Impact of climate change on residential building envelope cooling loads in subtropical climates

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2098-2103
Journal / PublicationEnergy and Buildings
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


Future trends of cooling load due to heat gain through the building envelopes in the residential sector in subtropical Hong Kong under different emissions scenarios in the 21st century were investigated. Predicted monthly weather data from five general circulation models were gathered and analysed. An increasing trend of building envelope cooling load was observed. The average annual cooling load during the 2009-2100 period would be 6.1% and 9.8% more than that during 1979-2008 for low and medium forcing, respectively. If only the last 30 years (2071-2100) were considered, the percentage increase would be much larger at 12.3% and 21.6%. Four mitigation or energy conservation measures - raising the indoor temperature, thermal insulation, double glazing and tinted glass - were considered. Among them, raising the indoor temperature has the best mitigation potential because there is a growing awareness and recognition of adaptive thermal comfort and it can be readily applied to both existing and new buildings at no extra cost. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Climate change, Cooling load, Electricity consumption, General circulation models, Mitigation measures, Residential building envelopes