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Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on Thermal Comfort in A Building Category: The Case of Linear-type Social Housing Stock in Southern Spain

1
Instituto Universitario de Arquitectura y Ciencias de la Construcción, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universidad de Sevilla, Av. Reina Mercedes 2, 41012 Seville, Spain
2
Department of Industrial Engineering, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Napoli, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(12), 2238; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12122238
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Materials for Energy Efficient Buildings)
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Abstract

The Climate Change scenario projected by the IPCC for the year 2050 predicts noticeable increases in temperature. In severe summer climates, such as the Mediterranean area, this would have very negative effects on thermal comfort in the existing housing stock, given the current high percentage of dwellings which are obsolete in energy terms and house a population at serious risk of energy poverty. The main aim of this paper is to generate a predictive model in order to assess the impact of this future climate scenario on thermal comfort conditions in an entire building category. To do so, calibrated models representing linear-type social multi-family buildings, dating from the post-war period and located in southern Spain, will be simulated extensively using transient energy analyses performed by EnergyPlus. In addition, a sensitivity analysis will be performed to identify the most influential parameters on thermal discomfort. The main results predict a generalized deterioration in indoor thermal comfort conditions due to global warming, increasing the average percentage of discomfort hours during the summer by more than 35%. This characterization of the future thermal behaviour of the residential stock in southern Spain could be a trustworthy tool for decision-making in energy retrofitting projects which are so badly needed. To do so, further work is required on some limitations of this model so that different user profiles and typologies can be represented in detail and an economic assessment can be included. View Full-Text
Keywords: social housing stock; thermal comfort; Mediterranean climate; building performance simulation; climate change; sensitivity analysis social housing stock; thermal comfort; Mediterranean climate; building performance simulation; climate change; sensitivity analysis
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Escandón, R.; Suárez, R.; Sendra, J.J.; Ascione, F.; Bianco, N.; Mauro, G.M. Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on Thermal Comfort in A Building Category: The Case of Linear-type Social Housing Stock in Southern Spain. Energies 2019, 12, 2238.

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