Ian Ellis, a ‘smart buildings’ specialist at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, explains why recent years’ heatwaves in the UK point to a new challenge – simultaneously mitigating the effects of climate change while dealing with the root cause of carbon emissions.
Last summer the UK truly felt the effects of climate change. While global warming has already caused extreme weather events around the world, some perhaps thought that the UK’s milder climate would mean we would be shielded from the effects. Our cooler weather and status as a developed economy does mean we are somewhat less affected, but recent 40 °C temperatures have shown we do have many infrastructure challenges ahead of us, particularly in our built environment
Frequent heatwaves will make building comfort harder to maintain. We also need to be careful not to exacerbate the root cause while doing so, by ensuring that carbon emissions are limited at the same time. For hospitals there is a fundamental need to ensure comfortable temperatures for patients and optimum working conditions for doctors and nurses. At the same time, how do you address opposing challenges of decarbonising for the future, and providing comfort for today, for a building as complex and energy-intensive as a hospital?
The fundamental shift in design
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