On the predicted effectiveness of climate adaptation measures for residential buildings

T. van Hooff, B.J.E. Blocken, J.L.M. Hensen, H.J.P. Timmermans

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In a changing outdoor climate, new buildings as well as the existing building stock need to adapt in order to keep providing their inhabitants and users a comfortable and healthy indoor environment, with a minimum or – preferably – no increase in energy consumption. In this paper, the effectiveness of six passive climate change adaptation measures applied at the level of building components is assessed using building energy simulations for three generic residential buildings as commonly built in – among others – the Netherlands: (1) detached house; (2) terraced house; (3) apartment. The study involves both residential buildings that are built according to the regulations and common practice in 2012, and residential buildings that were constructed in the 1970s, with a lower thermal resistance of the opaque and transparent parts of the building envelope. The climate change adaptation measures investigated are: (i) increased thermal resistance; (ii) changed thermal capacity; (iii) increased short-wave reflectivity (albedo); (iv) vegetation roofs; (v) solar shading; and (vi) additional natural ventilation. This paper quantifies the effectiveness of these climate change adaptation measures for new residential buildings as well as for renovation of the current building stock. The performance indicator is the number of overheating hours during a year. It is shown that exterior solar shading and additional natural ventilation are most effective for this performance indicator. Furthermore, increasing thermal insulation to reduce energy use for heating demands additional measures to prevent overheating.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-316
Number of pages17
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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