The COPSE project

Co-incident probabilistic climate change weather data for a sustainable environment


Weather data is essential for assessing the performance of buildings. This project is preparing a methodology to construct new annual weather files of hourly data that combine the latest projections for future climate and the local effects of urban heat islands. Furthermore, the project is looking at the coincidence of weather parameters. For example, to consider overheating of buildings, it is important to know the likelihood of high air temperatures coinciding with high solar radiation and low winds speeds — and this may be much less common than supposed.

Buildings designed now may last 50 years and it’s important to allow for the predicted warmer conditions of the future. Current guidance on allowing for heat islands is very broad brush. This research aims to assess more precisely a site’s true weather exposure and therefore better inform the design of new and refurbished buildings. In this way, the common over-sizing of heating and cooling plant can be avoided, reliance on natural ventilation can be better justified, and carbon emissions reduced.



School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, M13 9PL