Recent climate change projections estimate that the average summertime temperature in the southern part of Great
Britain may increase by up to 5.4°C by the end of the century. The general consensus is that projected increases in temperature
will render British dwellings vulnerable to summer overheating and by the middle of this century it may become
difficult to maintain a comfortable indoor environment, if adaptation measures are not well integrated in the design and
operation of new dwellings, which are likely to remain in use beyond the 2050s. The challenge is to reduce overheating
risks by integrating building and user adaptation measures, to avoid energy intensive mechanical cooling.
Developing guidelines and updating building regulations for adaptation, therefore, requires an understanding of the
baseline scenario; i.e. the performance of existing buildings in future climates.
This paper aims to investigate the performance of new-build multi-occupancy British dwellings for human thermal comfort
in the present-day and projected future climates in four regional cities: Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and
Manchester. Evaluations are carried out by a series of dynamic thermal simulations using widely adopted threshold temperature
for overheating, as well as adaptive thermal comfort standards. This study thus offers a unique perspective on
regional variations of performance and provides a clearer snapshot because of the use of more appropriate adaptive
comfort standards in the evaluations. Finally, the paper sheds light on possible personal and building adaptation measures
to alleviate overheating risks.
Keywords: Adaptive thermal comfort, climate change, adaptation, thermal performance, building simulation.
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