Building thermal resilience framework (BTRF): A novel framework to address the challenge of extreme thermal events, arising from climate change

Mohammad Zaher Serdar, Nadine Macauley, Sami G. Al-Ghamdi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the past 2 decades, many parts of the world have experienced unprecedented record-breaking temperatures; these extremes fall on both ends of the temperature spectrum ranging from excessively hot to freezing low. Moreover, recently, the rate and the impacts of these extremes have increased, despite all the mitigation efforts, necessitating a resilience-based approach to address these challenges stemming from the accelerated global warming and the advent of climate change. Examples of such extremes include the 2003 and 2022 heatwaves in Europe, claiming approximately 4,000 and 12,000 lives, respectively as well as the 2021 heatwave in the Pacific Northwest region of North America and the deep freeze in Southeast Texas. In this paper, we reflect on previous studies, identifying both internal and external aspects that contribute to a building’s thermal performance. We then incorporate these factors into a proposed framework, covering the important phases of a building’s life cycle, to reflect its thermal resilience. During each phase, an associated Building Thermal Resilience Profile (BTRP), taken from accumulated data of previous phases, provides the needed assessment of the building, and is regularly adapted to changes in the building and its surroundings. BTRP will be a valuable tool for the resilience evaluation of different design options. Furthermore, during the operation phase, it will contribute to real-time monitoring and assessment, facilitating disaster management and response, at both the buildings and city scale, reducing the causalities of extreme events. Thus, the BTRF has the potential to expand into various fields such as healthcare, green and resilient buildings rating systems, and even to improve the municipal regulations. Nevertheless, the prime aim of this paper is to address the challenge of extreme thermal events, arising from climate change, and pave the way for the adoption of effective thermal resilience in building design and operation practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1029992
JournalFrontiers in Built Environment
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 11 2022

Keywords

  • built environment resiliency
  • climate change resilience and adaptation
  • cooling and heating load
  • disaster and risk management
  • disaster planning and preparedness
  • heatwave
  • thermal resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction
  • Urban Studies

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