Energy saving interventions for historical buildings require an accurate study on measures to be adopted and on the modalities of their application. This is in terms of energetic renovation with particular reference to historical, artistic and landscape profiles, considering that the substantial character and aesthetic aspects of the buildings are not to be changed. These types of buildings must be preserved and enhanced, beyond a binding adaptation to the regulation requirements. This study analyses the use of an innovative material, the silica aerogel, with the aim of achieving a high level of energy improvement. In many of the cases subject of numerical studies, buildings equipped with the aerogel-based thermal insulation show better hygro-thermal performance than when using other insulating materials. The objective of this study is to develop numerical models in Energy Plus, based on a targeted case study, to examine different exterior wall structures insulation and related energy behavior, considering defined assessment criteria such as heat losses, time lag, decrement factor, comfort index. The thickness dependency on annual heating set point, the heating and cooling load, and the operating costs are also investigated. The thermal performance of walls with aerogel-based insulation is compared with different insulating materials and configurations, applied on the historical building structure. Finally, a cost analysis for the different solutions, different climates, in retrofitting of historical buildings, is taken into consideration.
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