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)
- Professor of Sustainable Built Environments, Dept. of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt
- Associate Professor, PhD Representation and Survey of Architecture and Environment, Dept. of Architecture at University of Florence, Italy
- 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.