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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects Of Global Climate Changes On Building Energy Consumption And Its Implications On Building Energy Codes And Policy In California


Global climate change is making California’s mild Mediterranean climate significantly warmer, and a substantial impact on building energy usage is anticipated. Studies to date on building cooling and energy demand have been inaccurate and insufficiently detailed regarding the climate change impacts of different building energy technologies.  This study used archived General Circulation Model (GCM) projections and statistically downscaled these data to the site scale for input to building cooling and heating simulations.    Building energy usage was projected to 2040, 2070, and 2010.  This study found that electricity use for cooling will increase by 50 percent over the next 100 years in certain areas of California under the IPCC’s worst‐case carbon emission scenario, A1F1. Under the IPCC’s most likely carbon scenario (A2), the cooling electricity use will increase by about 25 percent.  Certain types of buildings will be more sensitive to climate change than other building types.  The aggregated total building energy consumption, including both heating and cooling, will increase only slightly

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