Environmental

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The relevance of the current built industries design for climate change within existing stock and on-going design was the subject of recent C.I.B.S.E. publication entitled “ Design for Future Climate Changes –Case Studies TM55; March 2014 “.

The paper essentially advised that the changing climate is already having an impact on the thermal comfort and performance of existing UK building stock   and sets out to demonstrate that as the climate continues to heat up in the second half of this century, building performance will continue to deteriorate and struggle. The paper suggests that the built industry now needs to reconsider how they design, construct, maintain, refurbish and provide occupancy guidelines for buildings to account for climate changes.

The paper suggests the weather file base our designers are using is potentially out of date as the files are based on an average around 1990 and in fact it would be more prudent to use the future 2020 weather file which in fact is based on a 30 year period which extends from 2010 to 2040. The paper deals with the three planks of climate change namely :

 

Comfort and Energy Performance.

Construction- Weather resistance, detailing and material life performance .

Water – Flooding and shortage.

 

However for the purposes of this blog which is centred around Comfort and Energy Performance Building Services designers and Facility Management operatives need to consider that warmer winters may reduce the need for heating but that keeping cool in summer without increasing energy use , carbon taxes and carbon emissions will present an ongoing challenge.

 

Thermal Energy Storage (TES) provides a perfect tool for both new and retrofits to manage and reduce energy consumption by maximising the cooling plant efficiency by generating off peak when the external ambient conditions are best suited and when the utility charges are lower.

TES apart from reducing the plant capacity in the first instance can also increase the output of existing cooling installation without the need to add additional generating plant by the use of central or spot thermal energy storage facilities. In all cases PCM TES can and will make a significant contribution to the Comfort and Energy performance of both new and existing building stock.