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Harmonised procedure to update thermal loads in the Eurocodes. Case study for Italy

Methods based on European climate datasets to update thermal loads for design with the Eurocodes have been tested for Italy


Publication date
Guido Rianna, Alfredo Reder, Maria Luisa Sousa, Silvia Dimova
Published in
Climate Services, Volume 30, April 2023, 100391
Publication type


European climatic loads for structural design need to be updated and harmonised; European climate datasets (E-OBS, ERA5-Land) can be used to update thermal maps.
In this paper, methods based on European climate datasets to update thermal loads for design with the Eurocodes have been tested for Italy. European maps of climatic actions will help setup of national safety requirements, and the updated climatic actions will speed up the climate change adaptation of built environment.

Original publication

Abstract in original language

The characteristic values of temperature corresponding to the maximum and minimum shade air temperature with an annual probability of being exceeded 0.02, used in the European construction standard for thermal actions (EN 1991-1-5:2003), are usually assessed at a country level and included in the National Annexes to that Eurocode part.

The paper aims to support national authorities on elaborating maps for thermal actions using publicly available datasets, consistent at a European level, and harmonised modelling approaches. In addition, these datasets are continuously updated, reflecting the current climate and capturing potential global warming variations.

The work investigates how updates in data and modelling could affect the characteristic values currently adopted in the Italian National Annexes to the Eurocodes. The main results show that: (i) the currently adopted number and locations of the weather stations result fairly representative of the patterns detected by exploiting additional datasets; ii) the statistical method plays an essential role in the assessment of characteristic values, i.e., the method adopted in the current Italian standard evaluates more conservative characteristic values of maximum temperature than Gumbel or Generalized Extreme Value distributions, but could err on the unsafe side for minimum ones; (iii) both E-OBS and ERA5-Land datasets represent two optimal products to be used as a common source of temperature values at European scale; (iv) moving towards an updated period for temperature data results on an increase of characteristic values of maximum temperature and limited variations in spatial extent and magnitude of characteristic values of minimum ones.


Not associated with a specific Eurocode