On the creation of future probabilistic design weather years from UKCP09

Building Services Engineering Research & Technology,

Weather data are used extensively by building scientists and engineers to study the performance of their designs, help compare design alternatives and ensure compliance with building regulations. Given a changing climate, there is a need to provide data for future years so that practising engineers can investigate the impact of climate change on particular designs and examine any risk the commissioning client might be exposed to. In addition, such files are of use to building scientists in developing generic solutions to problems such as elevated internal temperatures and poor thermal comfort. With the publication of the UK Climate Projections (UKCP09) such data can be created for future years up to 2080 and for various probabilistic projections of climate change by the use of a weather generator. Here we discuss a method for the creation future probabilistic reference years for use within thermal models. In addition, a comparison is made with the current set of future weather years based on the UKCIP02 projections. When used within a dynamic thermal simulation of a building the internal environments created by the current set of future weather files lie within the range of the internal environments created by the probabilistic reference years generated by the weather generator. Hence the main advantages of the weather generator are seen to lie in its potentially greater spatial resolution, its ability to inform risk analysis and that such files, unlike ones based on observed data, carry no copyright.

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