We have always had hot spells in summer, but a new report from the American Meteorological Society confirms that 2014 was the hottest in recorded history and the 10 hottest years on record have all now occurred since 1998. Weather trends are likely to continue getting warmer and drier in much of the developed world.
Personally I strongly dislike conventional air conditioning. It cuts off dwellers from nature, masks the sounds of birds and breezes, makes it more comfortable for people to overeat, and burns energy like there is literally no tomorrow.
After several decades of making wasteful choices, today many people are getting smarter about energy once more. New technology is taking leaps and bounds and cutting edge buildings are cooling their inhabitants without conventional AC systems, all while recycling water and producing more energy than they consume. Not too mention being visually stunning, attracting progressive architects and engineers from around the world. Smart ideas are contagious. See: How the greenest office building is handling Seattle’s hottest summer.
Built in 2012, the Bullitt Center has performed well in its short life. It recently earned the prestigious Living Building Certification from the International Living Future Institute, and last year the building “generated 60% more energy than it used,” exceeding expectations and providing tenants with free electricity. Some of its notable features include a 570 panel roof-top solar array, a rainwater capture and purification system, and composting toilets.