Comfort and buildings: climate change vulnerability and strategies

Ricardo Barbosa, Romeu Vicente, Rui Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose - This paper aims to investigate vulnerability factors that influence thermal comfort in residential buildings in the context of climate change and variability, as well as adaptive strategies that can be adopted. There is a need for research that systematically addresses factors influencing thermal comfort in the context of climate change.

Design/methodology/approach - Using a vulnerability framework, this paper reviews existing literature to identify factors driving impacts to comfort, as well as strategies to increase adaptive capacity in buildings. Data were collected from several sources including international organizations, scientific journals and government authorities, following an initial Web-based subject search using Boolean operators.

Findings - Significant impacts can be expected in terms of thermal comfort inside buildings depending on four vulnerability factors: location; age and form; construction fabric and occupancy and behaviour. Despite the fact that the majority of the existing studies are technically driven and spatially restricted, there is strong evidence of interdependencies of scales in managing vulnerability and adaptive capacity.

Practical implications - Results from this review emphasise the importance of balance mitigation with adaptation regarding new building design and when retrofitting old buildings. The factors identified here can also be used to assist in construction of simplified tools such as a vulnerability index that helps in identifying the most vulnerable buildings and dwellings and assist in retrofit decisions.

Originality/value - The paper offers critical insight regarding implications in building design and policy in a vulnerability framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-688
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • THERMAL COMFORT
  • HEAT-WAVE
  • ADAPTATION MEASURES
  • SUPPORT-SYSTEM
  • ENERGY
  • FUTURE
  • UK
  • SUSTAINABILITY
  • TEMPERATURES
  • NETHERLANDS

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