The Climate Road is a multifunctional full-scale demonstration road which combines climate adaptation and mitigation in a single system thereby mitigating two of the world’s biggest problems.


The world is confronted with two major challenges that profoundly impact our society: one is how to reduce global warming, and the other is how to adapt our society to live with the consequences of climate change. Often, these challenges are addressed individually, resulting in a failure to achieve the synergistic effects that arise when they are tackled simultaneously.


The Climate Road project introduces a multifunctional full-scale demonstration road that integrates climate adaptation and mitigation into a single system. In the Climate Road, surface water collected from the area is stored in the roadbed, providing a highly effective climate adaptation solution. Additionally, geothermal pipes embedded in the roadbed extract energy from the water and its surroundings. Thus, the issue of excess surface water becomes both a resource and a solution for generating green, sustainable energy.


In 2019, the full-scale demonstration of the Climate Road was unveiled in Hedensted, Denmark. Spanning 50 meters in length and 8 meters in width, with a roadbed depth of 1 meter, the road comprises two distinct sections: 25 meters paved with permeable asphalt and the remaining 25 meters with traditional asphalt. All surface water is directed into the roadbed, capable of storing up to 120 cubic meters of water, either through the permeable asphalt or via drain grates. Additionally, 800 meters of geothermal pipes are integrated into the roadbed, divided into four 200-meter w-loops, with two loops buried 1 meter below the asphalt and two at a depth of 0.5 meters.

The Climate Road underwent testing from May 2019 to May 2021. Over the project duration, a total precipitation of 1654 millimetres was recorded, with an average temperature of 9.3 degrees Celsius and the most intense rainfall measuring 40.3 millimetres per 30 minutes. The permeable asphalt exhibited a gradual decrease in overall infiltration capacity over time but remained well above the recommended infiltration capacity of 97.2 millimetres per hour for most parts of the road section. The total volume reduction capacity is estimated to range between 15 and 30%. Analysis of 61 individual rain events revealed event detention times ranging from 10 to 130 minutes, with an average of 35 minutes. Hence, the Climate Road has proven to be a very effective climate adaptation solution. Likewise, throughout the project, the Climate Road generated a total of 98 megawatt-hours of energy for a nearby kindergarten, achieving an average coefficient of performance (COP) of 3.1. The energy generated during the project period was able to fulfil the energy demand from the Kindergarten thereby making the Kindergarten fully sustainable with respect to its energy consumption.



The Climate Road concept can be implemented and scaled without difficulty on a much larger scale than the current project.

Furthermore, the project provided a basis for new innovative solutions. An example of this is the next generation of Climate Road called The Thermo-road, which, in addition to rainwater management and heat production, also provides cooling for the surrounding houses. Moreover, the Thermoroad uses a collective district heating and cooling grid instead of supplying a single building. Also, the Thermoroad makes use of excess heat from the central wastewater pipe.



Since 2019, when the Climate Road began operating, it has demonstrated significant potential. It serves not only as a climate adaptation solution, effectively managing precipitation through drainage, reduction, detention, and storage, but also as a climate mitigation solution, generating around 50 MWh/year of clean renewable energy.


Integrating Climate Roads into urban environments offers urban planners fresh possibilities. They can deploy Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) on a large scale in urban areas, capitalizing on the compact footprint of Climate Roads while simultaneously implementing highly efficient Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS).




VIA University College, Hedensted Kommune, NCC Industry A/S, Løsning VVS A/S, Colas Danmark A/S, and Kamstrup.

The Climate Road is part of the EU supported project Coast to Coast Climate Challenge.



Theis Raaschou Andersen
Director of Research, VIA University College

Søren Erbs Poulsen
Head of Research, VIA University College