What is it about?

CBE Clima is an online resource for anyone that is interested in understanding how a specific climate impacts building design. Accessible at https://clima.cbe.berkeley.edu/,CBE Clima allows users to freely explore over 30,000 weather files worldwide and enables the upload of propietary weather data in the EPW (Energy Plus Weather) format. The user-friendly interface guides individuals through various tabs, each presenting interactive climate-related graphs. These graphs cover a range of factors, from temperature and humidity to wind roses and sunpaths. Users can download these graphs as high-resolution vector graphics suitable for integration into academic and professional reports. As users progress through the tabs, the application presents increasingly detailed information, such as psychrometric charts, outdoor comfort strategies, and natural ventilation potential. Accompanying each chart is extensive documentation accessible through the book icon above the chart or in a structured format at https://center-for-the-built-environment.gitbook.io/clima/. The documentation not only supports user understanding but also serves as educational material on climate-adapted design suitable for undergraduates, graduates, and professionals alike. All graphics are available for both commercial and non-commercial purposes and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Commercial 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).

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Why is it important?

The energy consumed for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, and operations in buildings constitutes approximately 36% of global final energy use and nearly40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Embracing designs that consider the local climate brings various benefits, such as reduced energy requirements and consequent emissions, improved health, and increased resilience to climate change. Despite the substantial potential of climate-responsive building design to enhance comfort, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability, obstacles like social, cultural, and economic factors hinder widespread adoption. Overcoming these challenges requires addressing issues such as limited knowledge on the topic, restricted access to relevant information, complex visualization and analysis tools, and poor accessibility to local climate data for practitioners. CBE Clima aims to facilitate and promote climate-based building design by simplifying access to contextual information, making it easier and freely available. With comprehensive documentation, this tool strives to ease the process of climate-responsive building design. By providing accessible and free information, CBE Clima aims to promote more effective and widespread adoption of climate-adapted building designs.


As an architect with extensive experience in practicing climate-adapted design on an international scale, CBE Clima has provided me with an opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise freely and openly. Through collaboration with numerous contributors, this work aims to empower practitioners worldwide to create more enjoyable, beautiful, and sustainable designs. The website currently engages approximately 5,000 unique users every month on a global scale. I like to believe that this outreach serves as a multiplier, enhancing one's ability to contribute to sustainable design practices across the world. I would like to express my gratitude to all the individuals who have played a part in the development of the CBE Clima Tool (https://cbe-berkeley.gitbook.io/clima/#contributions). This research has received support from the Center for the Built Environment at the University of California, Berkeley.

Giovanni Betti
Universitat der Kunste

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: CBE Clima Tool: A free and open-source web application for climate analysis tailored to sustainable building design, Building Simulation, December 2023, Tsinghua University Press,
DOI: 10.1007/s12273-023-1090-5.
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