Action needed to combat overheating in London homes

Buildpositive

Cool pavements in cities, retrofittable new buildings and an analysis method for new developments are needed to combat overheating in homes across London and the South East. A new report from WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff makes these and more recommendations, following an earlier study looking at the extent of overheating. This study included a survey, carried out with ComRes, which highlighted the problem, finding that at least four out five Londoners suffered from unbearably hot homes this summer.

Overheating is a particular concern for new build flats, which are increasingly better at protecting residents from the cold in winter, but are not preventing discomfort in hotter summers.

The report’s recommendations are:

  • A new, robust regulatory overheating analysis method for all new developments
  • Requirement for new housing developments to adhere to a ‘cooling hierarchy’ to assess the most relevant measure to combat overheating
  • Requirement for new buildings to be designed to facilitate retrofitted cooling installations
  • Measures to be introduced on a development and city-wide basis to reduce the urban heat island effect, including green infrastructure and ‘cool pavements’ made of highly reflective materials
  • Measures to move towards an all-electric city that will lead to a reduction in heat production from all vehicles and buildings in urban areas and reduce noise pollution that will allow natural ventilation.

Report author Barny Evans, associate at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, said: “Even as winter approaches overheating needs direct action. Current regulations rightly focus on stopping us feeling the cold, but we have yet to find the right solution to uncomfortably hot homes. We need to create a robust, industry-wide accepted way of analysing overheating and apply it to all new homes and the environment where they are built.”

The report, Overheating in homes, is available here.

One thought on “Action needed to combat overheating in London homes

  1. Are we over-insulating? In my experience of living in a 1990s flat, heat was rarely needed at any time of year, and the windows were open both summer and winter to prevent overheating. More monitoring of real situations is needed.

    Like

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