On the creation of future probabilistic design weather years from UKCP09

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Weather data are used extensively by building scientists and engineers to study the performance of their designs, help compare design alternatives and ensure compliance with building regulations. Given a changing climate, there is a need to provide data for future years so that practising engineers can investigate the impact of climate change on particular designs and examine any risk the commissioning client might be exposed to. In addition, such files are of use to building scientists in developing generic solutions to problems such as elevated internal temperatures and poor thermal comfort. With the publication of the UK Climate Projections (UKCP09) such data can be created for future years up to 2080 and for various probabilistic projections of climate change by the use of a weather generator. Here, we discuss a method for the creation of future probabilistic reference years for use within thermal models. In addition, a comparison is made with the current set of future weather years based on the UKCIP02 projections. When used within a dynamic thermal simulation of a building, the internal environments created by the current set of future weather files lie within the range of the internal environments created by the probabilistic reference years generated by the weather generator. Hence, the main advantages of the weather generator are seen to lie in its potentially greater spatial resolution, its ability to inform risk analysis and that such files, unlike ones based on observed data, carry no copyright. Practical applications: The methodology presented in this article will allow academics and buildings engineers to create realistic hourly future weather files using the future climate data of UKCP09 weather generator. This will allow the creation of consistent future weather years for use in areas such as building thermal simulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
JournalBuilding Services Engineering Research and Technology
Issue number2
Early online date20 Oct 2010
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


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