Impacts of climate change on the energy performance of buildings in the United States
Brown, G. Z.
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Brown, G. Z.
This study uses computer simulation techniques to assess the impacts of climate change on building energy demand. This analysis allows for the characterization of the potential for reducing the energy use of buildings in a quantitative manner and therefore improving building design. Six cities and five building types representing a range of climates and building occupancies were modeled. Three design strategies for improving energy performance under warmed conditions are compared to a basecase. The study concludes that annual cooling loads will increase at a much greater rate than heating loads will decrease; The timing, magnitude and duration of short term changes, peaks, is as large a concern as the sheer magnitude of the large annual changes in demand due to Global Warming; new methods of resource acquisition will have to be implemented to respond to the new energy resource demands; and a new set of incremental measures, conservation targets, will have to be developed to support new resources. The results of the study indicate that research and demonstration of regional, building unit area weighted, zero energy growth, energy demand targets should be developed. These regional energy conservation targets should emphasize the saving of lost opportunity resources in the design of the most permanent of the building systems, the building's exterior skin geometry, assembly and interiors. The study indicates that the clearest specific target for reducing energy use under Global Warming is the design of windows. The research, design, and demonstration of windows that act as an integrated lighting system with the electric lighting; admitting daylight, view, and cooling ventilation without admitting sunlight; should be a major thrust for research and development of the 1990's.
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