Wednesday, November 30, 2011


date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 11:14:35 +0100
subject: Suggestions for Tyndal Phase II research questions

Some question below (also attached) for Phase II.
Apologies if I've not responded to earlier emails on this but 146 of
my unopened emails were lost due to disk corruption.

Adaptable urban environment, buildings and infrastructure
for a comfortable, healthy future. Theme 3 questions
(relating also to Theme 2)

Following on from our Tyndall IT1.8 �climate and buildings�
project it is clear that most existing buildings will become
uncomfortable. Discomfort turned to unhealthy and deadly last
summer in France with 15,000 deaths. This could be the future
in the UK unless we adapt.
What are the health implications of not adapting?
What are the costs and benefits of adapting? (Health could
be another topic.)

Buildings and the built or urban environment is therefore a good
topic for adaptation as the lifetimes are long.
Will adaptation of both buildings, urban space and people
What are the costs and benefits of adapting?

Adaptive comfort theory is emerging where it is assumed that the
dress code is relaxed in offices and people can open windows
and move to cooler areas etc.
Will people adapt by installing portable air conditioning
(which will increase CO2 emissions)? What are the socio-
economic drivers for air conditioning and other measures
(solar shading etc) and how much can comfort be regarded
as a social construct?
Can buildings be adapted with passive options (shading
Adaptive controls can also be developed but will the
manufacturers market them?

On a wider scale can we adapt the existing urban environment?
Trees, green roofs, more green spaces, urban syntax, shape.
Will people share communal heating and electricity?
How adaptable is the existing heating, cooling and low
voltage distribution infrastructure for communal schemes?
How adaptable are existing buildings for photovoltaic, solar
heating panels, thermal storage and wind generators (this
is overlapping mitigation)?
Will local working and shopping to reduce travel be

Other questions follow on from the SPRU project on the
adaptability of the house builders and water industry.
How adaptable are the construction industry, the regulatory
bodies and the market?

What are the costs and benefits of adaptation? Are
demolition and new build (mitigation) cheaper options?

Adaptation and mitigation often overlap and definitions are
required. What are adaptation and mitigation?

The urban, built environment topic would be fruitful for
adaptation case studies and is amenable to cost benefit analysis
and a CO2 vs cost graph mentioned by John Schellnhuber.

The London proposal at the Assembly (in Guiding Urban
Development) could generate matching contributions from the
GLA but it could be overambitious. Adaptation studies on
specific topic related to London or other cities (Norwich,
Manchester or Southampton) or small urban areas would be

The above relates to energy and comfort but adapting buildings
to subsidence, flooding also needs addressing. Also it is just not
buildings but also the built environment infrastructure: roads, rail,
sewers, bridges etc.
Is adaptation of the built environment infrastructure a topic
for consideration?

Geoff Levermore, Tyndall North.
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