Concern & action: Overheating

High temperatures in buildings can cause discomfort and ill health. Fabric energy efficiency measures can exacerbate problems (e.g. by changing thermal mass, increasing thermal resistance and reducing ventilation). Services can also increase heat loads.

Suggested actions

Before Implementation

Carry out in situ tests to establish whole building performance (e.g. U-value measurement, room conditioning monitoring, air pressure test). Use these in situ measurements to inform whole building energy numerical modelling (i.e. IES, Energy Plus etc), making a thorough assessment of all factors contributing to year round internal temperatures. Consider strategy for building to deal with higher temperatures (e.g. shading, thermal mass, purge night ventilation, planting). Ensure effective ventilation is possible, i.e. cross ventilation, and check that existing window opening and shading opportunities are not compromised by additional measures. Beware that personal preference may override optimum settings for system. Decide on operation strategy and balance the need for good user understanding and automation of the system. Consider automation may be best for higher risk levels.

During implementation

Communicate the strategy to minimise overheating to occupants clear and simply and check they understand it. Beware of personal preferences that may override optimum system settings.

After implementation

Monitor and report temperature conditions experienced post refurbishment.