Report by Arup Research and Development for the DTIs Partners in Innovation Programme

Report on offices

The datum for the research was the weather in 1989 which was extrapolated to 2020, 2050 and 2080 using data from the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP). The research used a median of four UKCIP climate change scenarios based on progress in abating CO2 emissions. It predicts that temperatures in the south of England could be up to 8°C warmer by 2080 reaching 40°C. Above 28°C occupants experience increasing discomfort.

The report predicts that a 1960s office that is naturally ventilated will be unusable between June and August by 2080 with internal temperatures reaching 39°C. That is 3 degrees hotter than the July average for a street in Cairo. Natural ventilation is employed in 70 per cent of UK offices. This raises questions about current recommendations regarding night cooling of offices as the external air temperatures get hotter. It suggests that even offices which are air conditioned to current climate extremes will be inadequate.

The report recommends that air conditioning systems should be driven by renewable electricity - PVs etc. 'Air conditioning needs to be combined with passive cooling systems to provide a greener and more cost-effective solution' (Jake Hacker, project leader for the research). Such mixed mode solutions are the way for the future.

The report makes the sobering remark that even the BRE low energy office in Watford fails to meet BRE's own benchmark for comfort from 2020 onwards.

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable.

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