Resilient Cooling of Buildings

Completed (2018 - 2024)


Resilient cooling is used to denote low energy and low carbon cooling solutions that strengthen the ability of individuals, and our community as a whole to withstand, and also prevent, the thermal and other impacts of changes in global and local climates, particularly with respect to increasing ambient temperatures and the increasing frequency and severity of heat waves. According to this definition, resilient cooling includes technologies and solutions that:

  • reduce externally induced heat gains to indoor environments;
  • offer personal comfort apart from space cooling;
  • remove heat from indoor environments;
  • control the humidity of indoor environments.

The focus of the project is resilient cooling applications for existing residential buildings, typically with building management systems (BMS) available and for nearly zero energy buildings (nZEBs). The project encompass both active and passive cooling technologies and systems. A range of related technologies are being evaluated regarding minimisation of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and other critical environmental and sociocultural impacts.
The project is investigating resilient cooling applications against a variety of external parameters such as climate, building typologies, internal loads and occupancy profiles, various levels of BMS capabilities and automation, new buildings and retrofitting of existing buildings. Furthermore, the project is closely connected with activities such as Mission Innovation’s Challenge #7: Affordable Heating and Cooling of Buildings, the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme and the IEA Global Exchange on Efficiency: Cooling.

The project objectives are to:

  • assess benefits, potentials and performance indicators 
  • identify limitations and bottlenecks and provide guidance on design, performance calculation and system integration
  • research towards implementation of emerging technologies
  • extend boundaries of existing solutions, including user interaction and control strategies
  • demonstrate the performance of resilient cooling solutions
  • develop recommendations for regulatory contexts

The planned deliverables from this project are as follows:

  • comprehensive resilient cooling technology profiles including instructions for successful system design, implementation and operation,
  • specific resilient cooling R&D reports,
  • well documented case studies and success stories,
  • recommendations for the integration of resilient cooling in legislation and standards.

Operating Agent

DI Dr Peter Holzer
Institute of Building Research & Innovation
Wipplingerstraße 23
1010 Vienna


Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, P.R. China, UK Observers: Poland, Qatar