National survey of summertime temperatures and overheating risk in English homes

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Abstract

This paper presents one of the first national scale studies of summertime temperatures in English dwellings. Living room and bedroom temperatures were recorded in 207 homes across the England during the cool summer of 2007. Data was also collected by face-to-face household interviews. Fourteen homes (7%) were observed to be heated for part or all of the analysis period (July to August). Based on the BSEN15251 adaptive thermal comfort model, the 193 free-running dwellings would, in general, to be considered as uncomfortably cool. Over 72% of living rooms and bedrooms had more than 5% of hours below the BSEN15251 Cat II lower threshold, with over 50% having more than 5% of hours below the Cat III threshold. Detached homes and those built before 1919 were significantly cooler (p<0.05) than those of other type and age. Static criteria revealed that, despite the cool summer, 21% of the bedrooms had more than 5% of night time hours over 26°C; which is a recommended upper limit for bedrooms. The bedrooms of modern homes, i.e. those built after 1990 or with cavity walls, were significantly warmer (p<0.05). The bedrooms in homes built prior to 1919 were significantly cooler (p<0.05). The living rooms of flats were significantly warmer than the living rooms in the other dwelling types (p<0.05). The incidence of warm bedrooms in modern homes, even during a cool summer, is of concern, especially as there is a strong trend towards even better insulation standards in new homes and the energy-efficient retrofitting of existing homes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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Beizaee, A., Lomas, K. J., & Firth, S. K. (2013). National survey of summertime temperatures and overheating risk in English homes. Building and Environment, 65, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2013.03.011

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