Thursday, 27 March 2014

St Loyes Care Home research on climate change adaptation published in CIBSE Technical Memorandum TM55

After over a year of editing and peer review our research project which investigated the climate change adaptation (CCA) of the ExtraCare4Exeter project has finally been published in CIBSE TM55.  This is the first time G&S have been published in an engineering technical document and joins the many papers and case studies we have published to date.

The building itself is a state of the art, 5-storey exemplar Extra Care Facility for the elderly located in Exeter.   During early design stages G&S won funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) under the Design for Future Climate Change (D4FC) competition.  This funding enabled G&S to investigate climate change adaptation strategies for the building design moving into future climate change weather scenarios well into 2080.

The main emphasis of this CCA work was to address the issue of overheating in the building design for a very vulnerable user group, primarily focusing on increased internal and external temperatures and heat related discomfort and illness in individuals. In particular high level dementia care was to be accommodated in the building design.

To a lesser extent increased weather severity (flooding, wind, and driving rain) and increased air pollution were also investigated.   

Many papers were written investigating strategies to develop an adaptable design for changing climates - passive and active strategies, mass, natural ventilation, the role of plants and courtyards, green roofs, earth cooling, and the role MVHR could play.

Further details on this project and the papers written can be found here:

The case study presented in the CIBSE TM55 was a synopsis on the overheating analysis and adaptation strategies that were developed for the Extra Care Facility.

Further details on CIBSE TM55 can be found here:

The five adaptation case studies presented in TM55 were funded as part of a larger programme called ‘Design for Future Climate’ creating adaptation strategies for 50 UK building projects supported by the Technology Strategy Board. The aim of the programme was to build expertise within the UK design profession for delivering adaptation services and to build a body of evidence of the commercial advantages of considering future climate adaptation in current building projects, both new build and refurbishment.

This publication is presenting current practice and understanding, rather than commenting on the best way to carry out building adaptation strategies, or recommending changes to regulatory documents and procedures. The projects were undertaken on a commercial basis and so the extent of modelling, investigation and research were inevitably constrained by the overriding needs of the project, planning, programme and costs. In many cases it was the first time that the design teams had given serious attention to the concerns of future climate and so approaches may not necessarily be best practice. It must be noted that it is impossible to measure the weather in 40 years time today, and so the decisions and recommendations in these case studies were based solely on modelling using future weather scenarios without the ability to validate their models with real world measurement, which is not ideal.

These case studies on real building projects illustrate the lessons learned by design teams on improving adaptation resistance and resilience of building projects and show the impact that embedded adaptation strategies can have on the design decisions adopted by clients.

The case studies recommend use of the following adaptation measures: Thermal performance and dealing with overheating; water conservation and dealing with flooding risk; and material durability.


1 Introduction
2 Key messages
3 How the climate is changing
4 Impacts of a changing climate and the challenge of adapting buildings
5 Making a case for adaptation to the client
6 Climatic data used by each study 
7 Challenges to conducting adaptation work and lessons learned in the case studies 

Case studies:

  • Case Study 1: Church View, Doncaster
  • Case Study 2: Greenwich University, School of Architecture and Construction
  • Case Study 3: ExtraCare4Exeter
  • Case Study 4: Harris Academy Purley
  • Case Study 5: White Collar Factory at Old Street Yard