Building for climate change - meeting the design challenges of the 21st century

Mathias Haase, Ingrid Andresen, Berit Time, Anne Grete Hestnes


This paper addresses the dual challenge of designing sustainable low-energy buildings while still providing thermal comfort under warmer
summer conditions produced by anthropogenic climate change a key challenge for building designers in the 21st century. These issues are evaluated by predictions of thermal comfort performance under a climate
change scenario. Climate conditions independent of building types were studied in order to get an overview of the potential for passive cooling
of low energy buildings in Norway. Three sets of future climate data were used as future weather data scenarios (2020, 2050, and 2080) that form the basis for evaluating the future thermal comfort performance of such buildings. These were taken as the basis for future climate change development and compared with respect to summer comfort conditions.
Results show that future climate change predictions will increase cooling degree days. Thus, thermal comfort criteria during summer months are becoming more important when designing energy efficient buildings. It was therefore important to evaluate the potential of thermal comfort and related overheating problems in future summer periods that might even extend it
to autumn and spring seasons. A climate responsive building design should
assist the design strategies and try to exploit climatic conditions. The cold climate of Norway provides a number of strategies to ensure thermal
comfort by passive means.

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