chapter
4 Pages

Introduction to second edition

At the level of the building, growing concern is being expressed over problems associated with the ‘modern’ fully air-conditioned (AC) building, even by the Doyens of the AC industry. I predict that this type of building will turn out to be a late twentieth-century phenomenon. They will, sooner rather than later, be replaced, even in the hottest climates, with buildings that can be naturally ventilated either all year, or for as much of the year as possible. There are many reasons that will drive this change, apart from the rapidly rising cost of power-energy hungry AC systems. These include the fact that the heat the AC systems produce is making cities grow increasingly warmer, becoming ‘urban heat islands’ (something like the heat effect caused by freezers in the local shop), and that the CO2 emissions from AC systems have become one of the largest driving forces for climate change around the

world. This change is strongly resisted by the related industries, services engineers and architects who simply do not know how to design passive buildings and/or get paid for doing so. It is only through major changes, such as climatic conditions, and more expensive fuel that these doubters will be shocked into evolving into the twenty-first century, but such shocks are already on the horizon and driving rapid changes in the built environment.