Focus & Topics

Seismic and Energy Renovation for Sustainable Cities
International Conference 1st to 3rd February 2018


Sustainability has become a fundamental requirement for the future of our cities.
This requirement is mostly associated to environmental issues, and a great effort has been made in the past years to build a low-carbon society. However, sustainability should also be associated to safety.
As a consequence, in seismic countries, sustainable cities must be not only low-carbon emitting bust also earthquake safe.
This concept represents the basic premise of this Conference.
According to this premise, in seismic nations like Italy – where over 75% of the building stock is both highly earthquake-prone and energy-consuming – energy renovation actions should be combined with seismic upgrades. This assumption has to be promoted for the following main reasons: energy renovation alone will be worthless if an earthquake destroys the building; to prevent life losses and damages; to avoid several costs otherwise duplicated (costs for building-site setup and scaffolds, claddings, plasters and other finishings, etc.).
Nevertheless, many barriers significantly limit the real possibility to undertake combined retrofit measures, especially in case of multi-owner housing and high-rise buildings. These barriers are of different kinds: economic/financial (high renovation costs, insufficient incentives and subsidies, landlord-tenant dilemma, etc.), technical (ineffectiveness of conventional upgrade solutions, need of regulatory simplification, etc.), organizational (temporary alternate accommodation for occupants, consensus to the retrofit expenditure by condominium ownerships, excessive time for getting construction permits, etc.), and cultural/social (insufficient information and skills, lack of adequate policy measures for promoting renovation actions).
This Conference aims to overcome these barriers and to bridge the gap between sustainability and safety, with a link that may conserve both human and environmental resources.


  • 1. Urban vulnerability and sustainable cities

    Sustainability and safety of cities. Description of the vulnerability and/or energy performance scenario of any region or town. Tools and methods for assessing the urban vulnerability to natural hazards and for determining the scale of intervention to adequately reduce this vulnerability. Cost evaluation for the improvement of the urban resilience to natural hazards. Scenarios of possible financial incentives.

  • 2. Seismic and energy regeneration strategies at district and urban scale

    Urban regeneration strategies for the reduction of seismic vulnerability and/or energy dependence. Integrated land use and transport planning to reduce energy consumption due to private means of transportation.

  • 3. Construction techniques of historic and recent buildings

    Description of construction techniques adopted for historic buildings (i.e. built before 1950) and recent buildings (i.e. built from the 1950s to the 1980s). Relationships between construction techniques and seismic or energy performance of buildings.

  • 4. Diagnostic techniques and numerical models to assess seismic vulnerability and energy performance

    Development of novel diagnostic techniques and numerical models to determine the seismic vulnerability and/or the energy performance of historic and/or recent buildings.

  • 5. Technical solutions, materials and methods for seismic and energy renovation

    Technical solutions, materials and methods for the seismic and/or energy renovation of historic and/or recent buildings.

  • 6. Retrofit optimization through prefabricated systems

    Development of prefabricated systems to accelerate seismic and/or energy renovation activities, in order to reduce costs and inconvenience to the occupants.

  • 7. Design, monitoring and management tools

    Novel tools for design, monitoring and management of existing buildings (e.g. BIM, parametric design, form finding, sensor grids, building management systems, etc.), with particular reference to renovation and post-renovation activities.

  • 8. Economic and financial policies to promote renovation measures

    Economic and financial tools, measures and policies to promote renovation activities.

  • 9. Decision support tools for the selection of the optimal retrofitting scenario

    Development of user-friendly decision support tools to select the best seismic and/or energy renovation scenario, in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, costs, available incentives and subsidizes, safety, inconvenience to the occupants, etc.

  • 10. Resolution of organizational and practical problems

    Strategies to overcome different organizational and practical problems, which considerably limit the real possibility to undertake retrofit actions, especially for multi-owner housing and high-rise buildings: consensus to the retrofit expenditure by condominium ownerships, excessive duration of renovation works and temporary alternate accommodation for occupants, split-incentive/landlord-tenant dilemma, excessive time for getting construction permits, need of regulatory simplification, etc.

  • 11. Strategies for promoting the social sensitivity to prevention actions

    Development of new policies to promote the awareness of the disastrous consequences of inadequate or insufficient prevention actions. Strategies to disseminate, among interested stakeholders, technical skills and competences on retrofitting measures, as well as to highlight the economic convenience of undertaking combined seismic and energy renovations. Training activities.