Recent italian and european refurbishment interventions on historical buildings underline the increasingly shared multidisciplinary approach taking into account sustainability aspects, too. It refers to buildings for which the technologies applicable to new construction are not suitable without altering their "cultural value". Following the “needs assessment-performance analysis” approach in restoration intervention, archival and instrumental analyses will be conducted to better understand the historical, technological, structural and energy aspects. These ones allow the evaluation of residual and potential performance, existing constraints and new needs, in order to define requirements, priorities and objectives of the project. The main objective of the research is to demonstrate the capability to deal with by multi-disciplinary approach the complex issues involved in sustainable restoration of cultural heritage. The case study chosen is the San Francesco ex-convent in Piazza Armerina, an historical town in the province of Enna. The complex of recognized cultural value is located in urban environment, characterized by high architectural quality, close to the Cathedral and the Diocesan Museum of the seventeenth century. In particular, the historical complex was built in the seventeenth century on the previous "Castrum Reginae" of the fourteenth century, and after the unification of Italy and the laws of expropriation of Church property, it was transformed in City Hospital in 1870. The building underwent radical and extensive changes necessary to adapt to the hospital. Elevations were built on the existing convent and some porches and the hall were closed. In addition, some sheds were built leaning to the existing buildings. By the end of the seventies, the complex resulted unsuitable to accommodate new and more modern health services and in 2000 it was abandoned causing slow and progressive deterioration. In 2009, the Diocese of Piazza Armerina purchased the entire building by the Local Health Company in order to allocate the Diocesan Curia, the Bishop's House and the Clergy. The research was conducted through the first phase of historical analysis to identify historical and architectural characteristics of the buildings, the second diagnostic phase, allowing detailed analysis of architectural-constructive and energy aspects. Finally, the design phase identified among the possible interventions those combining both the architectural, static safety and energy aspects. In particular, the diagnostic phase focused on diagnostic investigations on materials and technical and structural elements by means thermography allowing an overview and then a monitoring for subsequent punctual investigation, thermal flowmeter for determining the thermal conductivity of materials and elements of the building envelope, GPR for dimensional characterization of slabs and foundations and any cavities and endoscopy to characterize the stratigraphy of the various technical elements. Through this phase energy potentialities and shortage will be highlighted and at the same time the inviolable cultural and architectural characters will be set. The identified methods can be define investigative protocols for similar work in other contexts.
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