In Southeast Asia, too, lifestyles are changing, people are increasingly working from home as a result of COVID-19, and the demands on urban structures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. Thailand‘s historic urban neighborhoods and residential buildings need resilient utilization concepts developed in cooperation with residents and city administrations. This is where the CHARMS research project comes in, bringing together researchers from Germany and Thailand with local governments and civil society in the Thai region of Chiang Mai. A research team from Fraunhofer IMW is leading the large-scale transdisciplinary project.
The project team‘s surveys show that the high
energy costs, poor air quality and often inadequate thermal comfort of historic wooden houses affect young residents in particular. Their demands differ from those of their parents. At the same time, an altered microclimate and high air pollution severely limit the functionality of traditional indirect cooling systems. To ensure acceptable indoor comfort, many residential buildings are equipped with active, technical solutions such as air conditioning systems. Higher energy consumption and urban heat islands are the result.
Technical and social innovations
In order to develop locally adapted, sustainable utilization concepts for these historic buildings and neighborhoods, the researchers in the project are applying research methods from various academic disciplines. The aim is to create technical and social innovations that are interrelated, improve indoor comfort for residents, and preserve the architectural heritage and cultural identity – preservation through use.