The pressure is two-fold: city buildings need climate-wise solutions both for lowering their contribution to climate change, and protecting citizens from its effects.
Commercial buildings account for over 40% of Europe’s CO2 emissions. As commerce and retail hubs, cities have a responsibility to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings as well as to protect citizens from the dangers of climate change.
Some of the impacts of climate change are particular to cities, and require city-specific mitigation strategies. The urban heat effect, for example, heavily influences the energy consumption and thermal comfort of buildings.
Coupled with this concern is the fact dense populations and building clusters makes cities particularly vulnerable to the economic, public health, and safety dangers associated with floods and storms.
Climate resilience strategies can prepare buildings to face climate change emergencies, helping communities and businesses to bounce back.
Areas likely to flood, for example, can be built to withstand these events without damage being caused to equipment, and to continue operations when the power goes out. Measures like this can prepare cities to face climate change, but only if the data they are built on is accurate and precise.
Precision is key
Too often, the data used in building simulations is drawn from meteorological stations outside cities. This data can differ significantly from the energy consumption and indoor climate data for buildings in urban areas, making it an unsuitable reference.
Our city-tailored Building Energy Service is the result of coordinated efforts between multi-sectoral consortium partners, all determined to delivery accurate and precise modelling especially for cities.
The urban climate service centre and Climate-fit.City partner, VITO, developed a flexible and highly-precise computer model called UrbClim to generate detailed urban maps at a spatial resolution ranging from hundreds of metres to a few kilometres. Our team then adds this data to Meteonorm, a usable and highly reliable data software tool recently upgraded in collaboration with Climate-fit.City to include urban and climate change effects. Metreonorm makes it easy for architects and building designers to access precise information about the radiation, temperature, humidity and wind speed of their city site, in hourly time resolution.
Tried and tested
Energy building consultancies PRONOO and INES Energieplanung GmbH, have used this urbanised data to build more accurate and reliable energy simulations for heating and cooling. “Climate-fit.city …’ says Urs Grossenbacher, Project Coordinator for INES, “… leads to an adapted design process with the long-term effect of lower energy consumption and higher comfort levels.”
We help our clients turn urban problems, into climate solutions.
Read our new factsheet "Are our urban buildings climate-ready?"