhD Representation and Survey of Architecture and Environment, Dept. of Architecture at University of Florence, Italy
  3. Assistant Professor, Dept. of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt


The study examines the sustainability of a restored historical building –Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis, Cairo in terms of its environmental, social, and economic aspects as well as cultural impacts. It assesses how the restoration of a deserted palace brings about a sustainable and cultural node, yet transforms the landscape use and sustains the district’s heritage. Two approaches were exploited to assess the historical building: the first approach is inductive (review of the case study before and after restoration, its impacts on livability); and second is a field approach based on site visits to collect data on the environmental and energy consumption (energy audit); social sustainability (visitors’ patterns); and economic sustainability (jobs opportunity). Results revealed that the social and cultural values prioritized and the youth represents 71% of the visitors/hr during COVID-19. The environmental and energy audit assessment shows that the restoration met RIBA’s energy efficiency benchmark (50kWh/m2(good) and 70kWh/m2(typical)). For the economic sustainability, tickets are affordable and the palace creates 38 jobs. The social media analysis indicates a high interaction.The restored palace is a unique example of adhering to the city’s cultural values. Finally, it shows the significance for historical palace transformation on the community.

Keywords: Sustainability assessment; restoration; historic buildings; landscape transformation; Baron Empain palace; Egypt.

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This paper is for personal use during the conference and may not be divulged to others.