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University of Sheffield Grad School

Examining the effect of alternative internal layouts and highly optimised form and massing on the ability of a building to cope with future extremes of temperature. Also examining the effect of compromises on the acoustic environment of the building. Detailed façades study to examine optima for shading and to appraise a wide range of façade alternatives for robustness when considering increased volatility of future weather events.

Further project details

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

Risks were initially assessed using Arup’s Climate Change Appraisal Framework, which provides a structure for considering the often disparate effects of climate change. Measures were identified by using thermal modelling to determine problem areas and by carrying out a detailed analysis of the façade options.

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

Communication with the client was continuous, often through our parallel team working on the ‘main’ design. The best method is frequent communication to ensure that the project and its findings remain visible to the decision makers.

3. What tools have you used to assess overheating and flood risks?

IES was used to assess overheating risk using the Prometheus Weather files for the location. The overheating criteria are defined using an adaptive comfort threshold instead of a fixed threshold. This is in order to try and capture the effects of people becoming more accustomed to warmer weather in the future. Flood risk is not an issue due to the location of the site.

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

Due to the fact that this research project was running parallel to the main design with similar teams, it is hard to attribute implementations directly to this work. However, reduced g-value glazing, night ventilation with thermal mass and increased daytime ventilation rates and open areas were incorporated. In addition, the use of future weather files into the main overheating reports added to communicate the ability of the building to cope with increased temperatures.

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

The main challenge surrounded trying to carry out the adaptation study alongside the main project. It was a fine balance between waiting for design decisions to be made in order to make our study more relevant and it being too late to influence the design of the building.

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

Make sure that the team involved are fully bought into the adaptation study as when running it alongside the main project, there is a danger that resource will be diverted away. This can also be helped by having a fully informed client that is aware of the potential benefits of the adaptation study who should be kept updated with outputs.

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