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Resilience through adaptive room use

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Resilience through adaptive room use

Back to 2017 Technical Symposium Overview

Session 10 Paper 1: CIBSE Technical Symposium 5-6 April 2017, Loughborough University

Chris Schuetze - Troup Bywaters & Anders **Opinion paper**

Many building designs have to maximise the use of the building footprint and cannot afford the expense of shallow floor plates around tall atria for ventilation and cooling. In order to comply with carbon reduction requirements in such buildings, the cooling hierarchy is often applied on a zonal basis, selecting the most low-carbon measures which still meet the thermal comfort criteria.

Our experience has shown that this strategy can result in a lack of resilience to increases in gains to the rooms, be it from increased external gains under future climate change or increased internal gains from a change of use. To increase resilience, upgrades of the cooling strategy are generally recommended to be implemented at the design stage or planned retrofit, thereby increasing the carbon emissions of the building.

This paper attempts to address this problem by extending the concept of adaptation to building use in the same way that building facades have to adapt to the needs for passive design measures and occupants have to adapt their expectation of indoor climate in response to the outdoor climate. “Adaptive Room Use” is tabled as an umbrella concept for improving resilience in new buildings and refurbishments. The main strands of this concept are explored, including:

a) Occupancy displacement during peak gains including extended occupancy hours and cool refuges
b) Prioritising cooling needs in the form of “Cool-Desking” for comfort-sensitive tasks in larger naturally or mechanically ventilated spaces and or designated “Cool Clusters” (vertical or horizontal sections of a building with a fixed cooling capacity and interchangeable use)
It is concluded that Adaptive Room Use appears be able to bridge the gap between low-cost low-carbon building strategies and resilience.

Besides the paper that can be downloaded above, the slides presented at the Symposium are available here