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Adapting buildings to climate change

  • by JW

“80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built. The most effective form of sustainability may, therefore, be saving energy by eliminating or minimizing new constructions, and by avoiding the demolition of existing structures.

That is what adaptive reuse stands for: instilling a new purpose on an existing “leftover building.” Nowadays, the refashioning process is becoming essential because of numerous issues related to the climate emergency, plot and construction costs, a saturation of land and a change in living trends.

Scroll below to discover key projects from architects that transform existing constructions and introduce new programming to respond more efficiently to modern needs, and environmental responsibility…”

10+ Proposals to Promote Adaptive Reuse and Introduce Transformative Ideas |


In other words, we need a balanced approach to refiguring old buildings in the face of climate change:

Adapting buildings |

Design for Adaptation: Living in a Climate-Changing World |

Time to address Europe’s hot and cold homes crisis |


And when it comes to new buildings, we also need an intelligent approach, rather than what seems to have been rather a panicked reaction, as noted by the Spectator:


“We have subsidised schemes to stuff homes with insulation and to seal windows and doors against drafts, but we don’t have effective regulations to ensure that buildings can be kept cool in hot weather nor that air quality inside buildings remains high. If summer temperatures continue to rise it will turn into a lethal combination which will be far worse than the rise in outside temperature.”

Are over-insulated homes causing more heatwave deaths? |


It is important to meet Passivhaus standards

The Passivhaus standard

The definition of Passivhaus is driven by air quality and comfort: “A Passivhaus is a building in which thermal comfort can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling the fresh air flow required for a good indoor air quality, without the need for additional recirculation of air.” – Passivhaus Institut (PHI)


Here’s an intelligent (new) building from the Futures Forum archives:

File:BedZED roofs 2007.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: ideas for ‘mixed use’ projects >>> the Beddington Zero Energy Development

Futures Forum: ‘A greener home for all’ @ Radio 4’s Costing the Earth >>> Can we build lots more houses quickly and cheaply without destroying the environment?

Futures Forum: Knowle: old bricks vs new build: embodied carbon