When we talk about climate-related changes, we mainly talk about global warming. In recent years, summers are getting hotter and earlier. This has consequences for the commercial and residential building sector.
Coping with climate change
In France, buildings are not always ready to face climate change, especially during hot weather. They are often equipped with heating systems, but few are equipped with cooling systems. However, with global warming becoming more and more present, the issue of cooling solutions is becoming a necessity for all buildings.
Some countries such as Spain or the United States have understood this and have already been equipped for several years in order to cope with high temperatures. In France, more and more air conditioning systems are being installed in new buildings. As for those which did not have any, they are very often equipped during renovation works.
Insulating a building makes it possible to intelligently reduce energy expenses related to air conditioning. Modern architectural trends call for buildings to have more and more glass surfaces. Unfortunately, these surfaces can make the interior heat even more important. Therefore, there is a need for architects and planners to design more insulated buildings in order to adapt them more to the changes that result from global warming. By installing vegetated roofs or walls, for example, or by favoring buildings with white walls, since these capture less heat than darker walls. In addition, a building that is well insulated in summer will also be well insulated in winter. It will therefore consume much less heating.
Widely used in recent years, sunshades are innovative systems that are installed in front of the windows of buildings. Depending on the orientation of the sun, they are able to provide shade so that the windows are not directly affected by the heat. With the help of new technologies, this equipment can even adapt to the weather via automatic systems such as GTB. In winter, if the sun is low, it is also possible to make sure that the sunshades do not cast a shadow in order to bring heat from outside and consume less energy for heating.
Unfortunately, global warming is going to drive more and more energy consumption in the summer. Buildings will increasingly try to adapt and be autonomous, whether by installing air conditioning systems, photovoltaic panels, sunshades or green walls, in order to protect themselves from heat that is expected to become more frequent and longer.
By Alric MARC, Founder of EFICIA