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Robust Internal Thermal Insulation of Historic Buildings


EU contribution
Total costs
Funding programme
EE 3 - 2014: Energy strategies and solutions for deep renovation of historic buildings


RIBuild was an EU research project that investigated in depth how and under what conditions internal thermal insulation can be employed. Research activities included on-site case studies as well as simulations and laboratory measurements of materials. The  RIBuild project resulted in comprehensive guidelines on how to install internal thermal insulation in historic buildings. The purpose was to reduce energy consumption in historic buildings in order to meet the EU 2020 climate and energy targets.

The RIBuild project summarizes the latest research on internal insulation in historic buildings. Its website transforms the research into guidelines about visual assessment of your building, possible damages and moisture risks, and tools to collect building specific data and select internal insulation solutions.

The project includes ten research institutions and companies from Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland and has been running since 2015. Hence, RIBuild covers diverse climates and building traditions which will result in guidelines applicable to historic buildings all over Europe. Anybody with an interest in building physics, retrofitting or energy efficient restoration can benefit from the guidelines.


Research data and publications published by RIBuild can be accessed here

Throughout the project a large number of publications and conference papers have been published by several authors through the project. 


The overall approach of the RIBuild research process can be divided into four parts:


  • Survey of the historic building stock in each participant country focused on materials and structure;
  • Review of existing guidelines and technologies on internal insulation;
  • Characterisation of the most common materials and property data for historic buildings;
  • Determining threshold values for the failure of building structures and materials, for instance for mould growth or rot in wooden structures. 

Case studies and laboratory tests:

  • Monitoring internal insulation systems of historic buildings in the participating countries;
  • On-site and laboratory tests of wall constructions retrofitted with various internal insulation systems under various climate conditions;
  • Compilation of data from the case studies was compiled into databases for the evaluation of internal insulation systems under different realistic conditions.

Development of probabilistic methodologies for:

  • Hygrothermal assessment of building components;
  • Evaluation of building performances;
  • Life Cycle Assessment and energy-saving potential;
  • Cost/benefit assessment.

Development of guidelines

  • Development of guidelines for decision-making and practical installation of internal insulation based on RIBuild research;
  • Evaluation and demonstration of the guidelines in order to validate their efficiency and positive impact on the energy performance of historic buildings.


Ernst Jan de Place Hansen
Danish Building Research Institute at Aalborg University Copenhagen