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Saturday, July 10, 2010

IES » » Future weather data and designing buildings to respond to climate change…

Source: http://blog.iesve.com/index.php/2010/07/06/future-weather-data-and-designing-buildings-to-respond-to-climate-change/

Posted : July 6, 2010 by Richard Quincey, Category: Sustainability

To be truly sustainable, a building needs to last in excess of 100 years, and current design regulations and sustainability rating systems only require you to design against weather data that represents at best the next decade or so. Sustainable designs really need to make some assessment of the impact of climate change on determining built form suitability for the long term.

Therefore, I thought I’d take this opportunity to expand on my recent Weather Design and Data blog.

IES cannot tell you what is going to happen, however there is huge consensus around a 3oC global warming target as you will have no doubt heard. What does this mean to building design?  It seems reasonable to assume investors and insurers will consider this target and what it might mean for buildings in the future.

Let us take the CIBSE published UK weather predictions for a medium-high climate change scenario, which represents about a 3oC rise, and consider London, by far not the worst location in climate change terms, over the next 70 years.

Just glancing at the headline information you see that:
The summer is extending and getting hotter in the Mahoney analysis (monthly average);
The reduction in heating degree days -31% from now to 2080;
The growth in cooling degree days + 65% from now to 2080;
The climate classification shift – mixed humid to warm marine;
How built form design focus shifts to be dominated by summer issues.

Just from this brief overview you can start to see how selecting and comparing weather data, especially climate change impacts, can allow you to assess fundamental built form suitability and its ability to adapt to climate change over the long term.

For locations outside of the UK this analysis is possible using morphed data from any epw weather file; a free tool allows you morph climate change scenarios worldwide.


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