Characterising the response of buildings to climate change - the issue of overheating

5th Urban Research Symposium "Cities and Climate Change: Responding to an Urgent Agenda", Marseille, June. 2009.

Many buildings currently demonstrate levels of overheating close to the maximum allowed by the building regulations of the countries in which they are located. Therefore there is the potential that such buildings will clearly breach the regulations under the climatic conditions predicted as a result of climate change. To examine the problem, weather files indicative of possible future climate were created and applied to a variety of buildings. We have found that the projected levels of climate change engender a linear response in the internal temperature of the buildings. We have termed the constant of proportionality that this implies the ‘climate change amplification coefficient’. We suggest that optimisation of the climate change amplification coefficient during the design process of a new building will promote the adaptation of architectural design to the effects of climate change and thereby improve resilience.

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