Architecture for a different future

Sue Roaf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The design of buildings will have to evolve rapidly if millions of people are to be prevented from dying of heat or cold stress in our heating world. This chapter briefly charts the evolution of building types to date. Ideas of what constitutes “thermal comfort” are explained and their importance in developing novel criteria for future buildings in which people can survive in more extreme climate trends and weather events. The argument is made that regulations must move on from conventional focus on the energy efficiency of mechanical air-conditioning systems to mandate for energy sufficient buildings that can run for as much of the day or year as possible powered by local natural energy from wind and sun and are designed to shelter occupants better from ever more extreme temperature challenges. Such radical changes require decision makers to understand both the scale of the thermal challenges posed by the heating climate and the political importance of protecting vulnerable populations against them.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiving With Climate Change
EditorsTrevor M. Letcher
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780443185144
ISBN (Print)9780443185151
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy sufficiency
  • Resilience
  • Solar
  • Vernacular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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