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ReCOver++: Improving resilience of buildings to overheating


One of the effects of climate change is that heatwaves are getting longer more frequent. This increases the risk of human thermal stress in indoor environments where people spend most of their times. This is even more prominent in well-insulated and air-tight buildings in the EU that are more vulnerable to overheating. Moreover, heatwaves are often accompanied by other unexpected extreme events or “shocks” such as power outages, which can render some buildings unhabitable during shock events and long after these shocks are over. Thus, it is critical to design future-proof buildings and systems that can withstand such shocks and reduce their detrimental impact on human wellbeing in a building. This performance characteristic of a building is known as resilience to overheating.

Currently, in practice, resilience is not included as a building design parameter. There is also no framework in current building standards to consider these shocks. A reliable indicator to assess the resilience of buildings is missing. Moreover, knowledge is lacking to design buildings and size systems (e.g., ventilation, cooling, solar shading, smart building control) to guarantee their resilience to overheating.

The aim of the ReCOver++ project is to improve the resilience of residential and non-residential buildings to overheating by making resilience a more actionable concept for architects, engineering companies and manufacturers. ReCOver++ defines a new holistic resilience indicator integrating the building and systems’ most influential parameters to classify their resilience on a point-scale system. Moreover, ReCOver++ demonstrates resilient strategies of building and HVAC system design and product innovations.


  • Present the novel resilience indicator to classify buildings and their systems.
  • Discuss the use in practice of resilience to design buildings and systems.


  1. ReCOver++ project: wrap up. Hilde Breesch, KU Leuven, Belgium
  2. A novel indicator to assess thermal resilience of buildings to overheating, Abantika Sengupta, Ghent University/KU Leuven, Belgium
  3. How to design a resilient building? Lessons learnt from an architectural view, Joost Declercq, Archipelago, Belgium
  4. Exploring the effect of different measures on thermal resilience: implications for design of HVAC systems and energy use, Debora Resta, Arcadis, Belgium
  5. Impact of solar shading & ventilative cooling control strategies on the resilience of residential buildings to overheating, Ivan Pollet, Renson, Belgium
  6. Discussion with the attendees


  1. Hilde Breesch, KU Leuven, Belgium
  2. Douaa Al-Assaad, KU Leuven, Belgium


  • 90 minutes
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