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Special Collection

Alternatives to air conditioning: policies, design, technologies, behaviours

Collection launched: 29 Dec 2021

This special issue explores alternative approaches to providing thermal comfort and ventilation in different climatic zones across the world at the scales of building, neighbourhood and city. It considers the implications of these alternatives across a range of issues: health, wellbeing, air quality and heat stress; technical / design solutions; social expectations and practices; climate change; policy and regulation; supply chain and procurement; education and training. It includes a range of disciplines: geography, sociology, anthropology, behavioural sciences, architecture, engineering, public health, economics, energy and environmental assessment.

In urbanised areas, there is an opportunity to break the current dependency on air conditioning. The design of cities, neighbourhoods and buildings can ensure ventilation and thermal comfort by climate friendly means. Retrofit opportunities for the existing building stock can make existing buildings comfortable without increasing energy demand. The design of new buildings and their environs can reduce or eliminate the need for air conditioning.

Equally important are the responses of the many different actors that promote or inhibit adoption - policy makers, clients, construction professions and the supply chain (development and procurement).

Guest Editors:
Brian Ford (Nottingham U)
Dejan Mumovic (UCL)
Rajan Rawal (CEPT University)