CULTURAL-E The European Climate and Cultural Atlas for Plus Energy Building Design (2CAP-Energy Atlas)

2CAP-Energy Atlas

CULTURAL-E project is developing the European Climate and Cultural Atlas for Plus Energy Building Design (2CAP-Energy Atlas) to share the knowledge and results developed in the project with designers, policy makers and researchers.

A significant CULTURAL-E project element focuses on the identification of specific climate and cultural features which affect building energy consumption: "the multifaceted building context". This entails an innovative approach that looks at cultural and climate context to define appropriate solutions.

The 2CAP-Energy ATlas is a comprehensive tool that allows users to focus the development efforts on appropriate technologies throughout the context analysis based upon local climate factors and all the important cultural factors associated with building occupants. After all, buildings don’t use energy, people do. The existing energy efficiency ‘gap’ – which describes the difference between what is optimally possible in terms of energy efficiency and the actual energy performance – is complex and multidimensional.

In addressing and accounting for culture and climate, the 2CAP-Energy Atlas will have relevance far beyond the project and will have an impact on future building design. To do so, the integrated results of Cultural-E are made freely available through this dedicated online tool that can be constantly updated by the building science community.

How does it work?

The Atlas is conceptualised with the scope of driving designers to new levels of knowledge; where the current experience is aimed at being captured and improved. The Atlas, a data visualization library, is perceived as a comprehensive set of information sources which add questions to building designers’ daily practices. The tool is backed up on a GIS online interface, Mapstore as part of the GeoNode platform, which provides the necessary technical features and enables us to integrate the various contents and data typologies while allowing users to conduct an operative data analysis.

Visit the Main Map section to explore the 2CAP-Energy Atlas. Its layers and contents are displays as described here below:

A. Cultural and Climatic statistical data. The first group of layers is composed by: (i) Household Energy Demand, (ii) Climatic factors, (iii) Socio-economic factors and (iv) Indoor Environmental Quality aspects.

B. PEB design criteria drivers. The second group of layers integrates different knowledge domains affecting PEB design and feasibility criteria: (iv) Local policies and boundary conditions; (v) PEB Case studies; (vi) PEB Guidelines and (vii) Energy Culture drivers.

  • 1. Household Energy Demand. aiming at describing the cultural variables on energy users‘ behavior, the following energy consumption data by type of domestic service is provided at household level: (i) Space Heating; (ii) Space Cooling; (iii) Water Heating; (iv) Lighting and Appliances; (v) Cooking Practices; (vi) Total energy consumption (residential sector).
  • 2. Climatic Factors. Following the Köppen-Geiger climate classification, the vast majority of Europe can be divided into four main climatic areas: (i) Oceanic; (ii) Mediterranean; (iii) Continental; (iv) Sub-arctic. The available data includes parameters such as: (i) Heating Degree days; (ii) Cooling Degree Days; (iii) Avg. solar radiation; (iv) Avg. Outdoor temperature; (v) Avg. Outdoor Tª (cooling season); (vi) Avg. Outdoor Tª (heating season); (vii) Maximum and Minimum Outdoor Tª; (viii) EU climate classification (Köppen-Geiger).
  • 3. Socio-Economic Factors. The parameters detailed in this group -referring to demographic and economic aspects- support a wider analysis of energy demand variations at household level among EU territories, such as: (i) Population density; (ii) Gross domestic product; (iii) Disposable income of households; (iv) Households Electricity consumption; (v) Households Gas consumption; (viii) Final energy consumption in household sector per country; (ix) Gas prices; (x) Electricity prices.
  • 4. Indoor Environmental Quality Aspects. This layer contents specific IEQ data sets provided which are rereferred to the closest possible locations of the Cultural-E demo cases. Specific locations and coordinates are included for each one in the IEQ related files that have been made available for downloading. Each geo-referred location contains IEQ related information and graphics.

  • 5. PEB Case Studies. This layer provides information from CULTURAL-E Demo cases and other PEB case studies, which provide insightful criteria and lessons learnt from the design and experimentation of PEB (residential typology). The different pilot buildings which are referenced intend to represent the 4 EU climates which are the object of study for CULTURAL-E.
  • 6. PEB Guidelines. This layer provides exemplary national initiatives and guideline materials for the design and experimentation of high standards for energy efficient buildings such as PEB, ZEB and NZEB. The different national initiatives referenced intend to represent the 4 EU climates which are the object of study for CULTURAL-E.
  • 7. Local Policies and Boundary Conditions. The information provided in this layer is extracted from the deliverable D2.3. “National and local regulatory frame and boundary conditions”, which gives an overview of the legislation and requirements in each country and shows how they impact the spread of PEB concepts, in addition a practical example is included. The four CULTURAL-E Demos are representative of multi-family residential PEB. Different policies and related boundary conditions in each country have a great influence on the successful implementation of plus energy concepts. Therefore, national funding schemes and local policies are analysed in regard to supporting renewable energy generation in buildings and favoring the connection with the electric grid and the surrounding built environment (e.g. direct delivery of power to neighbour buildings, grid feed-in), as well as the local energy market (e.g. energy prices, feed-in tariff) and foreseen developments and environmental aspects. Extended information is available in the project deliverable: Local Policies and Boundary conditions for PEBs
  • 8. Energy Culture Drivers. The information provided intends to support a profiling exercise of users’ domestic energy patterns and how these variations are translated into different energy-intensive practices at household level across EU territories. This layer describes energy demand dynamics by means of taking into account the cultural-climatic aspects which characterise the key EU areas under research. Extended information is available in the project deliverable: Climate and cultural differences in energy use in domestic buildings


The Atlas Maps allow us to get access to a comprehensive set of layers and contents, while also providing options for an operative data analysis, meaning that various features can bring a key insight into design principles and criteria for PEB. Detailed information is available on the Main map.

In addition, the tool offers a set of tailored maps which help users to visualise different data layers and territories: the analytical maps.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N. 870072. The content of this website reflects only the author’s view only and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.