It is well known that climate change will have a significant impact on UK building design and energy use. It is also known within the building science and architectural communities that the current weather files used for thermal modelling of buildings only represent average weather rather than heat waves or cold snaps. As was shown by the 14,000 deaths in Paris during the 2003 heat wave, this is a highly serious issue and there is the need to ensure future buildings are designed to deal with future weather, or extremes of current weather.
In addition, the current weather files used by the construction industry and building scientists divide the UK into only 14 regions, with, for example, the whole of the South West peninsular (including up-land areas) being assigned the coastal Plymouth weather file. It is known that this can easily lead to a 200% error in the estimation of annual energy demand. The scale of this error is such that it renders many of the dynamic simulations carried out by engineers questionable. This is unfortunate when simulation is used within the framework of the building regulations, but it is fatal when trying to use simulation to estimate how resilient a pre-existing building is, or the danger its vulnerable occupants might be in.
The aim of this project is to see if a method can be devised that is capable of creating local weather from 2015 to 2080 covering the whole UK at a resolution of 5km, and to include within this files that represent various excursions from the mean: e.g. heat waves and cold snaps.
The project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, Grant Numbers: EP/M021890/1, EP/M022099/1 and EP/M019799/1). Academic partners are the University of Bath, the University of Exeter and Newcastle University.