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'We need to accelerate the uptake of green buildings and enable solutions for cooling that encompass both building design and efficient technologies.' 

Energy needs for space cooling could triple by 2050, especially in hot and tropical countries. Residential buildings are responsible for over two thirds of this increase. This trend is set to continue, driven by the expected doubling of the building floor area by 2060 and a warming planet.

To provide thermal comfort in buildings, they need an excessive amount of energy for mechanical cooling. 'Cool buildings' can be the solution: They are designed with regard to the local climate, adapt to their environment and include design elements to produce indoor comfort naturally. Elements for external shading such as roof overhangs or vegetation as well as natural ventilation systems, green courtyards and smart urban design that avoid heat islands in dense cities can reduce the internal temperature by at least 5°C, increase thermal comfort significantly, and limit the massive growth in energy needs for cooling, save money, and reduce energy poverty.


Strategies to provide comfortable living conditions without harming the climate are already at our disposal. They include the 'avoid-shift-improve' approach: 'Cool buildings' avoid unnecessary demand for energy for cooling, shift the remaining cooling needs to solar systems or district cooling, and improve the efficiency of conventional systems and appliances. 

Strategies for cool buildings: How can we accelerate the uptake of green buildings? 

Together with The Cool Coalition, GlobalABC and SEforALL, PEEB has outlined strategies to accelerate the uptake of 'cool buildings' in an article on the cooling challenge. They include:

  • Good urban planning to avoid heat island in dense cities
  • Policies that are co-created with the private sector and communicated widely such as building codes, financial incentive programmes for green buildings, and non-financial incentives such as fast-track permitting for green buildings
  • Campaigns to highlight the issue such as those launched by The Cool Coalition, GlobalABC, SEforALL, and PEEB  

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