DLUHC releases study on overheating in England

In case you hadn’t noticed… it’s quite hot at the moment! So it was aptly timed that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities released its factsheet on overheating in England.

The fact sheet: ‘English Housing Survey, 2020 to 2021: subjective overheating and construction type’, was a study conducted on residents who self-reported overheating when the indoor environment became uncomfortably hot.

The headline findings were:

  • In 2020-21, 1.9 million (8%) households reported that at least one part of their home got uncomfortably hot. Some rooms are likely to get more uncomfortably hot than others:
    • 37% - living room
    • 51% - bedroom
    • 63% - loft conversion
    • 100% - conservatory
  • Those aged 30 to 64 were more likely to report overheating than younger and older households who are more at risk of ill-health due to excessive heat.
  • Those with a conservatory (17%) were more likely to report overheating than those without (7%).
  • Those with a loft conversion (16%) were more likely to report overheating than those without (7%).
  • Occupants living in timber or steel framed dwellings were more likely to report overheating in the home than most other dwelling construction types.
    • 19% - other
    • 18% - timber frame
    • 17% steel frame
    • 9% cavity with insulation
    • 7% solid uninsulated
  • More occupants in dwellings with ‘other’ (includes homes of timber framed, concrete or steel construction) or insulated cavity walls reported overheating than those living in uninsulated solid dwellings.

Dealing with overheating

 Overheating in buildings is becoming more of an issue due to increased levels of air tightness, higher levels of insulation, excessive glazing and inadequate ventilation. But it's not just about comfort; the ill effects of overheating can lead to heat exhaustion, hospitalisation and in some cases death.

To deal with the problem, overheating was removed from Part L of the Building Regulations in June 2022 and given its own approved document (Part O). Now every building will require an overheating risk assessment.

There are two ways of doing this: the simplified method or the detailed method, involving dynamic thermal modelling (DTM). For high risk buildings such as apartment blocks it is likely that DTM will be required to show that overheating has been mitigated.

Demonstrate competence and quality

Elmhurst recently launched its overheating training course and competency scheme for those looking to use dynamic thermal modelling (DTM) to provide overheating risk assessments. As a member of Elmhurst’s competency scheme you will be able to demonstrate competence and quality to clients, with the extra assurance that you are a member of a recognised scheme.

With highs of 36 degrees Celsius predicted in some parts of the country next week, it goes to show the new importance overheating is going to play in the coming years.


FAQs about Overheating

You can find out more about Part O and overheating here.


Article Published: 15/07/22

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