Climate change and energy performance of European residential building stocks – A comprehensive impact assessment using climate big data from the coordinated regional climate downscaling experiment
Journal article, 2021

In recent years, climate change and the corresponding expected extreme weather conditions have been widely recognized as potential problems. The building industry is taking various actions to achieve sustainable development, implement energy conservation strategies, and provide climate change mitigation. In addition to mitigation, it is crucial to adapt to climate change, and to investigate the possible risks and limitations of mitigation strategies. Although the importance of climate change adaptation is well-understood, there are still challenges in understanding and modeling the impacts of climate change, and the consequent risks and extremes. This work provides a comprehensive study of the impacts of climate change on the energy performances and thermal comfort of European residential building stocks. To perform an unbiased assessment and account for climate uncertainties and extreme events, a large set of future climate data was used for a 90-year period (2010–2099). Climate data for 38 European cities in five different climate zones, downscaled by the “RCA4” regional climate model, were synthesized and applied to simulate the respective energy performances of the residential building stocks in the cities. The results suggest that there will be larger needs for cooling buildings in the future and less heating demand; however, there are differences in the variation rates between zones and cities. Discomfort hours will increase notably in cities within cooling-dominated zones, but will not be affected considerably in cities within heating-dominated zones. In addition to long-term changes, climate-induced extremes can considerably affect future energy demands, especially the cooling demand; this may become challenging for both buildings and energy systems.

Thermal comfort

Climate big data

Energy performance of buildings

European climate zones

Extreme events

Climate change


Yuchen Yang

Lund University

Kavan Javanroodi

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Vahid Nik

Lund University

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Applied Energy

0306-2619 (ISSN)

Vol. 298 117246

Subject Categories

Energy Systems

Building Technologies

Climate Research



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7/2/2021 8