Cluster Building industry

2019 Monitoring Report on the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change

Table of Contents

 

Building industry

It has always been the purpose of buildings to provide permanent protection to the inhabitants and their household effects or the building’s functions from the adversities of the weather and the vagaries of changeable weather patterns. Apart from available construction materials and the functions of buildings, it is especially the traditional methods of construction and regional characteristics of urban construction which reflect the locally prevailing climatic conditions. Nowadays building standards and regulations ensure that buildings meet a great variety of climate-related challenges and that predictable damage can be avoided as far as possible. In this context, regional differences in climatic conditions are described which must be taken into account in designing buildings for zones susceptible to heavy snow loads, wind loads and driving rain.

In view of the considerable range of possible interpretations of existing standards, it is particularly the increase in frequency and greater intensity of extreme events which will present challenges to the building industry. Hot periods, hail, storms, driving rain and floodwater, but also various forms of soil subsidence and landslides may in future lead to increased damage to buildings.

Apart from impacts on individual buildings, discussions in the building industry refer to changes to be expected regarding urban climatic conditions and potential adaptation measures. One of the major topics is the increasing overheating of inner cities where rising average temperatures and increasing temperature extremes are to be expected.

 

Effects of climate change

Heat stress in city environments (BAU-I-1, BAU-I-2)

Cooling degree days (BAU-I-3)

Flash floods – high damage potential for residential areas (BAU-I-4)

High weather-related damage in terms of property insurance (BAU-I-5)

 

Adaptations

Urban green spaces – cooling oases BAU-R-1)

Greened buildings – good for adaptation to climate change and for biodiversity (BAU-R-2)

Climate-adapted buildings – heat is kept out (BAU-R-3)

Promotion of construction and refurbishment adapted to climate change (BAU-R-4)

Still not enough insurance deals to cover natural hazards (BAU-R-5)