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Beside of the two basic work packages Management (WP1) and Communication (WP2) the project work is seperated in three thematic work packages:


Policy Development:

Workpackage 3 Policy Development was working on forwarding the political discussion on national and transnational level about the installation of new cooperation models between administrative institutions, architects, engineers, housing and building companies and affected building owners, to implement new strategies for technical, administrative and historically adequate approaches, to create the political and administrative basis to implement the technical, educational and economical solutions and to declare a transnational common position.

Through the project, similarities between the partner countries have been clarified but also the many differences. The partners have different backgrounds - from the cultural heritage and educational sector, local governments, researchers and private businesses - which have learned to recognise the differences between the countries approaches and each other along the project. All partner countries have ratified international conventions such as UNESCO, ICOMOS Venice Charter etc. but make different interpretation of the contents which results in different approaches regarding conservation of cultural heritage. They also have very different conditions regarding e.g. economy, energy goals and supply, the condition of buildings and historic background etc.

In some countries, there are no energy efficiency measures at all in the protected buildings and therefore, there is no discussion or issue on what to actually do. Performing energy certification is another example - while both energy assessments and energy certificates are accomplished in historic buildings in other countries. The utility of establishing energy certificates in historic buildings can be questioned as profits and the numbers of buildings is small in the context of all new and existing buildings. On the other hand if the energy certificates would adapt to historic buildings and their specific conditions – performing energy audits, measurements on the actual building and suggestions for energy saving measures were customised and evaluated by expertise - historic buildings might contribute to EU’s energy goals and climate protection to a  greater degree than today.

The project experience is that European directives, national legislation and action plans for improving energy efficiency are shaped by new buildings or existing, modern buildings and focus on the energy saving measures to be most cost effective - at present. In the current climate- and energy debate on energy efficient buildings the focus is only on energy use in the operational phase – not on the value of energy that is embodied in existing structures in the building materials etc. The historic buildings are usually handled either by exemption or not at all. Very few policy instruments highlight neither opportunities nor the adjustments that must be made, specific expertise and processes to work with protected buildings.

Work package 3 (WP3) Policy Development, has through discussions with practitioners, researchers and stakeholders and by following other work packages of the project, drawn conclusions which policies need to be developed to implement the methods, technical solutions, training programs etc needed for improve the conditions of energy efficiency of historic buildings. These conclusions create the foundation of the strategic Policy Paper and the recommendations posted in the Co2olBricks Joint Declaration.

  • “Integration of “Climate Protection” and “Cultural Heritage” aspects in municipal policy and development plans” (2013) - download

    The main aim of this report is to advance the political discussion on the national and transnational level about the political and administrative anchoring of the essential combination of climate protection and preserving cultural heritage. Therefore examples for several instruments to balance heritage preservation with climate protection are given, e.g., concerning laws, urban development, public funding, standards.

  • The Situation of Climate Protection and Cultural Heritage - Baseline study of Work Package 3 "Policy Development (2012)" - download

    The baseline study is an inventory of the administrative and legislative situation regarding the management of cultural heritage and energy efficiency questions in each participating country as collected by the Project Partners. The objective of the baseline study is to identify issues and topics that need to be brought forward in the Project Partners’ stakeholder groups and roundtable meetings in order to fulfil the main aim of Work Package 3: Advancing the political discussion on a national and transnational level about the political and administrative anchoring of the essential combination of climate protection and cultural heritage aspects.


Technical Innovations:

Focus of the activities within Workpackage 4 Technical Solutions was to achieve its goals in four main topic areas:

  • Research
  • Best practice example
  • Technical solutions
  • Pilot projects

The aim was to compile examples and results concerning energy-saving weak points and potentials of buildings with historical value. The three pilot projects have had the goal to implement, monitor and evaluate energy saving measures in historic buildings. The results of the first three topics are published in the brochure “Improving the energy efficiency of historic buildings - A handbook of best practice examples, technical solutions and research projects”, and complemented by an abstract about the output “building analysis”. The pilot projects are described in a separate booklet.

In all the topics theory meets practice, meaning that the calculated energy efficiency rehabilitation measures were identified and tested under real conditions in existing buildings. The outcome is the published handbook of commonly used and innovative methods which documents the experiences collected by the project partners during the selection and assessment process. It becomes clear that there are some similarities but also many differences concerning the methods and their implementation in the participating countries with their differing climate zones and types of buildings. Most of the projects were rehabilitation projects that had been implemented earlier. But Co2olBricks also conducted some research projects itself in order to investigate certain questions, like the one concerning the effect of various internal insulation methods work in different climates and different types of buildings.


In the four countries Estonia, Germany, Poland, and Sweden, research was conducted:

  • In Estonia, in the city of Kohtla-Järve, four different internal insulation materials were tested under the climate conditions of Estonia and it was analysed how they influenced the hygrothermal behaviour of the wall. Also in Estonia, in the city of Tartu, the energy consumption for 19 buildings was assessed using real consumption data. Two of these buildings were further investigated in detail.
  • In Germany, in the city of Hamburg, four flats in a brick building were equipped with two different heating systems and some of them additionally with internal insulation. The hygrothermal behaviour of the wall was measured under the varying weather conditions.
  • In Poland, a historic manor house was investigated. The original refurbishment concept was evaluated and was considered to be not energy-efficient enough. So a new concept was set up taking into consideration various energy efficiency measures for historic buildings in order to achieve considerable energy savings.
  • In Sweden the economically feasible energy saving potential of different measures for a large former hospital has been calculated.
Best Practice Examples

In Denmark, Belarus, Germany, Finland and Sweden, a wide range of best practice examples were collected and analysed. Very different buildings are listed, ranging from a castle from the 16th century to a residential building from 1971. All the examples show common and new methods as well as the wide variety of different approaches used in the participating countries. One interesting point is that the small and large-scale measures which are presented show that small measures can already save a considerable amount of energy without touching the structure of the building.

