PRO-Heritage Project | Erasmus+

Public organisations as well as private owners of historic buildings nowadays need to meet the growing requirements of citizens in regards to accessibility, availability and usability. Many municipalities and towns with a historic centre or city block have already looked at those requirements and (pre)calculated the costs for conservation versus adaptation of historic buildings to the climate change and energy policy needs. Being owned by the State or Municipality these historic sites are usually managed and maintained by Public Servants and/or Bodies like the BHOe and utilised for several things, e.g. museums, galleries, cafés and even offices and flats. Some of these buildings are under protection or even listed as UNESCO, EHL or monument sites. For instance the BHOe has committed itself to the general Austrian goals (increasing energy efficiency by 20% and the share of renewables to 34%).

In all cases energy efficiency is not necessarily on top of the list in regards to conservation, restoration or renovation costs, however it needs to move up on those lists as the climate change and energy policy goals for historic buildings can and will play quite an important role in the future.

At the same time private owners of historic buildings are constantly looking for the best ways to maintain their properties in regards to costs and conservation. Especially the NTUK has developed sophisticated strategies for “soft” maintenance of their historic buildings, relying on traditional skills ofcraftsmen and still reducing their energy consumption by 20 % and increase the share of renewables to 50 %.

However, the loss of traditional building skills and craftsmen having appropriate competences is eminent in all European countries and will create huge problems for historic buildings owners in the near future, unless no measures are taken beforehand. PRO-Heritage aims to analyse and document options for “soft” intervention and difficulties craftsmen may encounter when working on/in and with historic buildings. 

Built Cultural Heritage very often lacks financial resources for “extras”. The main focus is on maintenance of the buildings, incl. refurbishment, renovation and conservation. By applying those “soft” ways they can even save money and ensure a constant adaption to the current needs (examples identified in our Project MODI-FY shows that the cost could be three times higher if this expertise is not available!)

Built Cultural Heritage is often managed by a Public Body or NPOs, but parts of the buildings, the complex are rented out to museums, galleries and else, which have specific needs in regards to heating, cooling and room climate

Built Cultural Heritage often lacks a holistic view on the requirements of tenants, residents, visitors as well as tourists

Built Cultural Heritage faces legal and logistic problems when it comes to refurbishment, renovation and conservation e.g. Conservation Law, thick walls consisting of various materials, agreements with tenants

Built Cultural Heritage requires much more consideration when implementing energy relevant tasks e.g. high implementation level of conservation standards, technical limitations, historically used materials, and sometimes specific procurement issues).

Nevertheless, especially publicly owned built Cultural Heritage has to fulfil several assignments, which is usually stated in a principle enactment or provincial/national law, and an important part of these assignments is to keep the historic buildings in shape for future generations; A task that is only to be achieved when the requirements of visitors, tourists and users are met. Specifically educated craftsmen are one important way of guaranteeing longevity of historic buildings and owners of built Cultural Heritage have to do their utmost in order to meet the requirements of the future.


ENGLISH HERITAGE TRUST (replace: National Trust UK)
CULTURA TRUST (CT) (former: North of England Civic Trust)
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