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Overheating in purpose built domestic high rise blocks as a result of a warming climate and the Urban Heat Island will result in increase mortality rates in the frail and vulnerable of our society. Existing building stock of this type from the 1960-70's are not designed to cope with a future warming climate. Today there is no legislation requiring cooling for domestic builds or refurbishments; but this does not mean that we can't negate a foreseeable problem by incorporating better design at an earlier stage.
As many of these buildings old or new have a dense core predominately made of concrete, it would be possible to design them to incorporate a Thermal Active Building System (TABS) which can provide the necessary cooling load to negate the need for air-conditioning in years to come. TABS have mostly been used in commercial buildings and have not been widely adopted in a high rise domestic setting before.
A TABS solution can be achieved through careful design at an early stage in new developments and can even be retrofitted to existing building stock through various mounted systems.
An added advantage to this technology is that is can help maintain a constant cool core temperature to the building in a prolonged heat period thus reducing the load on additional mechanical means of ventilation and cooling. TABSs are also able to make use of renewable resources, like the mean annual ground temperature for cooling the water that is needed to flow through the buildings core. This same mechanism can also be used to help alleviate some of the heating requirements in cooler months; thus providing both heating and cooling options.
BSc Design & Innovation
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