Education | Participation | Research » Climate Mitigation in Heritage Buildings

Expert seminar in Croatia

On October 6-7, 2020 our partner – Croatia Green Building Council – organized in Zagreb an expert seminar inaugurating the project “Mitigation of climate change in historic buildings”. During the seminar, experts representing various groups of project stakeholders shared their experiences and insights on mitigating climate change through revitalization and energy renovation of heritage buildings in Poland and Croatia.

The aim of the seminar was to collect examples of good practices and system solutions that could be applied in the countries participating in the project. The analysis of opportunities and challenges in the field of comprehensive renovation of historic buildings, taking into account climate change mitigation, will be part of the publication summarizing the project.

Croatian Program for Energy Renovation of Buildings with Status of Cultural Heritage for Period 2021-2030 

The seminar began with the presentation of the national program of comprehensive energy revitalization of historic buildings, developed by the energy agency REGEA – the North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency with the Croatian Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets. The program will result in increasing the energy efficiency of historic buildings and reducing their maintenance costs. Representatives of the Croatian Ministry of Culture presented conservation guidelines for the program, regulating cooperation with conservators supervising the protection of monuments. Speakers also drew attention to the new challenges faced by managers of historic buildings, resulting from the magnitude 5.4 earthquake on March 22, 2020, which also affected the historic centre of Zagreb.

Expert presentation during the seminar. Photo CGBC

Good practices from Karolvac and Varaždin

The participants of the seminar learned about the results of the project “Energy renovation of the City Administration building” in the city of Karlovac – a member of the European network of cities “Energy Cities” as well as the plans to revitalize historic buildings in the city of Varaždin. Throughout the whole seminar, participants discussed the possible ways of collaboration between different stakeholders when preparing the revitalization plans for historic buildings, increasing their energy efficiency and reducing their carbon footprint, taking into account economic, social, climatic and conservation aspects.

During the seminar, selected technological solutions usable in the energy renovation of wooden and brick buildings were presented, supported by the results of current scientific research.

Energy Centre Bračak in a revitalized castle from the 19th century

The highlight of the seminar was a visit to Energy Centre Bračak that is a headquarter of the REGEA (North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency). The castle, built in 1889 by the Kulmer family, in the years 1947-2007 was the seat of a children’s hospital for lung diseases. After the construction of a new hospital complex, the deserted castle underwent a thorough revitalization and energy renovation and became an active centre for the promotion of energy transformation.

Bračak castle after renovation, source: Energy Centre Bračak

The results of the seminar will be used by a team of experts involved in the project to develop a practical publication and prepare a series of workshops for people who are involved in the process of revitalizing historic buildings at the local level.

Concluding discussion in Energy Centre Bračak, photo Ewelina Pękala, Sendzimir Foundation

All project activities will be carried out simultaneously in Croatia and Poland, in cooperation with the Sendzimir Foundation and GBC Croatia.


Tuesday, 6.10.2020., Zagreb, Croatia

09:00 – 09:15 Welcome and coffee

09:15 – 09:45 Welcome and introduction of participants/ project (representative, CGBC; representative, SF)

09:45 – 10:15 Presentation of the document “Croatian National Renovation Programme for the Cultural Heritage Buildings in terms of energy efficiency and sustainable renovation practices” and discussion about the Polish context, Velimir Šegon, REGEA

10:15 – 10:45 Renovation of historical buildings in Poland from a sustainable development perspective and results of the CoolBricks project, Waldemar Affelt, Department of Conservation, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń; Co2ol Bricks Project 

10:45 – 11:15 Reducing the heat consumption of historical buildings in Poland, Piotr Kosinski, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Geoengineering

11:15 – 11:45 Traditional methods in renovation of historical buildings, Filip Gawlinski, art historian, renovation of wooden architecture in Żuławy region in Poland

11:45 – 11:50 Short break

11:50 – 12:10 Energy preservation of heritage buildings, Mirna Sabljak/Kristina Zloušić-Idjaković, Ministry of Culture and Media, Republic of Croatia

12:10 – 12:30 Renovation of cultural heritage buildings on the level of local government, Robert Vodopić, City of Karlovac

12:30 – 12:50 Industry representatives on heritage buildings renovation and preservation, Nenad Karalija, MAPEI

12:50 – 13:00 Q&A Session

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

Wednesday, 7.10.2020., Zabok, Croatia

09:45 – 10:00 Welcome and coffee

10:00 – 10:05 Introduction to Castle Bračak, Julije Domac, REGEA Director

10:05 – 10:40 Overview of renewed manor Bračak Energy Center in use by REGEA, Srećko Vrček, REGEA

10:40 – 11:30 Tour of Bračak Energy Center for all the participants, Miljenko Jagarčec, REGEA

11:30 – 11:45 Coffee break

11:45 – 12:15 Renovation of cultural heritage buildings on the level of local government, Sandra Malenica, Deputy Mayor, City of Varaždin

12:15 – 12:45 Position of conservationists on renovation and preservation of heritage buildings, Ana Škevin Mikulandra, Croatian Conservation Institute

12:45 – 13:45 Defining the main challenges in the field of Climate Mitigation in Heritage, Buildings (energy efficiency/thermal modernization/energy renovation) – workshop discussion (Ana Škevin Mikulandra, Croatian Conservation Institute, Sandra Malenica, City of Varaždin, Marko Zlonoga, REGEA, Nenad Karalija, MAPEI, Tomasz Jelenski, Sendzimir Foundation)

13:45 –14:30 Summary and Lunch

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