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16.04.2012 | Gdansk | Poland

Successful International Conference on Monuments Protection and Energy Efficiency in Gdansk / Poland


The European Foundation for Monuments Protection as a Polish project partner organized the International Conference on "Monuments Protection -  Energy Efficiency" in Gdansk on 16.04.2012. The conference with 121 participants was held under the Honorary Patronage of Marshal of Pomeranian Voivodeship Mieczyslaw Struk. Purpose of the conference was to present the recent results of the project Co2olBricks to Polish specialists, conservators, architects, energy auditors, officials and representatives of professional associations.

Conference was connected with presentation of brick monuments in Gdansk area, which happened one day before, on 15th April. International guests, invited at presentation, were shown examples of brick buildings located in few main districts of Gdansk. Among others, they admired St. Marry Church, old Town Hall, Armory House, Frederick Chopin Philharmonic after refurbishment, restored brick residential at Gdansk – Letnica and Wrzeszcz, military buildings adapted for office use in “Garnizon” estate and  brick fortifications in Gdansk – Old Town (Hewelianum).

Main part of the meeting, the conference, started on Monday morning, 16th April, in magnificent neo-renaissance building of New City Hall in Gdansk.

Symposium brought together Polish and foreign specialists in fields such as urban development, architecture, monuments conservation, environment protection, isolation industry and energy audit. Among the institutions that were represented, it is worth mentioning: Technical Universities from Hamburg, Vilnius, Dresden and Gdansk, Ministry of Environment Protection of Finland, Polish Association of Monuments Conservators, Swedish National Heritage Board, Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden and regional departments for heritage protection and monuments conservation.

First panel of the conference was titled “The strategy for brick build heritage in Europe” and its subjects consider such fields as climate protection connected with cultural heritage, legal aspects of energy improvement in historical buildings and energy audit of brick edifices. Important issues have been raised by Jacek Brudnicki, panellist from National Heritage Board of Poland, who talked about the need to amendment of law on support for thermal modernisation and renovation works. He also pointed too little involvement of national institutions in the thermal modernisation and renovation projects of historical buildings.

“Brick build heritage – do we have to live in it” is title of second panel. One of the subjects alluded to earlier tour and presentation of Gdansk – Letnica brick residential. Architect Grzegorz Lechman, from Department for Urban Development, Architecture and Monuments Protection of Gdansk City Hall, made some interesting comments to revitalisation of the estate and identified good and bad practices in thermal insulation of brick buildings. The panel also focused on finance and ecology aspects of brick heritage edifices, point of view well presented by Tommi Lindh from Ministry of the Environment of Finland. Finally, interesting subject was raised by the participants of an international workshop for youth from Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Hamburg, also connected to the Co2olBricks project. Young people presented results of their work at the workshop. They also showed their local point of view for revitalisation of brick heritage and talked about subject related monuments in theirs cities.

Last panel, titled “Refurbishment as a threat or an opportunity for brick heritage”, was designed to provide information about ways of refurbishment of historical buildings in Baltic Sea Region, technological innovations which improve insulation of brick edifices and current practices in improving energy efficiency and energy audit. This part of the conference was filled with the largest number of subjects and got really tight schedule. One of the presentations, with high-quality professional material, was brought by Dr. Rudolf Plagge, head of the Building Research- and Development Laboratory Institute of Building Climatology of Dresden University of Technology. Dr. Plagge talked about techniques and materials in energetic refurbishment of historical buildings. He also discussed the results of research on energy efficiency insulated brick edifices. “New Technology for internal isolation: Wall Tempering System” was title of presentation by Wolfram Spehr, subject also demonstrated from the Polish experience in the use of these systems by Tomasz Sumera. The other panelist, Dr. Teresa Żurek from Foundation for Energy Conservation in Gdansk, presented polish subsidy programs for thermo modernization with their strong and weak sides. She tried to point opportunities and barriers created by Polish law.

After the panels part of the conference, discussion took the place. During the debate, many important questions have been asked:

What should be done not to duplicate the same mistakes in different countries?

How best to communicate the experience and the resulting effects on other countries?

Is it really possible, by other way, to achieve same results to increase energy efficiency of historic buildings without the need for external wall insulation?

This question are for the future.

Conference brought few final conclusions. Firstly, cooperation between the architect, conservator and energy auditor is necessary at the stage of developing a concept design and retrofitting work.  Secondly, it is necessary to organize training courses for monuments conservators in subject of requirements for energy efficiency, use of the results of energy audits and issues of new technologies and materials that can be used in the process of thermo-modernization.

Guests of the conference  were very satisfied with final conclusions and looking forward for future Co2olBricks project results.


The European Foundation for Monuments Protection is committed to develop Polish - English version of achievements of the conference and make it available for participants not only directly but on the website of the project and


Garnizon Estate
Opening by Jan Prahm, A. Kocialkowska, M. Kwapinski
Therese Sonehag
Participants of Workshop for YEG
Rudolf Plagge (all source: EFOZ)
(source: T. Filipkowski)