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Technological transitions in climate control: lessons from the House of Lords

Schoenefeldt, Henrik (2022) Technological transitions in climate control: lessons from the House of Lords. Building and Cities, 3 (1). pp. 68-92. (doi:10.5334/bc.161) (KAR id:93298)

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http://doi.org/10.5334/bc.161

Abstract

Mechanical air-conditioning is only a relatively recent development in countries with moderate 18 temperate climates. It was preceded by earlier, less energy-intensive methods of climate 19 control. These methods were deployed in British public buildings from the 1830s until the mid-20 20th century, when heritage buildings began to be adapted for air-conditioning. The 19th-21 century methods for providing thermal comfort are examined within the debating chamber of 22 the House of Lords (part the Houses of Parliament in London, UK). This was equipped with 23 facilities for ventilation, cooling, heating, humidification and air purification. These facilities, 24 introduced in 1854, were in use for 112 years. This example shows the idea that thermal 25 comfort is a cultural practice, which was not independent from the particular technologies or 26 social contexts, but substantively shaped by them. This long operational history provides a 27 basis for critical insights into their performance and operation, and also illuminates the cultural 28 and technical factors leading to their substitution with air-conditioning in 1966.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.5334/bc.161
Projects: [UNSPECIFIED] Between Heritage and Sustainability - Restoring the Palace of Westminster
Uncontrolled keywords: air-conditioning, alternative technology, architectural technology, cooling, environmental control, heritage buildings, technological change, temperate climate, thermal comfort
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
Funders: [4] AHRC
Depositing User: Henrik Schoenefeldt
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 13:48 UTC
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/93298 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Schoenefeldt, Henrik: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1768-0255
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