As new homes are built with more thermal insulation and to improved standards of airtightness, concerns are emerging of an increased risk of overheating. Alongside the key issue of indoor air quality, overheating is a risk that needs to be managed carefully as we move further towards the aim of zero carbon new homes and now ranks among our greatest concerns that need to be addressed as a priority.
Earlier this year, NHBC Foundation published Understanding overheating – where to start: An introduction for house builders and designers, providing a guide to the key factors that can lead to high indoor temperatures, and describing some of the measures which should be considered during planning and design in order to mitigate against overheating.
This new report documents a wide-ranging review of existing information, evidence and case studies on overheating, supplemented by outcomes from two industry workshops. The report discusses what parameters might be used in the definition of overheating, and gives guidance on reducing overheating. It concludes that there is an urgent need to develop a universally accepted definition of overheating in dwellings, and that the development of a robust threshold for use by planners, designers, builders and authorities is vital for dealing with overheating.