BAU-R-4: Funding for building and refurbishment adapted to climate change

The picture shows the view to the glass roof of an inner courtyard of a modern building, which is partially shaded by textile panels.Click to enlarge
Likewise, sun protection measures can also be funded under the auspices of KfW.
Source: Photograph: © Armin Hering / stock.adobe.com

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

Table of Contents

 

BAU-R-4: Funding for building and refurbishment adapted to climate change

Every year the KfW awards federal funding in terms of loan commitments and grants amounting to between 4.8 and 13.6 billion Euros for energy-related construction and refurbishment measures which – subject to appropriate design – can also reduce the risk of problems with buildings overheating. Loan commitments and grants and associated investments have been increasing significantly since 2006. The indicator is unable to make any statements regarding precautionary measures against other influences of climate change.

Two lines show the measures triggered by funding for climate change-adapted construction and renovation in billions of euros. The loan commitments / grants and the total investments triggered by them are shown. Both lines are rising significantly. In 2016, 44.6 billion euros in investments were triggered.
BAU-R-4: Funding for building and refurbishment adapted to climate change

Two lines show the measures triggered by funding for climate change-adapted construction and renovation in billions of euros. The loan commitments / grants and the total investments triggered by them are shown. Both lines are rising significantly. In 2016, 44.6 billion euros in investments were triggered.

Source: KfW (funding report)
 

Promotion of construction and refurbishment adapted to climate change

The improvements achieved in the course of recent years with regard to heat protection and the associated reduction in energy consumption in respect of buildings are partly due to a targeted funding policy. While maintaining comfortable living conditions during periods of great heat is not part of the funding criteria laid down in federal funding programmes, some of the structural measures supported also contribute to protection from summer-related overheating of buildings thus forming the basis for synergy effects between climate protection and adaptation.

The federal funding programmes administered by the KfW make up another essential pillar of financial support for measures aimed at refurbishing buildings in terms of energetics and to achieve energy-efficient new buildings.

Between 2006 and 2017, the KfW provided funding in the amount of approximately 107.6 billion Euros, in 2017 approx. 12.3 billion Euros. These programmes are used to fund energy efficiency measures by means of investment grants or by loans at low interest rates in connection with repayment grants where these measures go beyond the legal requirements laid down in the German Energy Conservation Regulation (EnEV). By 2017, the funding scheme initiated a total investment volume of approximately 300 billion Euros.

In respect of KfW programmes financed by federal funding for the adaptation to climate change, loan commitments or grants amounting to between 4.8 and 13.6 billion Euros were approved annually in the past twelve years. Only such KfW programmes are considered relevant to climate-adaptation where two thirds of the funding is dedicated to measures which protect building from overheating in summer, e.g. by means of insulation or sun protection or measures which serve to control room climate and fresh-air supply. In 2017 these programmes led to the funding of more than 35.4 billion Euros worth of investment, which as a secondary function also supported the adaptation to climate change. There is no funding available in Germany targeted specifically and directly at the adaptation of buildings to climate change.

The protection of buildings from overheating as a result of climate change is a requirement which developers, proprietors of real estate and architects are obliged to fulfil. Summer-related overheating problems in buildings can be avoided to a considerable extent by implementing the measures mentioned above as well as other measures such as reducing the impact of internal sources of heat, incorporating a carefully considered design of large areas of glass or the use of solid components for temperature equilibration.

In addition, it is essential to adapt and protect buildings structurally from the increasing incidence of extreme events such as heavy rainfall and driving rain, storms and tornados, hailstones or snow loads. It is true that the high standard of building design, technology and construction prevailing in Germany essentially ensures that buildings and construction practices fulfil a wide range of requirements regarding the challenges of weather and weather-related changes. However, the precautions provided within the framework of this standard will not be adequate to all impacts caused by the afore-mentioned extreme events.

Individual buildings can be fitted with elements of protection from extreme heat or they may be fitted with protective wire guards and protective glass to ward against damage from hailstones, or properly fastened roofing material or integrated solar thermal or photovoltaic systems fitted inside the roof structure for storm protection. There are numerous measures available for protection from flooding and heavy rain. They range from waterproofing by means of bituminous sheeting or waterproof concrete structures over drainage units, or pumps, to backflow preventers in sewage systems. However, it is particularly difficult to protect individual buildings from flooding. This is why building projects proposed for areas with increased damage potential from such hazards are avoided in precautionary spatial and urban planning.

As far as new buildings are concerned, appropriate adaptation requirements can be taken into account already at the design stage, for instance by selecting robust materials and using methods to achieve stable construction. Naturally, this will result in increased construction costs. The implementation of adaptation measures for extant buildings by means of retrofitting waterproofing to cellars as protection from water pressure is usually difficult and costly. In all probability it will be possible, however, to resolve most climate-related problems by means of refurbishing and modernisation measures.

In principle it is up to the developer or proprietor of the premises concerned to implement such measures and to ensure that their premises are adequately protected from climate-related risks.

 

Interfaces

BAU-R-3: Specific energy consumption for space-heating by private households

RO-R-3: Priority and restricted areas for (preventive) flood control

 

Objectives

Long-term reduction of heating requirements in building stock with the aim to achieve a virtually climate-neutral building stock by 2050. (Energiekonzept 2010, p. 22)

As far as possible, measures for adaptation to climate change should not counteract any efforts made with regard to climate protection, or in other words, priority is to be given to alternatives which concurrently contribute to the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions and, by the same token, to investments in retrofitting buildings with appropriate insulation. (DAS, ch. 3.4)