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Adapting the design of a new care home development for a changing climate

Andrea Botti (Centre for Environment and Sustainability, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK) (Department of Research and Sustainability, PRP, London, UK)
Marylis Ramos (Department of Research and Sustainability, PRP, London, UK)

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation

ISSN: 2398-4708

Article publication date: 14 August 2017

Issue publication date: 14 August 2017




In the light of projected climate change impacts on buildings and their occupants, climate change adaptation for built environment to climate change is crucial. The risk of overheating is a key concern, particularly given its effect on heat-related health problems for elderly people. The purpose of this paper is to propose, test, and evaluate the strategies for climate change adaptation to minimise present and future risks of overheating for a new purpose-built care home and extra care accommodation near York.


The overheating risk was assessed through dynamic simulations, using probabilistic projections for 2030s, 2050s and 2080s. Suitable adaptation measures were tested and compared using industry metrics. A stakeholders’ workshop compared the relative effectiveness of the identified measures and made a broader evaluation using defined criteria. Highest-ranked measures were combined into “adaptation packages” in order to populate adaptation timelines for the project.


Results show that the original design presents a severe overheating risk. Increasing thermal mass and slightly improving ventilation are adequate for the 2030s; however solar shading and further improvements of ventilation are necessary for the 2050s. The stress test revealed that even the most effective passive measures combined would be insufficient to maintain comfortable conditions by the 2080s, and mechanical cooling would be needed.


The comparative analysis of adaptation measures using normalised CIBSE TM52 criteria improved risk communication and engagement with the client and the design team. The integration of quantitative and qualitative evaluation criteria led to an appropriate and timely strategy for adaptation.



Andrea Botti is an Engineering Doctorate candidate, funded (Grant Ref. 1503407) by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate at PRP. The author would like to thank Owen Daggett (Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust) for supporting the study and granting approval for its publication; Marylis Ramos (PRP Architects) for organising and facilitating the stakeholders’ workshop, contributing to the definition of the evaluation criteria for the proposed adaptation measures and advising on the stepped approach for defining the final adaptation timelines.


Botti, A. and Ramos, M. (2017), "Adapting the design of a new care home development for a changing climate", International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 417-433.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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