WIT Press

Implementation Of Urban Building Energy Modeling In Historic Districts. Seville As Case- Study


Free (open access)

Paper DOI



Volume 13 (2018), Issue 4



Page Range

528 - 540




Buildings represent 40% of the European Union’s final energy consumption and are largely of residential use. From 2006 to 2016, existing European housing stocks have been analysed at national level to make the energy refurbishment processes transparent and effective. However, at the meta-scale of regions, cities or neighbourhoods, case-by-case analysis using Building Energy Models (BEM) becomes an unfeasible decision-support tool. To try to overcome this limitation, the nascent field of Urban Building Energy Modelling (UBEM) is making substantial progress in the assessment of building energy performance at urban scale. Still, most of the UBEM projects rely upon archetypes – i.e. virtual or sample buildings illustrative of the most frequent characteristics of a particular category, and the definition and description of such archetypes may compromise their reliability. This paper presents an alternative UBEM approach, especially designed for the homogeneous historic districts of cities where a significant proportion of the buildings are under preservation rules. These rules can restrict the scope of the measures to improve their energy efficiency or limit the possibility of implementing renewable energy systems. We introduce a new parameter (HAD) to classify blocks according to their heritage asset density. HAD is then mapped onto the study-area and the sample block is selected as representative of the most frequent HAD category. Using the historic ensemble of Seville as case-study, this paper shows results in energy consumption on a district scale and proposes a set of solutions to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings while respecting the heritage preservation rules. To support consistent policy decisions, validation of these results has been carried out, by in-situ monitoring of a representative number of dwellings.


energy demand, historic buildings archetypes, mediterranean climate, residential building stock, thermal rehabilitation, urban building energy modelling, urban heritage protection