Project facts

Duration: 2015-01-01 - 2020-06-30
Project coordinator: AALBORG UNIVERSITET
Project consortium: Aalborg Universitet (DK), Rigas Tehniska Universitate (LV), Technische Universitaet Dresden (DE), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (BE), Universita Politecnica Delle Marche (IT), Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (IT), Rise Research Institutes of Sweden AB (SE), Haute École Spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale (CH), Intro Flex APS (DK), Erik Moller Arkitekter AS (DK)
Funding bodies: H2020-EE-2014-1-PPP-CALL Work Programme EE3-2014 Energy strategies and solutions for deep renovation of historic building
Subject areas: Building physics, Built Heritage, Energy efficient restoration, Sustainability, Threats
Budget: € 5 331 375


Historic builidings built prior to 1945 make up a significant part of the European building stock. Most of these building have great architectonic and cultural value, but they also consume almost 40% of the total energy consumption and is responsible for 36% of CO2 emissions of building in Europe. Therefore, historic buildings are important focus area in order to reach the EU climate and energy targets.

Potentially 15-20% of the total energy consumption in the building can be saved by installing internal insulation at the external walls. However, internal insulation is a very complex measure involving several variables and risks with possible failures and high costs. RIBuilt investigated historic buildings erected prior to World War II, focusing on heavy external walls made of stone and brick as most historic buildings are made of these materials.

Impacts & Results

The RIBuild project summarizes the latest research on internal insulation in historic buildings. The website transforms the research into guidelines about visual assessment of a building, possible damages and moisture risks, and tools to collect building specific data and select internal insulation solutions.

The project includes ten research institutions and companies from Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. Hence, RIBuild covers diverse climates and building traditions which resulted in guidelines applicable to historic buildings all over Europe. Anybody with an interest in building physics, retrofitting or energy efficient restoration can benefit from the guidelines.

The process research was designed in four steps:

1. Screening: 

  • Survey of the historic building stock in each participant country focused on materials and structures;
  • Review of existing guidelines and technologies on internal insulation;
  • Characterisation of the most common materials and property data for historic buildings;
  • Determining threshold values for failure of building structures and materials, for instance for mould growth or rot in wooden structures.

2. Case studies & laboratory tests: 

  • Monitoring internal insulation systems of historic building in the participating countries;
  • On-site and laboratory tests of wall constructions retrofitted with various internal insulation systems under various climate condiitons;
  • Compilation of data from the case studies into databases for the evaluation of internal insulation systems under different realistic conditions.

3. Development of methodologies: 

  • Hygrothermal assessment of building components;
  • Life Cycle Assessment and energy-saving potential;
  • Cost/benefit assessment.

4. Guidelines: 

  • Development of guidelines for decision-making and practical installation of internal insulation based on RIBuild research;
  • Development of interactive tools.