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Climate change consequences for the indoor environment

M.B.C. Aries, Ph.M. Bluyssen
TNO, Delft, The Netherlands

Scientists warn us about climate change and its effects on the outdoor environment. These effects can have significant consequences for the indoor environment, also in the Netherlands. Climate changes will affect different aspects of the indoor environment as well as the stakeholders of that indoor environment. Buildings will require less heating in the winter and more cooling in the summer, resulting in an increase use of air conditioning systems. Increasing relative humidity indoors and rising moisture from the ground will cause significantly more mould problems resulting in further health risks. Additionally, effects on lighting and acoustical quality, but also several psycho-social effects seem likely to occur. It is concluded that possible adaptations, whether performed at the source of climate change effects, the building or by involving people, can only be executed properly when the possible effects of climate changes on occupant wishes and needs as well as the interactions of these occupants with their environment are well understood.

Key words: Climate change, building envelope, durability