Paper Conference

Proceedings of BSO Conference 2020: Fifth Conference of IBPSA-England


Assessing heat vulnerability in London care settings: case studies of adaptation to climate change

Eleni Oikonomou, Anna Mavrogianni, Nishesh Jain, Rajat Gupta, Paul Wilkinson, Alastair Howard, Ai Milojevic, Mike Davies

Abstract: This pilot study aims at testing methods to assess heat vulnerability in London care homes and develop overheating reduction strategies to mitigate temperature exposure and the associated negative health impacts under the warming climate, with a view to scaling up the project on a national scale. It undertakes feasibility work to identify possible causes of overheating across a range of care home types and evaluate the current and future potential of indicative passive solutions. The summertime thermal environments of five case study care homes were monitored and their physical, technical and occupancy profiles were established through surveys. The data was inputed in the EnergyPlus V8.9 dynamic thermal simulations via the DesignBuilder Graphical User Interface. Future overheating risks and their reduction potential through the use of passive strategies were tested under a set of representative climate change scenarios, during a five-day heatwave period. The dynamic thermal simulation analysis indicated that older buildings with higher heat loss and thermal mass capacities are likely to benefit more from the application of high albedo materials rather than external shading methods, whereas newer and highly insulated buildings seem to benefit more from higher ventilation rates and appropriate external shading systems. Night ventilation emerged as the single most impactful passive technique for all building types. This feasibility work has developed novel methods, knowledge and insights that will be helpful in understanding how to enable care settings in the UK to become resilient to rising heat stress. This is one of the first systematic attempts to build a set of dynamic thermal models of care homes in the UK.
Pages: 129 - 137