There is a trend toward high-rise residential buildings with large - often floor-to-ceiling - glazed areas. In most climates, these buildings are reliant on mechanical systems to maintain comfort as a result of the poor insulating properties and high solar transmittance of the glazing. In the summer they are prone to overheating from high solar gains; in the winter they are prone to thermal discomfort because of low surface temperatures and high heat loss through poorly insulated glazing and other façade components. Thus, such buildings are vulnerable to power failures, mechanical system failures, and extended demand response strategies. Furthermore, these buildings can be uncomfortable and have high energy consumption during normal operation. This paper describes a methodology to evaluate building resilience using simulation methods. Building resilience was quantified using two metrics: thermal autonomy and passive survivability. A Toronto, Canada-based case study was performed to assess the effect of various passive design strategies to improve resilience. The results showed that thermal autonomy was very poor without occupant interaction. Furthermore, the results suggest that adaptive opportunities are at least as important as building envelope design with regards to maintaining comfort in the event of power or system failure.

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Conference 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference
O'Brien, W, & Bennet, I. (Isis). (2016). Simulation-based evaluation of high-rise residential building thermal resilience. Presented at the 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference.