Building code amendments of 2011 and 2013 - evaluation of the practical application of new regulations of the building code amendments of 2011/2013 for the support of a climate-friendly and space-saving settlement development by municipal urban land-use


Initial Situation:

The range of topics and tasks of the municipal political and administrational acting underwent a significant expansion in the last years- especially due to stipulations of the German Government:

  • Climate protection: The municipalities are challenged to concretise and implement specific energy- and climate-friendly goals of the government within their municipal planning sovereignty and, at the same time, coordinate the different utilisation demands on the district.
  • Climate adaptation: Apart from climate protection, they are also asked to conceive strategies and measures for the adaptation to the consequences of the climate change for developed and undeveloped areas and to implement them preventively if possible.
  • Land management: With the help of a strategic development planning- especially planning and organizational approaches- the communities should furthermore contribute to the reduction of land consumption for settlement and traffic areas and focus in their development on constructional inner development.

Simultaneously, the municipalities must deal with tasks that contribute to the adaptation to the demographic change- in particular in case of parallel spatial disparity between growing, stagnating and declining areas, creation of affordable housing, or tasks concerned with the accommodation of refugees. In the future, intercommunal solutions will be increasingly in demand.

These goals and tasks are, amongst others, also noted down in laws and sub-legal regulations as well as in funding guidelines: the interests of the climate protection and adaptation to the climate change were strengthened with the help of the building code amendment of 2011 and the contained climate protection clause. With the help of the building code amendment 2013 and the contained extension of the soil protection clause, the inner development was strengthened to further reduce the space consumption of outlying surface areas by construction and infrastructure areas.

Since five or three years, the legal regulations of the building code amendments of 2011 and 2013 form the legal framework for the space-saving and climate-friendly settlement development of the municipalities, in particular for the urban land-use planning and the special urban planning legislation.


Project goal:

In the course of this project, an evaluation of the municipal experiences with the new regulations of the building code should be carried out. The goal is to identify how deeply the interests of the climate change mitigation, of the climate adaptation and of the inner development are already rooted in the communal planning practice and to what an extend cities and communities actually use these extended possibilities and requirements of the space-saving and climate-friendly settlement development.

The focus is thereby on the practical impacts as well as the implementation potentials of both amendments (inventory, sighting and evaluation of the building code amendments). It should be clarified if

  • the contents and regulations of the amendments of the building code of 2011 and 2013 are suitable for the implementation,
  • the regulations can in tendency be classified as sufficient and
  • there are regulation and implementation deficits and what the reasons for possible deficits might be.

In this context, recommendations for the affected actors on various action levels will be developed. Instructions for the more effective implementation of the regulations are addressed to the responsible planning and decision-makers on the municipal level. It must also be clarified, if necessary, which legislative or other need for action is present on the federal level.


Contents and structure of the project:

The answer to this question for the project is based on an evaluation and analysis of planning-regulatory and subject-specific literature and relevant research projects in the last years, especially on the carrying out of expert interviews as well as municipal case studies.

• Interviews: With regard to the short period of time since the enactment of both building code amendments of 2011 and 2013 are in focus, profound analyses and reliable findings on their planning-practical effects cannot be expected at this point in time. In this respect it is planned to interview experts on the initial assessment of the effects of the building code amendments in the communal implementation, who have a good overview of the municipal activities, in particular in the formal urban land-use planning as well as in the course of urban planning legislation.
• Case studies: For the realisation of the goals in the three fields of action, namely climate change mitigation, adaptation to the consequences of the climate change and concentration of the settlement development to the existing settlement, many municipalities have in parts long-time experiences, but how the building code amendments will affect them in the urban land-use planning is hardly known. The implementation practice of the two building code amendments of 2011 and 2013 should be made available for analysis with a set of nine urban land-use plans (land-use plan, development plan) and applications of the special urban planning legislation (urban redevelopment measures, urban reneval measures) with a recognisable prioritisation in the three relevant fields of action. For the selection of case studies, criteria will be developed beforehand (e.g. size, geographic location, economic development, previous engagement with the topic etc.) to be able to cover a preferably wide range of municipalities and case examples.


Contractors and project partners:

BKR Aachen Noky & Simon Partnerschaft Stadtplaner, Umweltplaner, Landschaftsarchitekt (BKR Aachen Noky& Simon cooperation urban planner, environmental planner, landscape architect?) (contractors and project leadership),

Law firm Gaßner, Groth, Siederer & Coll. Berlin (project partnes)



The project is funded by the Federal Environment Agency with the funding code: 3716 15 101 0



December 2016 – March 2019


Editors at ISB:

Dr.-Ing. Andreas Witte ()

Kathrin Prenger-Berninghoff ()