It’s important we tackle this issue now and future-proof our systems to keep properties healthy and habitable going forward
Overheating in residential buildings continues to be a major concern for the building industry. There are many contributing factors to overheating, but none more so than climate change affecting summer-time temperatures in the upward trajectory, architectural design demands and buildings being built “too tight”.
Not only does overheating have a major impact on whether the property is liveable – in some cases making the home uninhabitable in the summer months - but it can also cause serious problems with sleep, heat stress and other major health risks. In some cases, it can also result in premature death.
The MET Office has documented that the number of ‘extremely hot days’ could increase fourfold from 10% to 37% if global temperatures rise by just 7.2°F – adding alarming concern to the issues overheating results in.
In addition to this, experts claim that the global temperature is likely to rise 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2051 and heatwaves will increase in frequency making this is an issue that won’t go away and should not be ignored.
Other warning signs are evident:
- In our cities, pollution, noise and security are just some of the limitations around the availability of natural ventilation and having to rely more on mechanical means.
- The ongoing trend in glass architecture to let in more light and create an airy feel within the space leads to overheating issues
- Well-insulated houses and buildings where windows do not open due to outdoor air pollution are major factors in overheating
- The need to make the client ‘happy’ with space saving, cheaper units that “just does the job” is prevalent
- Over-insulation and triple glazing have buildings sealed “too tight”
CIBSE has advised that if the issue is not addressed, 4500 premature deaths a year are expected by 20501.
It is known that 4.6m homes in England already reported to have problems with overheating and more new builds being built set to face these same issues. However, there are solutions out there and even so for buildings already built where certain products can be retrofitted to existing ventilation systems.
For future builds it’s about making this a part of the mandatory check list at the initial design stage. It is time for a fresh look at how we ventilate and create an optimal thermal temperature all year round within a building. For residential apartments, with often no option for natural ventilation, mechanical clean air input and extract is a necessity and therefore a new hybrid heating and cooling system needs to be considered to help with the optimisation of temperatures.
What can be done
The use of airconditioning is ‘understandable’ – turn it on and it cools you down – BUT it doesn’t refresh the air, just moves stale air around. Plus, it doesn’t heat well or consistently for the winter time.
It is time for a fresh look at how we ventilate and create an optimal thermal temperature all year round within a home. With no option for natural ventilation, mechanical clean air input and extract is a necessity and therefore a new hybrid heating and cooling system needs to be considered to help with the optimisation of temperatures, especially within new builds.
These systems, like our new MRXBOX Hybrid Cooling System, offer all the benefits of an MVHR with the added bonus of a cooling module for the extreme summer months, meaning homes can have a constant source of clean, fresh air and remain habitable - set to an optimal comfort temperature all year round.
Overheating is a modern-day concern and not one which will be going away anytime soon – if anything it will only get worse. It is affecting our high-rise builds right now but with global warming creating more and more weather extremes it could affect many more homes in years to come. It’s important we tackle this issue now and future-proof our systems to keep properties healthy and habitable going forward. For more information on the MRXBOX Hybrid Cooling System range, please visit Nuaire or contact us on +44 (0) 2920 858500 or email email@example.com
 Cibse.org. (2021). CIBSE - Overheating Position Statement. [online] Available at: https://www.cibse.org/news-and-policy/policy/overheating-position-statement.