In Cyprus, both the local Community of Practice (CoP) meetings and the project meetings within the realm of VIOLET revealed that a policy change was not easy to be established if the groundwork was not clearly laid out. During the identification of solutions to address the challenges of energy upgrading heritage buildings, a unanimous decision was the creation of a comprehensive Guidebook, which would include cumulatively all the necessary information around this topic. Therefore, the creation of such a Guidebook was included in the National Action Plan of Cyprus Energy Agency.
Cyprus Energy Agency aimed to create a general document – the VIOLET Guidebook – that can be used on voluntary basis and motivate building owners and professionals of the field to identify ways to improve the energy performance of heritage buildings; the Guidebook is also meant to guide relevant departments when examining applications for building permits, and to support in the evaluation of technical terms for each application.
The VIOLET Guidebook, available online (in Greek) free of cost, aims to reduce hesitancy and uncertainty for all the changes taking place after the national policy change was achieved. The Guidebook also aims to decrease the adjustment time needed for the smooth implementation of the new legislation (for the energy efficiency of buildings), while providing innovative ideas and possible solutions for energy interventions in heritage buildings.
On a general level, the Guidebook utilises all the existing knowledge and practices, mainly at local level, and concentrates all the relevant information on implementing energy renovations in heritage buildings, providing an indicative framework. At the same time, the Guidebook provides an index with relevant approaches to energy interventions, allowing the reader to identify where they can find more information. It also includes references and outputs from both the global and local research in an effort to combine existing knowledge and thus to reduce identified gaps. The ultimate goal of the Guidebook is to help prevent conflicts between the energy efficiency requirements or regulations and the conservation of heritage buildings.
The Interreg Europe VIOLET "preserVe tradItiOnal buiLdings through Energy reducTion" project has brought together five regions & one expert advisory partner to address the common challenge to create a building culture that is sympathetic to modern requirements for improved energy usage & reduced carbon emissions in traditional buildings—without endangering architectural heritage.