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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Stepping Away from Air Conditioning Dependence

Mechanical solutions to provide comfortable indoor conditions have become
widely adopted, leading to large energy consumption and GHGs emissions.
The main objective of this research is to provide insight into the possibility
of eliminating or reducing the use of A/C for delivering thermal comfort in
office buildings in Guatemala City. Through a literature review of thermal
comfort, statistical analysis of climatic data, and overheating risk
evaluation of a case study using CIBSE's admittance method, this report
provides a useful toolkit for designers looking to step away for A/C
dependence. Results suggest that, aided by local climatic conditions, it is
possible to significantly reduce AIC consumption with simple passive design
strategies. This research concludes that the adaptive comfort model is the
most appropriate to define comfort levels and highlights the advantages of
using a transparent building simulation tool to guide design decisions in
early stages of a project.


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.