Examples of technical solutions

Based on the best practice examples, main aspects of certain energy saving possibilities such as insulation, shading systems, ventilation, heating systems and home automation are assessed. The aim was to find and present measures whose implementation does not alter the historic building itself. The authors of the examples describe the main pros and cons of the systems which, when correctly installed, can save considerable amounts of energy.

Building Analysis

The aim concerning the energy refurbishment of historic buildings should not be to save as much energy as technically thinkable but instead to implement as many measures as possible without destroying heritage values or, worse, damaging the historic structure completely. Therefore the rehabilitation and improvement of the energy efficiency of a historic building is much more complex than that of a ‘normal’ building. Therefore the last chapter deals with building analysis methods for energy-saving measures, taking into account the conservation of historical value. The common experiences are summed up in the description of a process analysis. The described process shows how, in an iterative process of assessing the historical value and technical energy saving measures, an optimal solution can be found. Optimal solution in this case means the best compromise between the improvement of the building, the preservation of the historical value, the reduction of energy use and costs and the optimisation of the buildings usability.

  • “Improving the Energy Efficiency of Historic Buildings – A handbook of best practice examples, technical solutions and research projects” (2013) - download

    The handbook gives an overview of the results that have been gained by the Co2olBricks work group Technical Solutions. The aim was to compile examples and results concerning energy-saving weak points and potentials of buildings with historical value. In all the topics theory meets practice, meaning that the calculated energy efficiency rehabilitation measures were identified and tested under real conditions in existing buildings. The outcome is this handbook of commonly used and innovative methods which documents the experiences collected by the Project Partners during the selection and assessment process.

  • “Improving the energy efficiency of historic buildings – The four pilot projects of Co2olBricks” (2013) - download

    The brochure documents the planning, the implementation and the results of the four pilot projects in Kiel, Hamburg, Riga and Kohtla-Järve. Additionally, the example of a concept for a historic quarter in the case of Kiel-Elmschenhagen is presented.

  • Refurbishment for the energy efficiency of historic buildings in member states in the Baltic Sea Region - A handbook of the “most common methods for improvements to energy efficiency” - Baseline study of Work Package 4 "Technical Innovations (2012)" - download
    The aim of the handbook is to shine a light on the current methods used for refurbishment for energy efficiency in historic brick buildings in the Baltic Sea Region. It serves as an exchange for various experiences and shows the different standards in the participating countries. Therefore the handbook consists of different examples of refurbishment for energy efficiency in Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden.



Workpackage 5 Education and Economic Promotion aimed to upgrade the knowledge and education of architects, engineers, craftsmen, etc. to harmonise their curricula with the objective of an open market.
Main work was the development of different learning packages.
For the investigation of the relevant issues, a baseline study adapted from a specific questionnaire about the national educational situation and the labour market was conducted including the following conclusions:

  • There is a lack of knowledge on historical techniques;
  • Property owners must also be involved in educational courses and must be given advice how to make buildings more energy efficient;
  • The market must be stimulated so that consumers understand that specific expertise is urgently needed and that they demand this expertise from the planners and building companies;
  • The general public must be informed and given a message that they are able to reduce expenses for energy consumption by carefully applying latest renovation technologies;
  • Vocational training must be market-oriented with the focus on local needs;
  • The specialists need to have informal meetings to share knowledge.

The lectures, presentations and other educational, recommendation and credential materials were prepared for public in general, house owners and stakeholders, building companies, apprentices in crafts of bricklayers, plasterers, lagging, construction and architecture students, working craftsmen, architects, building supervising staff, energy auditors.
Important categories of learning packages are:

  • Cultural heritage and historic constructions
  • Energy efficient refurbishment measures and technical services (heating, ventilation, indoor climate).


The education materials concentrate on the questions of how to apply new materials on old buildings, the techniques, common background, and effects if something is done wrongly. Education at universities includes more theoretical knowledge, knowledge about cultural heritage, whereas craftsmen are educated in understanding the building, construction, materials, refurbishment concepts and lifecycle of the building.

The material treats the following aspects as well:

  • History of brick masonry constructions in the Baltic Sea Region
  • Calculation of thermal conductivity and moisture regimes in historical buildings
  • Refurbishment measures of historic masonry construction
  • Lifecycle analysis of a building
  • Innovative heating systems and their usage in historic buildings
  • Management stages of construction projects, planning of the refurbishment process
  • Public procurement in the construction market
  • Evaluation of rationality of investment
  • Typical structural damages in historic buildings
  • Construction ware and products used for renewal of historical buildings.
  • Educational Situation and Labour Market Conditions in the Baltic Sea Region - Baseline Study of Work Package 5 "Education and Economic Promotion (2012)" - download

    The main aim of this baseline study is to collect and present descriptive information and comparable data to understand the specifics and necessities of each project country, to know the complexity of the labour market and the education system in the Baltic Sea Region and to name the main problems which can be met within the Co2olBricks project in the education and economic promotion section.