Paper 424

Teaching experience with the Historic Building Energy Retrofit Atlas – HiBERatlas

Authors: Alexandra Troi (1), (2), Dagmar Exner (2) and Franziska Haas (2)

  1. Faculty of Design, Coburg University of Applied Research, Am Hofbräuhaus 1, 96450 Coburg, Germany
  2. Institute for Renewable Energy, Eurac Research, Drususallee 1, 39100 Bozen, Italy


Having tomorrow’s architects energized at retrofitting historic buildings might be decisive for bringing towards zero our building stock’s carbon emissions while maintaining the values of historic buildings and city centres. To reach this aim, the authors worked with the recently developed Historic Building Energy Retrofit Atlas ( in an elective course at the faculty of design in Coburg/Germany for architecture and interior design bachelor students as well as students of the master Heritage Design. The HiBERatlas presents best practice examples starting from a description of the building’s architecture and heritage values, presenting the overall aim and concept of the retrofit project, only after that explaining the single retrofit solutions and closing with some key figures on the performance. All this supported by photos and drawings which illustrate the single aspects. Since this structure reflects also the good practice in retrofit design, it seemed suitable also for teaching students how to handle the energy retrofit of a historic building: By documenting good case studies, which had been awarded for their ambitious energetic renovation, students gain deep insight into the architectural design and technical implementation. An excursion to the buildings with contact to the architects and building owners was an important part of the course, since the face-to -face meetings with the – often very engaged and enthusiastic – building owners helped understand the reasons behind decisions. The wish of students to however get at the beginning a clear guidance on “what should be done” when retrofitting historic buildings, was addressed in the second editions of the course with a bit more theoretic input in the early classes, but at the same time the clear message, that there are no “one fits all” solutions for the retrofit of historic buildings.

Keywords: HiBERatlas, experimental study format, architecture, best practice retrofit, historic buildings.

Please note:

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