Vulnerable and Non-vulnerable Occupants in Residential Buildings

  • Aurora Monge-Barrio
  • Ana Sánchez-Ostiz Gutiérrez
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


Residential buildings must respond to indoor environments suitable for the comfort and health of an intergenerational and varied population. Particular attention must be paid to the elderly, especially taking into account that this part of the population will be higher in future scenarios, and to people with disabilities or chronic illnesses who also spend most of the time at home. On the other hand, population socio-economically disadvantaged and related to energy poverty are also vulnerable, since they have to deal with the conditioning of their house with very low resources. Heatwaves are the deadliest event related to climate change in Southern Europe, and besides warmer summers, people face them mainly in their houses with or without cooling systems, depending on the climate zone. Therefore, residential buildings must protect all occupants from warmer conditions especially the most vulnerable, and designs based on passive measures are thus recommended. Approaches that optimize naturally conditioned buildings should be prioritized, taking into account the thresholds that result in the need of active cooling systems in order to protect the health of the most vulnerable people.


Comfort Health Ageing population Fuel poverty Winter and summer conditions Heatwaves 



The authors want to thank the assistance of Ainhoa Arriazu in the collection of information and in the elaboration of some graphs provided in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aurora Monge-Barrio
    • 1
  • Ana Sánchez-Ostiz Gutiérrez
    • 2
  1. 1.School of ArchitectureUniversity of NavarraPamplonaSpain
  2. 2.School of ArchitectureUniversity of NavarraPamplonaSpain

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