New Homes Are To Hot
According to recently published research by Kevin J Lomas and Stephen M Porritt at Loughborough University’s School of Civil and Building Engineering, overheating has been particularly notable in new homes. Overheating is a nationwide, growing problem that can render buildings uninhabitable and potentially lethal in summer months.
The UK’s temperate climate means attention in the UK housing stock continues to be focused on heating and heat retention. Domestic air conditioning, or comfort cooling, is uncommon.
Since the mid-60s, the building regulations have sought to reduce heat loss in cold weather by setting minimum standards for the thermal envelope. While ventilation is prescribed to ensure adequate background ventilation and windows are designed to ensure adequate natural light, there is no regulatory consideration for design to control overheating in warm weather.
Since 1970 building regulations have reduced the average heat loss of the housing stock by 23%. Despite this, more than 10% of England’s households were classed as being in fuel poverty in 2014 and excess mortality due to low indoor winter temperatures in England and Wales was 43,900 in 2014/15.
Summer heat mortality is far less common. During the 10-day European heatwave of 2003, there were reported to be over 2000 excess deaths in England, during the heatwave of 2006 680 deaths and 300 deaths in 2009. As the report points out, as the climate warms the picture will change. By 2040 the temperatures experienced in the UK in the summer of 2003 will be the norm and heat-related deaths could treble by the 2050s, it estimates.
Article taken from cooling post.