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The work will enable designers to create buildings which can function under predicted climate change.

Climate change research recognised by Napier Shaw medal

Two Exeter Physicists have been awarded the 2012 Napier Shaw medal for their work to help the building sector adapt to the challenges of climate change.

The medal is awarded for the best paper on a specific research project, as presented to the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). Dr Matthew Eames and Dr Tristan Kershaw will receive the medal for their paper, ‘On the creation of future probabilistic design weather years from UKCP09’.

The paper discusses how to create an example hourly time series of common weather variables for any date in the future up until 2080.

It was completed within the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-funded PROMETHEUS project, which aimed to help designers create new buildings that are suited to the changing local climate.

The project team devised a methodology for creating probabilistic future weather files that are compatible with the majority of building thermal modelling software. Using these files, the impact of different levels of climate change on the built environment and building occupants could be investigated. The files are freely available from the project website and from leading building simulation software company Integrated Environmental Solutions.

Outputs have also been used to inform many of the Technology Strategy Board’s ‘Design for Future Climate’ projects. This work is looking to help building design teams develop climate change adaptation strategies for buildings in the UK. This will enable them to better function after climate change has been realised, extending the commercial viability of the buildings.

The 2012 Napier Shaw medal will be presented at the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers’ President’s Awards Dinner on 12 October, at The Royal Society in London.

Dr Eames said: “This work is crucial for architects and engineers if they want to see how their designs will operate under predicted climate change. Without such measures, it is unlikely that the buildings will function in the future when overheating is likely to become more of a problem. I am very honoured to be recognised with this award and I am very much looking forward to the presentation of it in October.”

Date: 28 September 2012

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