Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Effectiveness of passive measures against climate change: Case studies in Central Italy


climate change, passive adaptation measures for buildings, energy refurbishment of existing buildings, Mediterranean climate, building energy simulation, reference Italian buildings


This paper focuses on the effectiveness of passive adaptation measures against climate change, in the medium (2036–2065) and long term (2066–2095), for three case studies located in Florence (central Italy). In order to identify and highlight the passive measures which can provide comfort conditions with the lowest net heating and cooling energy demand, the input assumptions consider a constant thermal comfort level and don’t take into account either the effect of HVAC system’s performance and the degradation of the materials by ageing. The study results show that, in case of poorly insulated buildings, on the medium term, the reduction of energy needed for heating could be bigger than the increase for cooling, resulting in a total annual net energy need decrease, while in the long term the opposite happens. Conversely, considering a high level of thermal insulation, due to the large increase in cooling demand, the total annual energy need rises in both periods. Furthermore, attention should be paid to internal loads and solar gains that, due to the projected climate change, could become main contributors to the energy balance. In general, since the magnitude of energy need increase for cooling and decrease for heating is very significant on the long term, and varies in function of the type of building, the passive measure adopted and the level of thermal insulation, the research results lead to pay close attention to different types of energy refurbishment interventions, that should be selected in function of their effectiveness over time.


Tsinghua University Press