Jentsch, Mark Frederick
Viability of naturally ventilated buildings in the UK under predicted
future summer climates
University of Southampton, School of Civil Engineering and the Environment,
According to current climate change predictions for the UK, summers are expected to become dryer and hotter in the future. This has potentially serious implications for overheating of naturally ventilated office buildings, many of which already fail to perform under current heatwave conditions. This thesis addresses the summer performance of such buildings under current and future climates by means of building performance simulation. Current industry standard weather datasets for building performance simulation are not however, suited to the assessment of the potential impacts of a changing climate. This work describes the integration of future climate scenarios into widely used weather file formats and critically assesses the resulting weather datasets. Simulations of a case study building at the University of Southampton highlight the potential impact of climate change on future summer overheating inside naturally ventilated buildings. The results of these simulations are compared to monitored data from the case study building during an extended heatwave period in the summer of 2006. It is shown that the present day performance of a naturally ventilated building under an extended heatwave period can give an indication of its likely performance during a projected typical hot summer in the 2050’s under a medium-high emissions scenario. A second case study building serves to highlight that building designs and building services solutions which are suitable for retaining acceptable indoor comfort levels during current heatwave periods, are likely to be suitable to alleviate summer overheating under the predicted warmer future climates. Further simulations, encompassing various locations throughout the UK emphasize the need for timely refurbishment of naturally ventilated office buildings within the next few decades to avoid increasing numbers of existing buildings failing to perform under the predicted future summer conditions.
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