The New Normals: Architecture Under Climate Change Uncertainty

Oct 02, 2020

This paper discusses design research that utilized an existing project development phase to test a methodology for involving multiple projections of climate change in the design a of a present-day institutional building. In the paper an initial argument is laid out for the need for this type of design method. This is followed by a brief explanation of the methodology borrowed from charrette scenario planning and climate impact assessment. A schematic design that is the result of this planning process is then displayed as a jumping off point to discuss design decision-making under the auspices of an unknown future climate system and the need for site-climate calibration in passive architecture. This design is the composite of three possible “optimal” buildings that represent one program designed for using climate scenarios from three major socioeconomic carbon emissions pathways. The final design is the resultant interpretation of these three futures and the needs they impose on the program and the building as a formal bioclimatic object.

Keywords: Passive Design, Climate Change, Uncertainty, Bioclimatic Design, Architectural Resilience

Justin McCarty (The University of British Columbia)
Adam Rysanek (The University of British Columbia)
Presented at: 
2020 AIA/ACSA Intersections Research Conference: CARBON
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)

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