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Overheating in UK homes: Adaptive opportunities, actions and barriers

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conference contribution
posted on 02.07.2018, 09:56 by Daniel L. Wright, Victoria HainesVictoria Haines, Kevin LomasKevin Lomas
New-build homes and bungalows are particularly at risk of overheating during hot UK summers. Bungalows are a dwelling type favoured by the elderly who are more vulnerable to the negative health impacts of overheating. Whilst modelling studies have identified overheating risk, monitored data is lacking and limited information about the adaptive opportunities available to households (e.g. ventilation and shading). Even less is known about the adaptive actions taken during hot spells or about the physical, physiological or psychological barriers to acting. A mixed-method survey tool (OAST) was developed for this study and used to assess overheating occurrence, adaptive opportunities, actions taken and barriers to action. The tool was deployed with a cohort of new-build (n = 4) and bungalow homes (n = 4) in Loughborough, central England. The survey highlighted potential indicators of overheating risk, including post-occupancy retrofit such as extensions and loft conversions. Occupants’ reports provided context and were a key strength of the OAST. Expressed barriers to adaptive action included concerns about security, but there was an inherent lack of concern about overheating and the associated health risks. Recommendations are made for the further development of the OAST as a method of assessing overheating risk in households.


This work was conducted as part of a research project pursued within the London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funding for the Centre is gratefully acknowledged (Grant EP/H009612/1).



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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Windsor Conference: rethinking construction


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WRIGHT, D.L., HAINES, V. and LOMAS, K.J., 2018. Overheating in UK homes: Adaptive opportunities, actions and barriers. IN: Brotas, L. ... et al (eds). Proceedings of 10th Windsor Conference: Rethinking Comfort, Windsor, London, UK, 12-15 April 2018, pp.400-417.


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