The impact of future climate scenarios on decision making in building performance simulation: a case study

C.J. Hopfe, G. Augenbroe, J.L.M. Hensen, A.J.T.M. Wijsman, W. Plokker

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Expected climate change may turn into a key challenge for building designers in the 21st century [Homes et al. 2007].In response to this challenge simulation packages have started to provide future climate scenarios to predict the energy demands and thermal comfort in buildings. The need to make predictions for climate change scenarios is becoming increasingly important.This paper describes the integration of climate change scenarios in one of the building performance simulation tools, i.e. VA114, which is used extensively in the Netherlands. Based on the existing traditional reference year "De Bilt 64/65", NEN 5060:2008 released a new norm that introduces four new climate files for different types of climate adjustments. KNMI on the other hand assembled four different future scenarios for the expected climate change. The climate files from the NEN and the KNMI future scenarios have been combined in a future climate data analysis for usage within the targeted simulation software VA114. The paper describes a case study focusing on the impact that a climate scenario may have on a concrete design decision. The case study involves two HVAC system designs: (1) a conventional cooling/heating system and (2) a heating/ cooling storage system. Both options are simulated and compared. The impact of climate change is shown on energy use and thermal comfort. It is then shown how the climate scenarios (and their inherent uncertainties) impact the uncertainty in the outcomes and how these outcomes influence the choice between the design options. The conclusions of the paper highlight the relevance of different (uncertain) climate scenarios and the role they play in design decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. EuropIA 12th Int. Conf. - Innovations for Building and Construction, Towards a better, stronger and sustainable future using advanced ICT, March 2009
EditorsE Dado, R Beheshti, K Zreik
Place of PublicationParis
ISBN (Print)978-2-909285-56-1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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