At the building scale it will be important to balance requirements through careful design, particularly where energy efficiency measures have the potential to exacerbate summer heat risks. For example, while mechanical air conditioning is an obvious way to guarantee thermal comfort during hotter summers, this solution would contribute additional heat to the surrounding air, significantly increasing energy demands from the cooling equipment leading to increased CO2 emissions. Opportunities exist through using passive solutions first and then finding the best mechanical solution to meet any remaining cooling requirement.
At the neighbourhood scale, efforts to manage high temperatures should focus on providing cool and shaded outdoor areas. If well designed, adaptation at this scale can also benefit internal spaces (e.g. street trees provide cooling outdoors, as well as shading buildings).
At the town or urban extension scale, opportunities for reducing the Urban Heat Island effect, via large scale infrastructure and landscape design, should be explored. Masterplans should allow for the integration of water (such as ponds and lakes), open space and built form through green infrastructure and bluespace strategies. This should take into account the range of cross benefits that adaptation options offer, as well as the potential for adaptation solutions to conflict with one another.
Click on the links below to view each of the overheating solutions: