Wizards of Weather – New Tools for Predicting the Effects of Climate Change Promise Better-Performing and more Adaptable Buildings
Architects and engineers must consider a building site’s climate to create structures that efficiently keep occupants comfortable. There are, however, basic deficiencies in the weather data that they commonly plug into energy simulations. Some new tools are addressing this data gap—tools that could help buildings to perform as anticipated and gracefully adapt to a changing climate.
A tool expected to be released later this year by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) targets weather data’s geographic limits. ASHRAE publishes standard design-year data sets for use in energy modeling. These represent natural variation in temperature, sunshine, and other meteorological conditions observed at weather stations. Most are at airports, where conditions can vary significantly from those found in urban centers just a few miles away. Dru Crawley, building-performance director for design software vendor Bentley Systems and chair of ASHRAE’s technical committee for climatic data, says urban heat island effects elevate downtown temperatures 2 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, says Crawley, a data set from the closest weather station may “mean absolutely nothing when you get to a particular building site.”
His committee’s solution: rewrite history. They commissioned a tool from Guelph, Ontario–based Novus Environmental to generate weather data for virtually any 6-square-mile block of territory in the continental U.S. The software uses a weather model, informed by topography and land-use data and calibrated by historic observations, to capture each block’s local microclimate.
Another thrust of technology development targets historical data sets’ inevitably backward vision—a growing liability in an era of global climate change. International engineering firm Arup collaborated with climate-data startup Argos Analytics to develop WeatherSHIFT, which Arup uses internally to predict future design-year data sets. Mathematical methods known as morphing superimpose changes predicted by climate modelers on observed weather data.
read on at Architectural Record – Wizards of Weather
Find out more on WeatherShift here at ArupConnect ..
Another tool along the lines is the Climate Change World Weather File Generator for World-Wide Weather Data (CCWorldWeatherGen). Read more on late developments here ..