The last two years have seen an historic shift in the global climate, in the economy and in the balance of politics. Major industrial and financial touchstones such as the car, insurance and banking industries have in parts collapsed. The rate of climate change, and lack of effective actions so far to combat it, are now driving stringent ghg emissions targets as never before. New industries will grow to meet society’s changing needs to adapt to, and mitigate against, climate change. Buildings are in the forefront of the race to try to retain environmental stability in countries around the world. Designers face a growing range of challenges they must address to provide buildings that are fit for purpose in the 21st Century. These considerations also present challenges for the scientific community. We will need new ways of thinking about old problems and a re-evaluation of the fundamentals of the human requirement for comfort. Increasingly this is learnt from the study of how people respond to, and interact with, buildings. Only by refining our understanding of the relationship between the building itself, its systems and human needs can come the changes needed to radically reduce energy in, and greenhouse gasses from, buildings, without compromising the comfort, wellbeing and productivity of their occupants.
The 6th Windsor Conference on Thermal Comfort which takes place at the Cumberland Lodge Conference Centre from 9th - 11th April 2010 will address many of these challenges. It will provide a platform for new thinking among leading world experts in a confidential, thought-provoking and agreeable setting. At Windsor topics are discussed and developed that reverberate in national and global comfort standards, strategies and approaches for teachers, designers and regulators alike. The key issues for consideration at the Conference centre on coping with the warming climate and new trends in buildings design and operation including the shift back towards natural ventilation and mixed mode buildings and window use and its simulation