78337 - Technologies for Existing Building Renovation M

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the pupil is able to deal with and develop, up to the detail of some of its parts, a project to preserve / modify an existing building artifact, by recognizing the forms of degradation and functional deficiency, identifying the economic viability and effective and adequate techniques for rehabilitation and improvement of energy performances.

Course contents

The challenge that involves a large part of the current construction production is increasingly oriented towards sustainable upgrading / regeneration of existing building heritage, to heavily reduce the not-urbanized land consumption aiming at the zero balance between new building construction and demolition of existing too. The field of building recovery technology is understood to be primarily functional for the energy upgrading of underperforming building assets, since this is currently one of the most impacting environmental issues related to co2 emissions and at the same time represents a challenge for building process operators. The methods for the energy retrofit of existing building are multifaceted and structured on different levels of approach / intervention. These may vary from the simple "best use" of energy resources for the building system (optimization of consumption, energy saving) and the improved performance of building components, to the complete replacement of the entire building in particularly problematic cases. This last solution is intended as the "maximum level" of energy efficiency.

Therefore, the designer role in the current construction context provides a well-structured and "aware" knowledge of the most current and effective intervention strategies and technologies available, aimed at reducing energy consumption and co2 emissions by existing building stock.

The lessons will cover a process of knowledge of energy retrofit and regeneration techniques by deepening the typologies of intervention on the fundamental dispersing components of the building envelope: opaque components (external vertical walls, horizontal and sloping roofs, groundfloor or unheated spaces) and transparent components (window frames, glazing systems), according to a methodology that primarily focuses on "passive" interventions on the existing envelope (energy conservation). At the same time, the main solar systems and their integration into architectural morphology will be analyzed, characterizing the "active" approach to meet the energy needs of existing buildings.

The aim of energy improvement of existing social housing is set as the reference theme. This will provide the inspiration for a design work where student groups will apply the intervention approaches learned during the course by verifying their performance output.

Theoretical lessons will alternate technical information meetings with some production companies, wich produce components and materials for the recovery and the energy efficiency of the building envelope.



  • Antonini E., Boeri A., Longo D., Edilizia sociale ad alta densità – strumenti di analisi e strategie di rigenerazione: il quartiere Pilastro a Bologna, Mondadori, 2013
  • Zannoni G., Trabucco D., Gaspari J., Involucro edilizio e aspetti di sostenibilità – riflessioni sul comportamento energetico di pareti massive e stratificate iperisolate: performances ambientali ed embodlied energy, Franco Angeli, 2010
  • Ferrante A., Adeguamento, adattabilità, architettura – teorie e metodi per la riqualificazione architettonica, energetica e ambientale del patrimonio edilizio esistente, Mondadori, 2012


  • Leoni G., Maffei S. (a cura di), La casa popolare – storia istituzionale e storia quotidiana dello IACP di Modena. 1907-1997, Electa, 1998
  • Guardigli L., Edilizia e ambiente, Criteri e metodi per la valutazione della qualità ambientale degli edificiEdicomEdizioni, 2018
  • Barbolini F., Teoria e pratica dell’architettura solare – morfologia, rendimento, strategia progettuale, http://amsdottorato.unibo.it/, 2014
  • Felli P., Torricelli M.C., Del Nord R., Materiali e tecnologie dell’architettura, Laterza, 2001

Teaching methods

The course is structured in a theoretical part (lessons and technical information) and in a practical part (design work). The practical part involves subsequent phases of design documentations (preliminary design, design development, construction documents) and verification according to the design methods applied for energy renovation.

Assessment methods

The final evaluation will be personal and expressed by the weighted average of the intermediate evaluations (project work) and the oral discussion on topics related to the lessons, the technical information meetings with companies and the texts listed in the bibliography.

Teaching tools

Video projectors, blackboards, computer media will be used as equipment in classroom; a library of engineering course is available to students for the retrieval and consultation of the texts mentioned in the bibliography. E-Learning digital platform is used to support learning activities, sharing informations, consulting lessons’ plan and materials of the course.

Office hours

See the website of Fausto Barbolini