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The climate/comfort comparison and the basis of sustainable design: Impact of climate change and technological development


The comparison between climate and comfort represents the basis of sustainable design and determines the grade of complexity coming across the design process. A relatively simple approach, aiming to maximize solar heat gains and minimize thermal losses during the whole year, traditionally characterized bioclimatic design in cold climates. Today, however, the use of stringent envelopes in combination with the elevated internal gains that characterize office buildings is questioning traditional assumptions and implying the use of strategies for cooling, ventilation and solar control also in cold climates. Most of those strategies in order to work properly require external conditions sometimes not available in cold countries. These contradictions are leading architectural design of cold climates office buildings into a new complexity. In this study the results of an analysis conducted on the impact of climate change and technological development of new architectural components and materials on sustainable design are presented. The study shows how the comparison between climate and comfort could be integrated with the evaluation of the increase of temperatures due to internal heat production. This method provides useful information about natural ventilation and cooling strategies and their increased potential.


Academic chapter/article/Conference paper




  • Luca Finocchiaro
  • Mark Allen Murphy
  • Tore Wigenstad
  • Anne Grete Hestnes


  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Community / Architectural Engineering




Presses universitaires de Louvain


Architecture & sustainable development. 27th international conference on passive and low energy architecture. Vol. 1




511 - 516

View this publication at Cristin