The Paradox of Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Danish Housing

Rob Marsh

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    Abstract

    Climate change means that buildings must greatly reduce their energy consumption. It is however paradoxical that climate mitigation in Denmark has created negative energy and indoor climate problems in housing that may be made worse by climate change. A literature review has been carried out of housing schemes where climate mitigation was sought through reduced space heating demand, and it is shown that extensive problems with overheating exist. A theoretical study of regulative and design strategies for climate mitigation in new build housing has therefore been carried out, and it is shown that reducing space heating with high levels of thermal insulation and passive solar energy results in overheating and a growing demand for cooling.

    Climate change is expected to reduce space heating and increase cooling de-mand in housing. An analysis of new build housing using passive solar energy as a climate mitigation strategy has therefore been carried out in relation to future climate change scenarios. It is shown that severe indoor comfort problems can occur, ques-tioning the relevance of passive solar energy as a climate mitigation strategy. In con-clusion, a theoretical study of the interplay between climate adaptation and mitigation strategies is carried out, with a cross-disciplinary focus on users, passive design and active technologies. It is shown that the cumulative use of these strategies can create an adaptation buffer, thus eliminating problems with overheating and reducing energy consumption. New build housing should therefore be designed in relation to both cur-rent and future climate scenarios to show that the climate mitigation strategies ensure climate adaptation.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalOpen House International
    Volume37
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)19-28
    Number of pages10
    ISSN0168-2601
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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