Session 4 Paper 2, University College London, 16-17 April 2015
Europe is seeking new ways to meet the goals of the Kyoto protocol and it is accepted that in buildings there is a huge potential for reducing energy consumption. Insulating buildings is now an accepted measure and is relatively simple to achieve, commonly used and embedded in European and national legislation. However, a more severe problem is rising: it is expected that in Europe the demand for electricity for mechanical cooling of chilled spaces will expand by a factor of 4 in 2020 compared to the figures in 1996. So energy demand for cooling is getting more and more into focus.
The big problem with regard to regulating temperatures in buildings becomes apparent in summer when unintentional internal and external heat loads cause rooms to get hotter by the hour. Here the building’s mass plays an important part in determining the room temperature. Lightweight buildings just do not possess enough mass to avoid heat build-up and can therefore overheat.