Education | Participation | Research » Climate Mitigation in Heritage Buildings

Renovation of historic buildings in times of climate crisis

Sendzimir Foundation and the Croatia Green Building Council are organizing a two-steps training program (online course followed by the stationary training) as a part of the “Climate Mitigation in Heritage Buildings” project. The application deadline is 3rd October.

Renovation and thermal modernization of historic buildings in times of climate crisis (English edition)

The online training will take place between October 4th – November 7th, 2021. Stationary training will be organized in late 2021 and early 2022 in Zagreb, Rijeka, and Koprivnica (Croatia). Please follow this LINK to register.

Negative impacts created by climate change – rise in temperatures, floods, and fires – are all products of the climate crisis. Buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU and thus contribute harmfully to climate change. Historic buildings, including the heritage ones, also have a big impact on greenhouse gas emissions with their outdated heating and cooling systems, lack of proper thermal insulation, ventilation, etc. that leads to higher consumption of energy, often produced from non-renewable sources. In order to mitigate such a negative influence, it is necessary to renovate and modernize historic and cultural heritage buildings to increase their energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprint.

Throughout this training program, possible solutions to adapt historic buildings to climate change and mitigate climate change by reducing energy consumption will be presented. It will cover the following intervention points (choice of technology and materials): foundations and basements, ceilings, external and internal insulation, woodwork, heating systems, ventilation, harvesting energy, and roof. The possible nature-based solutions will be also discussed in regards to historic buildings. Considering the historical and cultural significance of heritage buildings, renovation of such buildings – individual immovable cultural property, carries a sizeable number of challenges such as aligning with conservatory guidelines or choosing a sustainable solution that will not have a destructive effect on the historic value of the building.


Online stage of the program (October 4th – November 7th, 2021)

  • The training is intended for architects, conservators, engineers, contractors, project managers, members of city offices for cultural protection and energy, public administration bodies, and students. Its goal is to raise the capacity of participants in the area of sustainable heritage buildings renovation. The course will be held via an interactive and engaging online platform enabling participants from diverse countries and institutions to network and exchange experiences.
  • It consists of 3 modules, accompanied by live webinars that will bring together experts from Croatia and Poland. Each module will include reading material and an educational video, followed by the discussions within the forum sections
  • In order to complete the online course and receive a certificate, participants will have to complete appointed individual and group tasks verified by experienced tutors.
  • Apart from the webinar, which will be live, the rest of the training will take place individually at a time that suits the participants.
  • The platform will be accessed online after registration. Please enroll here. Language of the workshop: English (optional materials in Croatian).
  • Communication between participants on the platform forum will be carried out in English as the training is open to participants from all over the world. Optional materials will be in Croatian.

Course content:

  • Module 1 – Renovation and revitalization of heritage buildings as a tool to mitigate climate change.
  • Module 2 – Sustainable solutions in energy renovation.
  • Module 3 – Implementation module: possible solutions, sustainable construction – a holistic approach.


Cultural heritage and earthquake challenges (October 11, 2021, time: 10:00 – 12:10 CET)


  • Josip Atalić, PhD – works at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Civil Engineering since 2001. He obtained PhD in 2011 on the topic of traditional constructions. He is the author of about thirty scientific papers. The main areas of his research are seismic engineering, numerical modeling, and historic buildings. He is the leader of the development of national documents Disaster Risk Assessment in the Republic of Croatia – Earthquake Risk and a number of activities related to earthquake risk reduction in Croatia. After the earthquakes in Zagreb and near Petrinja, he participated in numerous activities to reduce the consequences that continue today.
  • Vedrana Likan – board member of SOS Zagreb and Managing Partner at Colliers Croatia. Vedrana was the initiator behind the idea of founding the Croatia Green Building Council back in 2008. After graduating from Political Science in Zagreb, she finished UN Academy and Academy for Political Development. Vedrana is a regular guest speaker at multiple institutions such as RIT Croatia and the Faculty of Economy and Business. In 2012 she was chosen as the “Woman of the year”. In 2019 she became the judge at Emerging Europe Awards.
  • Tomislav Petrinec – head of the Conservation Department for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia since 1997. Graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, the University of Zagreb in 1987. As the head of the department he is responsible for the preparation of conservation conditions and opinions for interventions in protected areas, he supervises protective works on individual cultural assets and prepares architectural documentation of architectural and archaeological heritage as well as conservation studies. He is a member of the expert commission of the Ministry of Culture for determining the properties of cultural property (since 2002).
  • Mihaela Zamolo – received a degree from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Zagreb. Through many years of experience, she has dealt with the topics of construction, design, expertise, earthquake engineering, cultural heritage, testing, quality management, product certification, sustainable construction, and various consulting services in product development, quality management, construction of sustainable buildings with “green” products. Mihaela has many years of experience as a member of a large number of professional societies and has been a member of various expert committees and commissions for drafting regulations in the field of construction.

