Climate change is one of the largest threats both for the global economy and the local community. It is predicted that, by 2100, average temperatures could rise as much as six degrees Celsius. The UK is anticipated to become hotter and drier in summer and milder and wetter in winter, even under low carbon emissions scenarios. In addition to rising fuel cost, which may render selected buildings uneconomic to operate in the future, a number of buildings are at risk of being uninhabitable in summer if the climate develops as predicted under a high global emission scenario. Both individual buildings and entire cities are required to adapt to such scenarios.

Current research of the Sustainable Energy Research Group focusses on evaluating buildings and their façades in terms of their vulnerability to climate change, with a particular emphasis on summer overheating. First assessments show that many buildings in the commercial sector are at risk of being uninhabitable in the future without additional energy-intensive cooling devices. Whilst the majority of offices only showed a moderate overheating in the simulations with the industry standard weather file, significant overheating was observed in reality. In addition to this simulation, measured Southampton weather data was used to verify the validity of the simulation model. A climate change adapted industry standard weatherfile for the 2050's which was generated with the CCWeatherGen tool shows a far better match with the 2006 observations than the original file. This serves to highlight that climate change adapted weather data mayserve to better predict building performance than current weather files derived from historic data.

The results presented here take into account future climate scenarios through a methodology, developed in Southampton, which generates weather data formats that are integrated into simulation programs used in the analysis. The second part of the presentation concentrates on applying such methodologies for other cases in Middle East such as, Qatar and UAE plus others.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Received: 05 February 2012
  • Accepted: 13 March 2012
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error