Towards an overheating risk tool for building design

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Abstract

Purpose – The work set out to design and develop an overheating risk tool using the UKCP09 climate projections that is compatible with building performance simulation software. The aim of the tool is to exploit the Weather Generator and give a reasonably accurate assessment of a building's performance in future climates, without adding significant time, cost or complexity to the design team's work.

Methodology/approach – Because simulating every possible future climate is impracticable, the approach adopted was to use principal component analysis to give a statistically rigorous simplification of the climate projections. The perceptions and requirements of potential users were assessed through surveys, interviews and focus groups.

Findings – It is possible to convert a single dynamic simulation output into many hundreds of simulation results at hourly resolution for equally probable climates, giving a population of outcomes for the performance of a specific building in a future climate, thus helping the user choose adaptations that might reduce the risk of overheating. The tool outputs can be delivered as a probabilistic overheating curve and feed into a risk management matrix. Professionals recognized the need to quantify overheating risk, particularly for non-domestic buildings, and were concerned about the ease of incorporating the UKCP09 projections into this process. The new tool has the potential to meet these concerns.

Originality/value – The paper is the first attempt to link UKCP09 climate projections and building performance simulation software in this way and the work offers the potential for design practitioners to use the tool to quickly assess the risk of overheating in their designs and adapt them accordingly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-266
Number of pages14
JournalStructural Survey
Volume31
Issue number4
Early online date1 Jul 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Buildings
  • Climate change
  • Overheating
  • Thermal comfort

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