A Living Future for our Past. Historical building regeneration through the Living Building Challenge (October 19, 2021, time: 15:00 – 16:00 CET)

Realized in cooperation with Living Future Europe


  • Carlo Battisti – President of Living Future Europe. He received a degree in Civil Engineering from the Politecnico of Milan and has twenty years of experience in construction companies. Master of Management and Organizational Development at MIP. Certified Project Manager IPMA®. LEED®, Living Future, and WELL Accredited Professional. USGBC® and WELL Faculty™. Innovation manager for IDM South Tyrol. Chair of the COST Action 16114 RESTORE. Since 2018 he is European Executive Director for the ILFI and now President at Living Future Europe. A Living Future Hero.
  • Bruno Deraedt – partner at BAST architects & engineers and chairman at VIBE vzw. A well-known voice in Flanders on environmental responsibility and healthy buildings. As an engineering architect, he gained a reputation in the field of sustainable construction, technical installations, and energy calculations. An altruist who always makes the connection between ecology and the housing social dimensions. Owner at, 1st LBC registered project in Belgium and 1st LBC historical building renovation in Europe.
  • Matthew Grocoff – real estate developer and founding principal of the THRIVE Collaborative, creating life-enhancing, grid-interactive buildings that harvest their own energy and water, create zero waste, are beautiful and restorative. His team is currently creating Veridian at County Farm, a 100% electric, net-zero energy, mixed-income neighborhood targeting Living Community Challenge Petal certification. His home in Michigan is America’s oldest net-zero energy building, producing more energy than it consumes.

Possible solutions, sustainable construction – a holistic approach (November 3, 2021, time: 10:00 – 11:00 CET)


  • Tomasz Jeleński, PhD – academic teacher, architect, urban planner, graduated from the Interior Architecture Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (1997); in 2005 he obtained a PhD in Architecture and Urban Planning at the Cracow University of Technology. Author of several dozen publications, mainly in the field of sustainable urban planning. In scientific research, he specializes in the issues of public space and social participation; management, durability, and resilience of cities, and the use of workshop methods in planning and design practice. Translator, incl. “Image of the city” by K. Lynch, author of the Polish version of the PPS textbook “How to process a place”.
  • Juraj Pojatina – the structural engineer, graduated from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Civil Engineering. CEO at Studio Arhing d.o.o. which was founded in 1991 in Zagreb as one of the first private design companies in Croatia. The distinction of the office is the integral design team consisting of civil engineers and architects, thus ensuring a complete engineering approach in the work. Based on long-term successful contracting and realization of businesses within the scope of design, consulting, and engineering, Studio Arhing became one of the leading companies in its branch.


Training in Zagreb, Rijeka, and Koprivnica, the second stage of the program

  • The best participants of the online training, who completed appointed tasks, will have the opportunity to join training in one of the offered cities.
  • Two-day interactive and hands-on workshops will be organized in late 2021 and early 2022 to implement the knowledge gained during the online training.
  • Participants will have an opportunity to analyze the situation of actual buildings from a given city. In cooperation with other participants and experts, they will design sustainable recommendations for particular buildings demanding renovation and thermal modernization.
  • Workshops will be held in Croatian.


The Polish edition of the course will be available between 8th November – 5th December 2021, followed by the stationary workshops in 3 Polish cities in January and February 2022. It will cover the same areas of expertise as the English edition but will take into account the conditions of historic buildings renovation and thermal modernization in Poland. The recruitment for the Polish edition will start at the end of August.

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