The Zero Carbon Hub released its report ‘Overheating in Homes – The Big Picture` on 16 June 2015. There is concern in the housing sector that as the climate changes, and we get better at building and retrofitting homes to prevent heat losses in the winter, we may inadvertently increase the risk of overheating in warmer months. 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. Our national and local policy frameworks must support the housing sector in minimising and preventing overheating as far as possible. Dealing with an overheating problem after it has happened can be a difficult and costly experience for all concerned. Overheating can result in people becoming very ill and, in extreme cases, to fatalities, particularly in vulnerable groups. The report 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. A second phase of the project will begin this year, aiming to make detailed recommendations about the types of policies and frameworks that could help the sector take a significant step forward in keeping people comfortable and healthy in their homes.
This is the first report that brings together into one document both the risk and response to the problem of overheating in homes. With a likelihood of hotter summers and an ageing population, it is vital that homes are well ventilated and adapted to ensure that the health implications of overheating are kept to a minimum. This report aims to instil action to achieve this without compromising on energy efficiency or low carbon standards. It helps to inform housing providers of action that they can take and resources they can access in order to minimise the overheating risk. To see the full report please go to www.zerocarbonhub.org