Summertime impact of climate change on multi-occupancy British dwellings
journal contributionposted on 24.01.2013, 15:58 by Shariful H. Shikder, Monjur Mourshed, Andrew Price
Recent climate change projections estimate that the average summertime temperature in the southern part of Great Britain may increase by up to 5.4°C by the end of the century. The general consensus is that projected increases in temperature will render British dwellings vulnerable to summer overheating and by the middle of this century it may become difficult to maintain a comfortable indoor environment, if adaptation measures are not well integrated in the design and operation of new dwellings, which are likely to remain in use beyond the 2050s. The challenge is to reduce overheating risks by integrating building and user adaptation measures, to avoid energy intensive mechanical cooling. Developing guidelines and updating building regulations for adaptation, therefore, requires an understanding of the baseline scenario; i.e. the performance of existing buildings in future climates. This paper aims to investigate the performance of new-build multi-occupancy British dwellings for human thermal comfort in the present-day and projected future climates in four regional cities: Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Manchester. Evaluations are carried out by a series of dynamic thermal simulations using widely adopted threshold temperature for overheating, as well as adaptive thermal comfort standards. This study thus offers a unique perspective on regional variations of performance and provides a clearer snapshot because of the use of more appropriate adaptive comfort standards in the evaluations. Finally, the paper sheds light on possible personal and building adaptation measures to alleviate overheating risks.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering