The integrated built-up planning schemes taking into account the microclimatic conditions, the physical properties of the materials, as well as the morphological characteristics of the landscape, can promote the creation of thermal districts that integrate heat and cooling with passive techniques and suitably selected materials, can encourage more energy-efficient structures, can enhance the entire neighborhoods both to conserve energy and boost the quality of life of citizens.
Recognizing the importance of sustainable design features in the urban context, the Group of Buildings Environmental Research (GRBES), which operates under the frame of the Section of Applied Physics of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), carries out research focused on the countermeasures for the mitigation of the negative impacts of climate change and global warming.
Within the research activities of the group, the development of innovative materials, with sustainable energy saving effects in energy renovation, plays a key role. The benefits of the use of solar reflective materials (the so called “cool materials”) have been studied in depth. Several types of cool materials have been tested and supported by case studies. Focus has also been given on the European experience on the implementation of an action plan for the promotion, policy development, and market transformation of cool roofs technology (The European Cool Roofs Council ). GRBES has conducted experimental and theoretical studies on the sustainable design and has carried out more than a thousand energy audits.