Press release launched 8 June 2020

08 June 2020

Are buildings in Europe ready for more heatwaves?

In recent years, rapid global warming has caused more heatwaves and extreme temperatures – “In Europe alone heatwaves are at least five times likelier to take place”, states Damian Carrington, environmental editor in The Guardian last summer1. Heatwave temperatures are around 4°C hotter than a century ago, scientists say2 and in the recent month of March, average temperatures were almost two degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 average, according to EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. Are buildings in Europe ready to protect its inhabitants from this extreme heat? If so, will it be done in a cost- and more importantly energy-efficient manner?

Summers are getting hotter, starting earlier and potentially lasting longer. These high temperatures are known to affect elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions3 in a harsh way, but also younger generations are searching for more comfort and healthy indoor lifestyles. Architects, engineers and building companies are striving for energy-efficient solutions to manage indoor climate, and governments are starting to acknowledge the negative impact of overheating in buildings. Going forwards, clear guidelines will be key to cool down buildings in a cost and energy-efficient manner4. According to ES-SO, the European Solar Shading Organisation, the answer is evident: “Solar shading will have to become a key element of every building in Europe to prevent it from overheating in the future. Solar shading is the most cost-effective solution on the market, offering a direct impact on health, comfort and saving energy.”  Read more

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