Designing for the Next Century’s Weather
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Natural ventilation, daylighting, rainwater harvesting: these and many other “climate-responsive” strategies are hallmarks of sustainable design because they take advantage of freely available, inexhaustible resources. Working with nature is all very well as long as nature is fairly predictable, but in a changing climate, that’s no longer the case. As temperatures and humidity levels rise, and as wind and precipitation patterns fluctuate, climate-responsive buildings may no longer respond as they were designed to do. What if, 20 years from now, night flushing is no longer possible? What if “right-sized” mechanical equipment (and operational budgets) become overwhelmed by heat waves happening throughout the year? What happens to those rainwater cisterns when nary a drop falls for two years? ...