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Covenant of Mayors - Europe
News article2 May 2023

Adapting buildings to climate change: discover the EU's Latest Technical Guidance

Last month, the European Commission released new guidance to help buildings adapt to climate change challenges with a focus on climate resilience and risk assessment.

Building Paris

Climate change is a major global challenge that affects various sectors, including the construction industry. The built environment is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts such as extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and temperature increases, which can result in structural damage, increased energy demand, and compromised occupant health and safety. With buildings accounting for approximately 40% of global energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions, it is crucial to adapt the built environment to mitigate and respond to climate change.

Recognising the urgency and importance of climate adaptation in buildings, the European Commission published new technical guidance on 29 March 2023. This guidance aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the best practices and guidelines for the construction and renovation of buildings across different climatic zones of Europe. The guidance is divided into two parts: technical guidance and best practice guidance.

Technical Guidance

The technical guidance provides an overview of existing EU-level policies and standards related to adaptation in buildings. It presents a summary of the current state of structural design building standards at a European and national level, with a specific focus on climate resilience in buildings. The report also includes an overview of climate vulnerabilities and risk assessment for buildings, as well as a possible method for rating the climate resilience of buildings.

Best Practice Guidance

The companion best practice guidance complements the technical guidance and offers specific solutions for the climate risks that affect the built environment most. It provides technical guidance on climate-adaptation measures that are relevant for both new and existing buildings across different climatic zones of Europe. The best practice guidance offers examples of actions that can be taken to improve building performance, providing strategies for building owners, operators, users, policy makers, engineers, architects, and insurers.

By providing comprehensive guidance for the construction and renovation of buildings, the guidance aims to ensure that buildings are designed to withstand the impacts of climate change, reduce their carbon footprint, and provide a safe and healthy environment for occupants.

Download the Technical Guidance and Best Practice Guidance.


Publication date
2 May 2023