Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection topic 2: Demonstration activity on tools for adapting building and infrastructure standards and design methodologies in vulnerable locations in the case of natural or man-originated catastrophes

Specific challenge:

The expected increase of frequency and severity of climate-related natural catastrophes and the current risks of disasters of geological origin pose a serious threat to buildings and physical assets located in vulnerable locations, including critical infrastructures (i.e. public buildings, such as governmental offices, transport stations, terminals and historical buildings and monuments) along their life cycle. One of the responses to be better prepared to crises related to hazards is to adapt building standards and infrastructure in order to limit the risks of demolition, protect critical infrastructure and save human lives in the case of a major event. As a complement to current research in this area, and based on the knowledge of risks (natural or man-originated) in vulnerable areas in Europe, building standards should be developed and tested, applying a number of technological means and design procedures.


A comprehensive approach should be developed that take into account the security issue from the conceptual design of any building to its operation (in the case of a critical infrastructure) or use (in the case of households). Cascade failure of interconnected infrastructure assets (installations for energy, transport, water, ICT) due to co-location or hub-functions needs to be avoided. The comparison of different solutions tested should include cost and cost/benefit analyses, and societal implications.

The proposal shall develop an EU methodological guide with recommendations and software tools for adapting building and infrastructure standards and design methodologies taking into account vulnerability induced man-made or natural impacts. The project content shall be explicitly placed in the greater context of urban development strategies focusing on safety and resilience. Furthermore the research proposal shall demonstrate its finding using appropriate case studies and demonstration facilities, including comparative cost and cost/benefit analyses.

The topic will complement Seventh Framework Programme research focusing on impacts of extreme weather on critical infrastructure.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between €3m and €5m would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately (similar to the FP7 Capability Projects described in the general introduction). Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

More effective building standards and design methodologies for infrastructures and households located in vulnerable areas. Enhanced security of citizens and assets in such areas. Reduced socio-economic impact of natural catastrophes.

The action is expected to proactively target the needs and requirements of public bodies.

The action should deliver up to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 (the demonstration of tools in an operational environment); please see part G of the General Annexes.

Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions

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