Building for a Changing Climate: The Challenge for Construction, Planning and Energy

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Routledge, Dec 1, 2009 - Architecture - 200 pages

There is now a practically universal consensus that our climate is changing rapidly, and as a direct result of human activities. While there is extensive debate about what we can do to mitigate the damage we are causing, it is becoming increasingly clear that a large part of our resources will have to be directed towards adapting to new climatic conditions, with talk of survivability replacing sustainability as the new and most pressing priority. Nowhere is this more evident than in the built environment – the stage on which our most important interactions with climatic conditions are played out.

In this frank yet pervasively positive book, sustainable architecture guru Peter Smith lays out his vision of how things are likely to change, and what those concerned with the planning, design and construction of the places we live and work can and must do to avert the worst impacts. Beginning with the background to the science and discussion of the widely feared graver risks not addressed by the politically driven IPCC reports, he moves on to examine the challenges we will face and to propose practical responses based on real world experiences and case studies taking in flood and severe weather protection, energy efficient retrofitting, distributed power generation and the potential for affordable zero carbon homes. He ends with a wider discussion of options for future energy provision. This will be a provocative, persuasive and – crucially – practical read for anyone concerned with the measures we must take now to ensure a climate-proofed future for humanity.


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1 Prepare for Four Degrees
2 Probable Future Impacts of Climate Change
3 The UN Carbon Trading Mechanism
4 Setting the Pace Towards Climateproof Housing
5 Futureproof Housing
6 Buildingintegrated Solar Electricity
7 Sun Earth Wind and Water
Opportunity or Oxymoron?
11 Community Buildings
12 Conventional Energy
Black Gold or Black Hole?
Utilityscale Renewables
15 The Age Beyond Oil
16 The Thread of Hope

9 The Housing Inheritance
10 Nondomestic Buildings

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About the author (2009)

Peter F. Smith is Special Professor in Sustainable Energy, University of Nottingham, and former Vice President of the RIBA for Sustainable Development. He is the author of many books on architecture and the environment, including Sustainability at the Cutting Edge (Architectural Press/Elsevier 2007).

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