A Pilot Study to Establish the Future Design Summer Years (DSYs) of Hong Kong that take into account Climate Change and Urban Climate for more Sustainable Urban and Building Design (14603715) (1 Dec 15 - 31 May 18)
• Researchers: NG Yan Yung, Justin HO, CHAN Pak Wai
• Funding Amount: HK$791,506
• Funding source: Research Grants Council - General Research Fund

Energy consumption and thermal comfort in buildings are important considerations for sustainable and good-quality urban living, especially for high-density cities in the Tropics. Climate change and urbanisation contribute to the rise in urban air temperatures and lead to more heat-stress-related mortality (Chan et al., 2010) as well as to higher energy consumption (Fung et al., 2006; Lam et al., 2010a, 2010b). The Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) for Hong Kong (Chan et al., 2006; Chow et al., 2006; Lam et al., 1996) has been used to evaluate the building energy performance. The impact of climate change on energy consumption in Hong Kong has also lately been incorporated (Chan, 2011). However, TMY data cannot consider the energy performance, and, more importantly, the thermal comfort performance of buildings in urban areas under ‘onerous warm weather conditions’ (CIBSE, 2002). This leads to heat-stress-related problems during the more frequently occurring heat waves. To address the problem, the concept of Design Summer Years (DSYs) derived from a near-extreme summer should be used to assess the overheating risks as well as the energy performance of buildings during summertime. In order to investigate the impact of climate change on thermal comfort and energy use during summertime of subtropical Hong Kong, a set of future weather data of summer conditions is essential.

The objectives of this study are: (A) to establish a set of hourly future DSYs of Hong Kong that take into account climate change and the urban climate to assess the overheating risk and energy consumption for a more sustainable urban and building design. The global climate models (GCMs) from the fifth phase of Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) will be incorporated into the DSYs of Hong Kong; (B) to evaluate the impact of climate change on the energy and thermal performance of buildings based on the future DSYs by using typical residential and office buildings in Hong Kong; (C) to conduct parametric tests using the identified design parameters so that critical design features may be quantified; and (D) based on this understanding, to develop a set of design guides. This study is a multi-disciplinary research linking meteorology, building physics, architectural design and human comfort. The results will lead designers towards better building designs, especially under critical summer conditions. The framework developed and the experience gained, from climate change considerations to building level designs, will provide a valuable reference for our rapidly urbanising neighbouring cities.