As global temperaturesmayincrease due to climate change, sowould energy use forbuildingheating and cooling. Additionally, energy prices fluctuate in relation to climate change socio-economic impacts and related policies, which in turn further influence future building operational costs. A new method is presented to consider climate change and future energy price scenarios for institutional building owners to compare investment options for various energy conservation measures related to heating and cooling. Heating and cooling energy use are predicted for office buildings in Boston (Massachusetts) and Phoenix (Arizona) using a range of different climate change and energy price scenarios. The results allow building owners (1) to understand building performance under a spectrum of possible futures, and (2) to determine the associated risk ranges present when choosing between design solutions. For the example buildings, it is shown that a financial payback of 15 years is possible for an advanced retrofitting strategy in Phoenix; this compares favourably with the 18-year payback calculated while ignoring climate change. Cumulative energy costs over 70 years and peak loads by 2050 are predicted to more than double for the Phoenix baseline model, whereas the advanced design all but eliminates that cost increase.

Author names: 
Holmes, S. H.
Reinhart, C. F.

Holmes, S. H., & Reinhart, C. F. (2013). Assessing future climate change and energy price scenarios: institutional building investment. Building Research & Information, 41(2), 209–222

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