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Assessment of overheating risk and the impact of natural ventilation in educational buildings of Southern Europe under current and future climatic conditions

Heracleous, Chryso, Michael, Aimilios
Energy 2018 v.165 pp. 1228-1239
buildings, climate change, climatic factors, computer software, decision making, energy efficiency, issues and policy, natural ventilation, prediction, risk, social behavior, temperature, Cyprus, Europe, Southern European region
It has become evident that southern Europe will experience more adverse climate change effects compared to other European regions. The current study aims to investigate the vulnerability of educational buildings in Cyprus, in view of future climatic conditions, by means of a dynamic simulation software. In addition, the influence of natural ventilation on the thermal comfort in the current and future climatic conditions is examined. The research indicates that educational buildings in southern Europe are unable to meet the thermal comfort criteria for more than 70% of the time, which entails a major impact on the environmental, economic and social interaction of people and buildings. The results show that night ventilation is an effective strategy for the reduction of the risk of overheating especially in the TMY; however, this strategy alone is unable to cope with future overheating predictions. Natural ventilation alone can achieve a reduction of hours where operative temperature exceeds the CIBSE maximum limits of 28–35% by 2050s and of 9–11% by 2090s. The evaluation of the resilience of existing educational buildings is useful in understanding the necessity of energy retrofitting measures in view of future climate conditions, contributing to energy efficiency policies and decision-making regarding retrofit interventions.