CHARMS: Carrying heritage buildings as part of urban regions into a modern and energy-efficient society

CHARMS aims to improve the interior comfort of historic wooden houses in Thailand. In the light of the planning paradigm of “preservation through use”, locally adapted, sustainable usage concepts for historic residential buildings are developed along with residents and city administrations. These concepts are designed to improve domestic well-being and public health and to preserve the architectural heritage and cultural identity.

The project was initiated in view of the insufficient air quality and the COVID-19 related increasing importance of the home environment as a living and working space. The surveys conducted by the project team show that particularly young residents of traditional wooden houses feel adversely affected either because of high energy costs, poor air quality or inadequate thermal comfort. On the one hand, this can be explained by the fact that the younger generation's demands for indoor comfort differ from those of their parents' generation. On the other hand, the functionality of traditional indirect cooling systems of historic wooden houses is severely limited due to the changing local microclimate and high air pollution. Therefore, residents are increasingly investing in technical cooling systems, resulting in higher energy consumption and urban heat islands.

Building on this background, CHARMS aims to develop an integrated strategy to increase the indoor comfort of historic residential buildings in the city of Chiang Mai.

In its implementation, the project is transdisciplinary. Research methods are integrated across academic disciplines to enable Thai and German researchers and practitioners to work together. Local committees consisting of municipal and civil society decision-makers and residents will be integrated both in the development and evaluation of the proposed solutions. The collaboration is permanently consolidated by a local on-site office.


Project Management:
Henrik Beermann
Fraunhofer Zentrum für Internationales Management und Wissensökonomie
Neumarkt 9
04109 Leipzig

Tel.: +49-341-231039-145

Cooperation partners:

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology IEE
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS
  • Fraunhofer Morgenstadt Innovation Network
  • School of Public Policy (SPP) at Chiang Mai University
  • Representatives of the Wat Ket and Wat Lam Chang's pilot districts
  • Chiang Mai City
  • Digital Economy Promotion Agency
  • German-Thai Chamber of Commerce AHK Bangkok
  • Chamber of Commerce Chiang Mai
  • UNESCO Bangkok
  • The Siam Society
  • DAAD Thailand

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