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          Since a large portion of greenhouse gases are emitted by the building sector, there has been a push towards sustainable low energy architecture, which could help mitigate the effects of climate change. Although climate change is considered inevitable, adaptive measures must be taken in the field of architecture to alleviate its impact. Creating an overview of the state of the art in the field of architecture as it adapts to climate change will help identify the problems and possibilities of architectural adaptation.

          The aim must be to create buildings that are as suitable to the current climate as they are to the climate of the future and maintain an ability to resist the impacts of climate change; this ability to resist potential change is defined as adaptive capacity. It is challenging to reconcile the energy requirements for contemporary buildings with rising temperatures and extreme weather in temperate climate zones. The literature on the subject is explored through iterative searches in scientific databases.

          In discussions about the possible adaptations to climate change, there needs to be a focus on human adaptation facilitated by architecture and the built environment’s utilization and support of ecosystem services in adaptation strategies, since the scope of climate change reaches beyond the singular building. There are plenty of strategies and technologies from which to draw but little focus on how these should support the design of a building and its inhabitants. In the future it will be necessary to look at the adaptive capacity of a building itself and how the building can benefit its surroundings.

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          Most cited references65

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          Adaptation, adaptive capacity and vulnerability

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            Evidence for early life in Earth’s oldest hydrothermal vent precipitates

            Although it is not known when or where life on Earth began, some of the earliest habitable environments may have been submarine-hydrothermal vents. Here we describe putative fossilized microorganisms that are at least 3,770 million and possibly 4,280 million years old in ferruginous sedimentary rocks,
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              Is Open Access

              Impact of climate change on the domestic indoor environment and associated health risks in the UK

              There is growing evidence that projected climate change has the potential to significantly affect public health. In the UK, much of this impact is likely to arise by amplifying existing risks related to heat exposure, flooding, and chemical and biological contamination in buildings. Identifying the health effects of climate change on the indoor environment, and risks and opportunities related to climate change adaptation and mitigation, can help protect public health. We explored a range of health risks in the domestic indoor environment related to climate change, as well as the potential health benefits and unintended harmful effects of climate change mitigation and adaptation policies in the UK housing sector. We reviewed relevant scientific literature, focusing on housing-related health effects in the UK likely to arise through either direct or indirect mechanisms of climate change or mitigation and adaptation measures in the built environment. We considered the following categories of effect: (i) indoor temperatures, (ii) indoor air quality, (iii) indoor allergens and infections, and (iv) flood damage and water contamination. Climate change may exacerbate health risks and inequalities across these categories and in a variety of ways, if adequate adaptation measures are not taken. Certain changes to the indoor environment can affect indoor air quality or promote the growth and propagation of pathogenic organisms. Measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions have the potential for ancillary public health benefits including reductions in health burdens related heat and cold, indoor exposure to air pollution derived from outdoor sources, and mould growth. However, increasing airtightness of dwellings in pursuit of energy efficiency could also have negative effects by increasing concentrations of pollutants (such as PM2.5, CO and radon) derived from indoor or ground sources, and biological contamination. These effects can largely be ameliorated by mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) and air filtration, where such solution is feasible and when the system is properly installed, operated and maintained. Groups at high risk of these adverse health effects include the elderly (especially those living on their own), individuals with pre-existing illnesses, people living in overcrowded accommodation, and the socioeconomically deprived. A better understanding of how current and emerging building infrastructure design, construction, and materials may affect health in the context of climate change and mitigation and adaptation measures is needed in the UK and other high income countries. Long-term, energy efficient building design interventions, ensuring adequate ventilation, need to be promoted.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Green Building
                College Publishing
                Spring 2020
                14 July 2020
                : 15
                : 2
                : 113-130
                Author notes

                1. Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark

                * corresponding author: mpou@ 123456create.aau.dk

                Volumes 1-10 of JOGB are open access and do not require permission for use, though proper citation should be given. To view the licenses, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

                Page count
                Pages: 18
                Self URI (journal page): http://www.journalofgreenbuilding.com
                RESEARCH ARTICLES

                Urban design & Planning,Civil engineering,Environmental management, Policy & Planning,Architecture,Environmental engineering
                built environment,architecture,temperate climate,user involvement,adaptation,climate change


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