78337 - Technologies for Existing Building Renovation M

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Fausto Barbolini

  • Credits 6

  • SSD ICAR/12

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Engineering of Building Processes and Systems (cod. 8829)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Sep 20, 2021 to Dec 20, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student 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, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2013
  • Desogus G., Riqualificare, integrare, sostituire - il miglioramento della prestazione energetica del patrimonio costruito, EdicomEdizioni, Monfalcone, 2018
  • Guardigli L., Edilizia e ambiente, Criteri e metodi per la valutazione della qualità ambientale degli edifici, EdicomEdizioni, Monfalcone, 2018


  • Felli P., Torricelli M.C., Del Nord R., Materiali e tecnologie dell’architettura, Laterza, Bari, 2001
  • Russo Ermolli S., D'Ambrosio V., The building retrofit challenge - programmazione, progettazione e gestione degli interventi in Europa, Alinea Editrice, Firenze, 2012
  • 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, Milano, 2010
  • Ferrante A., Adeguamento, adattabilità, architettura – teorie e metodi per la riqualificazione architettonica, energetica e ambientale del patrimonio edilizio esistente, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2012
  • Vincent Moore R., La forma della sostenibilità, Officina Edizioni, Roma, 2013
  • Barucco MA., Trabucco D. (a cura di), Architettura_Energia - un'indagine sul complesso rapporto tra la professione dell'architetto e la questione energetica, EdicomEdizioni, Monfalcone, 2007
  • Raimondo L. (a cura di), Sistemi di schermatura per il controllo solare, Edicom Edizioni, Monfalcone, 2014
  • Magrini A., Ena D., Tecnologie solari attive e passive, IV edizione, EPC Libri, Roma, 2008
  • Barbolini F., Teoria e pratica dell’architettura solare – morfologia, rendimento, strategia progettuale, http://amsdottorato.unibo.it/, 2014

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. important note: the mastery of at least one energy certification software is required to verify the performance results before and after the intervention (nb: in the computer room of the Ravenna campus, 10 PC stations are available to students equipped with Edilclima software licenses, it is possible to obtain an educational license of the same software; more support information will be given during the course)

Assessment methods

The final evaluation will be personal and expressed by the weighted average between:

1. intermediate evaluations (3) of the project work (teamwork's vote);

2. final evaluation of the project work (teamwork's vote); 

3. written examination 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 (Virtuale) is used to support learning activities, sharing informations, consulting lessons’ plan and materials of the course.

registration on the digital platform is mandatory.

Office hours

See the website of Fausto Barbolini