Reduced Footprints of Monumental Structures, Landscapes and Buildings


Pathfinder – Explores relevant climate arenas to identify and prioritise innovation opportunities


Pan European, co-ordinated from the Netherlands

July 2013

Province of Utrecht


Lodewijk le Grand, Provincie Utrecht


The built environment

Province of Utrecht
Arcadis Netherlands BV
Utrecht University – Utrecht Sustainability Unit
The centre for applied research - Buildings and Construction (CIRI), University of Bologna (UNIBO)
AIDICO Instituto Tecnológico de la Construcción, Spain (Technological Institute of Construction)
Utrecht University – Energie, Milieu & Energiewetenschappen

Due to the inefficient energy consumption of heritage buildings’, they have a significant impact on climate change. The Reduced Footprints of Monumental Structures, Landscapes & Buildings (ReFoMo) project aims to explore the potential and demand for restoration projects which would improve the energy efficiency of these buildings. Energy efficiency is desirable for tenants and owners of heritage buildings and so there is scope to develop a market providing such a service.

Heritage buildings consist of listed buildings built before 1945 and unlisted buildings with monumental, historic or iconic value. Buildings built before 1945 have a huge energy demand and contribute a significant amount to carbon emissions. Buildings in general account for 40% of total energy consumption in the EU. Climate-proof refurbishment of only half of Europe’s heritage buildings (5% of the total buildings stock) with an average of factor 4 reduction will result in a reduction of 5.6% of the total energy demand of buildings (which represents 2.25% of the total energy consumption). But due to the lack of incentive and relevant information there is currently no market for the climate-proof refurbishment of heritage buildings. Compared with modern buildings, heritage buildings have more complex thermal behaviour due to their design and structure. Consequently, many factors limit the improvement of the energy efficiency of heritage buildings and fear of irreversible damage makes testing and retrofitting difficult to carry out. Their exemption from the EU Energy Performance of Building Directive also limits incentives for retrofitting.