Technological Centre

HERIT4AGES: New materials for improving the energy efficiency of European cultural heritage

In CETIM, we are responsible for the R&D project of three types of complex and composite materials from various local waste, with the aim of achieving demountable construction solutions for the renovation of heritage wall, floor and ceiling.

HERIT4AGES testeará y validará las tecnologías desarolladas en cinco ‘living labs’.

Historical heritage throughout Europe represents an important part of our cultural identity. For decades, historic buildings have been an example not only aesthetically but also for the characteristics of the materials with which they were built. However, historic buildings present major challenges such as accessibility or thermal comfort in some rooms.  Providing solutions to these issues without altering the essence of the heritage are the objectives of our new Horizon Europe project: HERIT4AGES.

HERIT4AGES will develop and validate different technical and socially innovative solutions for the improvement of cultural heritage in all relevant aspects: inclusivity, accessibility, resilience, sustainability and energy efficiency. To this end, the use of technologies such as the Digital Twin Ecosystems will be key to the project, as it will guarantee the most relevant aspects of the heritage life cycle, such as design, renovation, maintenance, etc.

In HERIT4AGES, CETIM is responsible for the R&D of three types of complex and composite materials from various local waste (industrial and bio-based), replacing commercial components with a high environmental impact used in the sector, thus contributing to a circular economy and reducing the carbon footprint. These three types of materials will form three types of demountable construction solutions for heritage renovation: Herit4ages wall, Herit4ages floor and Herit4ages ceiling. All this, accompanied by the Life Cycle Analysis for each solution.

To carry it out, HERIT4AGES has a consortium of 12 entities from Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Estonia and Czech Republic coordinated by Tyndall National Institute IERC – International Energy Research Centre: CETIM Technological Centre, TESELA Materiales Innovación y Patrimonio, IDP Ingeniería, Medio ambiente y Arquitectura, Fundación Santa María la Real del Patrimonio Histórico, UNINOVA, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, FENIX TNT, Institute of Baltic Studies, Łukasiewicz – Warszawski Instytut Technologiczny, Politechnika Warszawska and the Câmara Municipal do Funchal.


HERIT4AGES is a Horizon Europe project, in which we seek to demonstrate that it is possible to improve the overall performance of heritage buildings while preserving their architectural and cultural identity. Given that the spectrum of heritage buildings is very broad and that protection laws may allow for different levels of intervention, the project aims to develop a set of solutions that can be replicated in different parts of Europe.

These solutions will be tested in environments where environmental effects are prone to deteriorate the architectural heritage. The following living labs have been chosen for implementation: Romanesque Hermitage of Canduela and Posada Santa María la Real (Aguilar de Campoo, Palencia, Spain); Historic Engineering Building at the University of Bologna (Bologna, Italy); Santa María, 25 (Funchal, Portugal); and the Vironia Corporation (Tartu, Estonia).

Definitely, nowadays many of the heritage buildings are not very comfortable, as, generally, there is no heating/cooling system or, the use of this means an important economic expense due to the need to air-condition large volumes of air. HERIT4AGES will try to find solutions that improve the health of the citizens, that restore the use of the buildings and, consequently, help their conservation.