Towards a high temporal and spatial climate resolution to asses hygrothermal building degradation risks for climate change in Europe

01 January 2023 → 31 December 2026
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Atmospheric physics
  • Engineering and technology
    • Building physics
    • Built heritage and renovation
    • Urban physics
Hygrothermal degradation of building components Temporal and spatial downscaling approaches for climate data Hygrothermal risk assessment using ensembles of climate change projections
Project description

The ongoing climate change has widespread and consequential impacts all over the world including increasing frequency and intensity of extreme climate and weather events. There is an urgent need to understand environmental risks (e.g. freeze-thaw, wood decay, mold growth, corrosion) that determine the service life of building materials. However, fundamental knowledge gaps prevent this analysis from being carried out. Firstly, there exists an important temporal and spatial resolution mismatch between climate information and the data needed to investigate building degradation processes. Hygrothermal simulation models typically use 10-minute or hourly weather data, whereas climate projections are often reported with 3-hourly data at best. Observations and historical simulations will be used to develop a method to convert 3-hourly data to 10-minute data to accurately calculate wind driven rain loads on buildings. Furthermore, hygrothermal simulations need location specific climate data. In Belgium, typically only one climate file is used, whereas this project will provide data at a 1km-resolution which allows to study regional climate effects and the urban heat island effect. Finally, it is crucial to study the uncertainty inherent to climate projections by using an ensemble of models. These methodological innovations will result at the end of the project in a kilometer-scale climate change risk assessment for different global warming levels for building degradation over Europe.