Climate Change and Building Energy Use: Evaluating the Impact of Future Weather on Building Energy Performance in Tropical Regions

Vong, Nguyen
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Trends in average global temperature changes show that the climate is undeniably warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that global temperatures will increase by a range of 1.1°C to 6.4°C by the end of the twenty-first century. For tropical climate zones, increases in global temperatures cause increases in building heat gain, which lead to increases in annual cooling energy use and poorer thermal comfort. This project evaluates the impacts of future climate change on the HNEI Frog building’s energy performance to determine the most effective envelope design now and for the future. Three designs models were created and compared: the Current Design model, the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Standard Design model, and the Proposed Design model. Using the climate change future weather data methodology, building energy use and cooling loads were compared for three time periods, present-day, 2050, and 2080, under the IPCC A2 emissions prediction scenario. The hypothesis was that the Proposed Design model, due to higher levels of insulation, would perform better than the Current Design in each time period, reducing annual energy use. The methodology of this research can be applied to studies that examine a number of building design features, including but not limited to thermal mass, window-to-wall ratio, glazing material, overhang shading, green roof systems, and natural ventilation strategies. With today’s emphasis on reducing building energy use and on sustainability, it is essential to understand how building envelopes will perform in the future.
D.Arch. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Architecture, Building Performance, Energy Simulation, Future Weather Files, Building Envelope Design
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