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Dragon Junior School for the Future

New low energy junior school for the Dragon School to accommodate 200 children between the ages of 7 to 9 (years three and four). It is designed as a school with classrooms, informal learning spaces, library IT facilities a school hall and dining area, changing rooms, play and garden spaces.

Further project details

1. What approach did you take in assessing risks and identifying adaptation measures to mitigate the risks?

The methodological approach is based on the risk triangle developed to understand the implications of climate change for the insurance industry. With this approach, hazards and impacts of climate change are assessed along with exposure of the site, and vulnerability of the potential occupants.

To demonstrate this approach, firstly the hazards for the site were quantified at an appropriate scale, this entailed analysis of probabilistic climate change projections developed by the UKCP09. Secondly, climate change impacts were defined. Thirdly the local environmental features (LEFs), which can exacerbate or ameliorate the impacts, were defined for their potential influence and finally the general adaptation strategies were detailed. Mitigation strategies that share synergistic relationships with specific adaptation strategies were also identified.

2. How have you communicated the risks and recommendations with your client? What methods worked well?

The client has been involved in a workshop in which risks, adaptation and their benefits were presented.

All adaptation measures were well received as they were presented as design development. 3 What tools have you used to assess overheating and flood risks?

UKCP09 Weather Generator, UKCP09 threshold detector, IES VE, Matlab, MS Excel were used assess overheating.

Three distinct metrics were selected to evaluate overheating risks of different building types and they are:

  • Departments of Education’s Building Bulletin 101
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers Guide A
  • Adaptive Thermal Comfort Standard (BS EN 15251 /CIBSE TM 52).

Environment Agency flood map was used assess flooding.

UKCP09 threshold detector was used assess drought.

4. What has the client agreed to implement as a result of your adaptation work?

Based on the cost benefit analysis of all these measures, clients are in favour of following measures, as they could potentially have significant amount of savings over building life time.

  • secure and bug free night time ventilation
  • enhanced solar shading
  • triple glazing in order to reduce solar gain
  • enhanced construction details
  • rainwater catchment systems.

All building adaptation measures were adopted for the planning application and are to be reviewed as part of the project cost plan.

Plan of proposed Dragon School, Oxford

5. What were the major challenges so far in doing this adaptation work?

The challenges were ameliorated by the detail design assessment necessary to comply with current Part L and current overheating analysis such as Building Bulletin 101. So adapting for future climate conditions is simply an extension of the current strategy with a different set of base criteria.

Through this work, it has been realised that to have confidence in overheating risk assessment for future climate, there is a need to have consistent metrics for all projects. This includes agreeing on an appropriate overheating risk criterion, a standardised calculation method for assessing risk and future climate data (for different locations in the UK).

The metrics may differ for building typologies and occupant categories but would still have a common approach. A consistent approach to overheating analysis is required if the central/local Government and professional bodies would like to incorporate a requirement for designers and developers to undertake overheating risk analysis for new buildings against future climate, as part of future building regulations or planning requirements.

It also has been realised that cost benefit analysis (CBA) isn’t the only way to determine the uptake of adaptation measures. CBA tends to work for those measures which have energy implication. For the measures which don’t have energy saving but improve thermal comfort, thermal comfort and its health benefit should also be considered. There is a need to develop a methodology to quantify the health benefits of adaptation measures.

6. What advice would you give others undertaking adaptation strategies?

We have developed a robust and replicable methodology for climate change risk analysis based on UKCP09 Weather Generator, described in more detail in Climate Change Hazards and Impacts Report. Such methodological approaches could be applied to other building projects.