Climate change sensitivity of comfort and energy performance criteria in offices
Authors: Roetzel, Astrid ; Tsangrassoulis, Aris
ABSTRACT: The climate change scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
predict a significant increase in temperatures over the next decades. Architecture and building
occupants have to respond to this change, but little information is currently available in how far the
predicted changes are likely to affect comfort and energy performance in buildings. This study
therefore investigates the climate change sensitivity of the following parameters: adaptive thermal
comfort according to Ashrae Standard 55 and EN 15251, energy consumption, heating and cooling
loads, and length of heating and cooling periods.
The study is based on parametric simulations of typical office room configurations in the context of
Athens, Greece. They refer to different building design priorities and account for different occupant
behaviour by using an ideal and worst case scenario. To evaluate the impact of the climate change,
simulations are compared based on a common standard weather data set for Athens, and a generated
climate change data set for the IPCC A2 scenario.
The results show a significant impact of the climate change on all investigated parameters. They also
indicate that in this context the optimisation of comfort and energy performance is likely to be related to
finding the best possible balance between building (design) and occupant behaviour and other
contextual influences, rather than a straightforward optimisation of separated single parameters.