Historic buildings make a positive contribution to all aspects of sustainable development. They are more than an environmental and cultural asset; they are an important driver for economic development and delivering social objectives. This paper looks at the factors that need to be considered in order to assess the sustainable performance of listed buildings. It is increasingly recognised in the buildings sector that a balance needs to be struck between comfortable living conditions and energy efficiency. Being sustainable means that historic edifices need to adapt to modern requirements. Historic buildings provide particularly difficult challenges to manage environmentally both because alterations have to avoid destroying the historic character of the building and because changes in the internal environment can easily have adverse effects on the historic fabric. The results of detailed survey of four case-studies, including monitoring, and thermal simulation applied to historic church buildings are used in this paper to generate conclusions on the thermal efficiency, performance and risks associated with micro-climatic conditions in places of worship. The conclusions are then used as general platform with the aim to present a conceptual framework for a sustainability rating system for historic buildings. The rating system aims to balancing three factors: energy consumption; conservation; and human health and comfort. This paper highlights the key issues of revising sustainability key indicators for historic buildings, focusing on large hall structures, with the aim to include the whole range of factors that affect sustainability in the historic built environment.
Makrodimitri, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
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