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Adaptation to weather and climate in office buildings in Manchester

Report

Aleksandra Kazmierczak and Angela Connelly

2012

This EcoCities report analyses current use and the perceptions affecting the potential future use of the physical and behavioural climate change adaptation measures in commercial office buildings.

The case study considers two different types of office building common to Greater Manchester. One is a listed building dating from the early 20th century and the other is a modern 1960s high-rise building. Both buildings are owned and managed by a property management company, and the individual office suites are rented out to tenant companies.

A mixed-method approach is used. A quantitative analysis of building occupant survey data, collected by Arup Manchester with the use of Arup Appraise methodology, is complemented by a series of semi-structured interviews with building management teams and representatives of the tenant companies.  

The report considers physical adaptation measures in the current climate that affect the interactions between the weather and climate, the buildings and the people working in the offices. It draws out the key issues that affected the use of physical adaptation responses by building users. It also investigates perceptions of office workers on the impact of weather and temperature; what affects their thermal comfort and how behavioural changes could be promoted at the level of individual, company and the landlord.

The buildings investigated here are also subject of a report aiming to estimate the changes in expenditure on energy associated with heating and cooling under different climate change projections (see Cavan and Aylen 2012).