New study says overheated houses are a growing issue

New university research discusses the problem of overheating in un-air-conditioned homes

A new study carried out by researchers at Loughborough University’s School of Civil and Building Engineering claims that overheating in domestic properties not containing air-conditioning is becoming a real problem.

According to the research, overheating in buildings is a growing, nationwide issue that is even threatening the health of some people. In certain building stock, without air-conditioning installed, the problem is so extreme as to render the properties uninhabitable.

The report, produced by Kevin J Lomas and Stephen M Porritt, has been published in the Building Research & Information journal. The study builds upon previous investigation and the issue will be further addressed in an upcoming debate hosted by Edge.

The new report says that modern building regulations focus solely upon heat retention, which has led to an average heat loss reduction in domestic housing in the UK of 23%. However, the regulations don’t take the hot summer months into account.

Excess winter deaths are much more prevalent in the UK that deaths caused by excess heat, however the latter does exist. During the 2003 summer heatwave, a reported 2,000 deaths took place as a result of the excess heat.

With the average temperatures expected to rise year-on-year, the problem of overheating will become more serious. The Edge debate, titled ‘Overheating in UK buildings – a disaster waiting to happen?’, will discuss what measures need to be adopted to address the issue head-on.

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