Resilient Cooling of Buildings

Ongoing (2018 - 2023)


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
Wipplingerstra├če 23
1010 Vienna


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


  • Factsheet: Resilient Cooling (PDF 0.23MB) Edit Publication
    November 2019
  • Resilient cooling strategies - a critical review and qualitative assessment Edit Publication
    November 2021
    Author: Chen Zhang, Ongun Berk Kazanci, Ronnen Levinson, Per Heiselberg, Bjarne W.Olesen, Giacomo Chiesa, Behzad Sodagar, Zhengtao Ai, Stephen Selkowitz, Michele Zinzi, Ardeshir Mahdavi, Helene Teufl, Maria Kolokotroni, Agnese Salvati, Emmanuel Bozonnet, Feryal Chtioui, Patrick Salagnac, Ramin Rahif, Shady Attia, Vincent Lemort, Essam Elnagar, Hilde Breesch, Abantika Sengupta, Liangzhu Leon Wang, Dahai Qi, Philipp Stern, Nari Yoon, Dragos-Ioan Bogatu, Ricardo Forgiarini Rupp, Taha Arghand, Saqi Javed, Jan Akander, Abolfazl Hayati, Mathias Cehlin, Sana Sayadi, Sadegh Forghani, Hui Zhang, Edward Arens, Guoqiang Zhang,
    Publisher: Energy and Buildings
  • Resilient cooling of buildings to protect against heat waves and power outages: Key concepts and definition Edit Publication
    May 2021
    Author: ShadyAttia, Ronnen Levinson, Eileen Ndongoa, Peter Holzer, Ongun Berk Kazanci, Shabnam Homaei, Chen Zhang, Bjarne W. Olesen, Dahai Qi, Mohamed Hamdy Per Heiselberg
    Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
  • Conceptualising a resilient cooling system: A socio-technical approach (PDF 0.79MB) Edit Publication
    April 2021
    Author: Wendy Miller, Anaïs Machard, Emmanuel Bozonnet, Nari Yoon, Dahai Qi, Chen Zhang, Aaron Liu, Abantika Sengupta, Jan Akander, Abolfazl Hayati, Mathias Cehlin, Ongun Berk Kazanci, Ronnen Levinson
    Publisher: Elsevier Ltd