Edge Debate 79: Overheating in UK buildings – a disaster waiting to happen?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 | Debates


• Why do UK buildings overheat in summer?

• Who is affected by it?

• What should we do about it?

• Who should do it?

This event examined the problem of overheating in the UK’s domestic buildings. Overheating is a nationwide, growing problem that can render buildings uninhabitable in summer months. It affects the construction industry, social landlords, the health care sector and building owners and occupiers.
New, just published research in Building Research and Information (BRI) provides robust evidence on the nature and extent of overheating and those who are vulnerable. The editorial of the Special Issue notes the:

’perfect storm’ of interacting factors [that] cause summertime overheating: the drive for energy efficiency and decarbonization, the changing climate with increasingly hot summers and heatwaves, urbanization and urban heat islands, the incessant drive to reduce construction costs, increasing land and property prices, an ageing population, the technical ability to identify and quantify the problem, and the profound social and cultural lack of knowledge about what to do when confronted with heat.This debate will examine these factors and consider what might be done and by whom to address this systemic problem. These questions include:

• What new roles should building regulations have to reduce overheating?
• What can professional institutes do to ensure their members take responsibility for overheating in new builds and retrofits?
• What changes are needed to the higher education curriculum and CPD?
• Who will provide information to occupants on how to operate the building and what to do if overheating does occur (adaptive opportunities)?

Chair: Esther Kurland, Director, Urban Design London
Introduction: Prof Kevin Lomas, Loughborough University
Speakers: Prof Fionn Stevenson, University of Sheffield
Prof Rajat Gupta, Oxford Brookes University
Respondees: Lynne Sullivan OBE, LSA Studio
Angie Bone, Public Health England
David Adams, Melius Homes

Venue: The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, 22 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0QB, Room G.02

Timing: Tuesday 31 January 2017

Note: The special issue of Building Research & Information “Overheating in Buildings: Adaptation Responses” is available online.
Attendees have free access to the articles in the special issue via this special link (until 31 July 2017): http://www.tandfonline.com/r/rbri-specialissue

Downloads (presentations):
- Kevin Lomas - Introduction presentation
- Fionn Stevenson - Overheating presentation
- Rajat Gupta - Overheating risk in care homes presentation

The debate was held in collaboration with Building Research & Information (BRI) Print

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