Zero Carbon Hub working group looks to set standard for overheating in homes

Housebuilding research and advisory body Zero Carbon Hub is establishing a working group of industry experts to come up with recommendations for government on an overheating standard for homes.

The move follows mounting concern about overheating in increasingly sealed new houses and apartments, and publication of a report by Zero Carbon Hub on the subject. The report concluded that there was no accepted or agreed definition of overheating that can be applied by the domestic sector.

The report, Overheating in homes – The big picture, sets out the types of processes and checks some housing associations and housebuilders already have in place to tackle overheating and why they viewed these as important for their businesses. Zero Carbon Hub will establish the working group with the aim of making detailed recommendations next year about the types of policies and frameworks that could help the sector limit overheating.

Rob Pannell, managing director of the Zero Carbon Hub said: “Although action is being taken to tackle this issue, it is clear that overheating in homes is already happening – potentially in up to 20% of the housing stock in England.

“The risk of overheating varies from building to building. Those which have a higher chance of overheating usually have recognisable risk factors, which means the sector can be cautiously optimistic about being able to identify and treat them.”

Paul Ciniglio, sustainability and asset strategist at housing provider First Wessex said, “We are not alone among developers in experiencing overheating in some new homes and we are reviewing the causes in the rare instances where this has occurred and responding proactively through research with the Zero Carbon Hub.

“We will subsequently aim to design out such problems in new builds as this is far easier than trying to alleviate the problem once the homes are occupied.”


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