Monday, February 16, 2009

Climate change means review of heating and cooling needed

H&V News (UK): Building services engineers need to start preparing for the impact of climate change according to a new report by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. Climate Change: Adapting to the Inevitable looks at how approaches to energy, building water, infrastructure and transport should change in response to the expected rise in temperatures.

One of the key arguments is that engineers must review their design parameters: “Resilience to extreme weather events will also need to be reviewed. “The current peak design data used by engineers when designing internal heating, ventilation and cooling solutions for buildings will need to be reviewed to reflect future scenarios.

“The structural design parameters will also need updating regularly to cope with predictions for increased flooding, subsidence, effects of heat on materials and resistance to rain penetration.” Master planning to stop heat building up in urban centres is also an issue. The report said: “Buildings adaptation is perhaps the area where most consideration of future climate change has already been made.

…“The understanding of street layout, building orientation, massing and location is critical in minimising overheating in and around buildings, and reducing risks of flooding. Lessons can be learnt from developments in existing hot climates and recent advances in the understanding of zero-carbon master planning from projects such as Dongtan in China.”

London skyline from the south bank of the Thames . The Swiss Re "gherkin" and the White Tower can be seen in the background. Shot by Italo-Europeo, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

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