Design for Future Climate (D4FC): How does climate change affect building design?

Design for Future Climate (D4FC): How does climate change affect building design?

How will climate change affect building design? What methodologies can be used in the design process to ensure this is addressed? What specific adaptation measures might be designed into a building? How can we measure value and ensure the right measures are chosen?

This TSB funded “Design for Future Climate” project developed strategies to adapt UK buildings to climate change. Using the New QEII Hospital project as a ‘live’ case study Penoyre & Prasad worked with Oxford Brooks University and the project design team to create a climate change adaptation strategy for the new building.

Key outcomes of the project are as follows:

  • A methodology has been developed for assessing building design and identifying appropriate climate change adaptation
  • The knowledge base for the costs and benefits of climate change adaptation has been extended
  • The challenges of adapting buildings within a limited construction budget and timetable have been better understood

The adaptation strategy was developed in line with the protocols developed for the D4FC programme as follows:

  • The climate change risk to the building was analysed
  • Desktop thermal and energy building simulations were run to inform the adaptation choices
  • Possible adaptation measures were appraised and graded according to suitability for inclusion through discussion at workshops
  • Suitable adaptation measures were assessed for capital benefit, calculating both capital cost and energy costs
  • Measures were selected for uptake through discussion at a final workshop

The methodology for climate change risk assessment and selection of adaptation measures developed through this research project could be applied to other building projects, and the cost benefit analysis could help designers and clients to identify cost effective adaptation measures. The model for client engagement and risk mitigation has also proved very successful and could be applied to buildings with similar contractual arrangements.