Objectives of the service
Nineteen of the 20 warmest years have occurred since 2001.
The frequency of extremely humid years more than doubled since 1979.
Climatic conditions have a significant impact on buildings:
- Outdoor air temperature drives heating and cooling demand,
- Outdoor humidity drives ventilation and (de)humidification demand,
- The amount of solar radiation determines shading and daylighting strategy.
When designing a new building, or renovating an old one, historical climate data are used. Yet, buildings are built for the next 100 years. The impact of climate change on buildings during their 100-year lifetime is globally recognized by building professionals. For example, BREEM environmental certification requires to assess the effect of future climatic conditions on the future comfort levels of building occupants.
However, there is limited availability of “future climate data”. And, the available national sources are exclusive to few geographies. In the UK for example, future climate data is provided only for 14 locations – single future climate dataset thus covers on average 17 300 km2.
By employing machine learning algorithms to process satellite meteorological measurements, MeteoInsigt is capable to provide easily accessible future climate data for any site worldwide.
Users and their needs
The service providing future climate data is beneficial mainly to Energy engineering companies.
These are companies active in the field of building physics, energy engineering, and sustainability consulting. They require future climate data as input to their building energy models. The more accurate input data they employ the more accurate results they deliver to their clients.
The main problems Energy engineering companies experience are:
- Limited availability of future climate data,
- Low quality of historical climate data, from which the future climate data is created.
A variation of the service is beneficial also to Construction companies.
These are companies competing for the realization of building and infrastructure projects. Since climatic conditions directly influence the capability of construction workers and machinery to perform their work (e.g. concrete can’t be poured in below 0°C temperatures), the climatic predictions enable better work scheduling to submit more competitive bids.
The main problems Construction companies encounter are:
- When preparing a construction schedule, only previous experience is used to account for weather-related risks, which for longer-term contracts (several months and more) is guesswork,
- Reaction time to weather events is too short, thus too costly.
Service/ system concept
User can access future climate data for any building site in any country of his/her activities.
Getting the data requires only three steps:
- Select the desired location on the map,
- Choose a future period and emission scenario,
- Download future climate data in a ready-to-use format.
The service combines the most accurate geographical and meteorological information available with emission scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to provide users with site-specific future climate data.
Space Added Value
Practice in the building industry is to use weather station measurements to create future climate data. The problem is that the building sites are usually located 10s of kilometres away from the nearest weather station. Elevation, urban density, the proximity of a water body, all significantly influence local climatic conditions. Therefore, data even from the nearest weather station yields suboptimal engineering results. To illustrate, most of the climate data for building engineering purposes comes from airport weather stations located on the city periphery not subjected to urban heat island effect as are more densely populated areas of the city.
Satellite-based meteorological datasets play a key role in complementing the data of the weather stations. By combining them with weather station measurements, topographical and urban density information, the service is capable of extracting climatic profile for the exact location of any building site, worldwide. This profile then provides an accurate site-specific baseline for the creation of future climate data.
To assess the accuracy of the approach, climatic profiles have been extacted for more than 2 000 weather stations across Europe and compared them against measurements of these stations. Very high accuracy was achieved as shown in the picture here below.
Regular discussions with clients and potential users enabled the team to assess their requirements associated with the provision of future climate data. So far, more than 40 fruitful user discussions have been held in order to understand the problems from the user point of view and to derive the related needs and requirements.