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Summertime temperatures and thermal comfort in UK homes

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journal contribution
posted on 14.05.2013, 12:46 authored by Kevin LomasKevin Lomas, Tom Kane
Internal summertime temperatures measured in 268 homes in the UK city of Leicester are reported. The hourly data was collected from living rooms and bedrooms during the summer of 2009, which was generally cool but with a short hot spell. Some household interviews were conducted. The sample of homes is statistically representative of the socio-technical characteristics of the city’s housing stock. The data provides insight into the influence of house construction, energy system usage and occupant characteristics on the incidence of elevated temperatures and thermal discomfort. The warmest homes were amongst the 13% that were heated. Significantly more of these were occupied by those over 70 who are particularly vulnerable to high temperatures. The national heatwave plan might usefully caution against summertime heating. Temperatures in the 230 free-running homes were analysed using both static criteria and criteria associated with the BSEN15251 adaptive thermal comfort model. These indicated that that flats tended to be significantly warmer than other house types. Solid wall homes and detached houses tended to be significantly cooler. It is argued that adaptive criteria provide a valuable and credible framework for assessing internal temperatures in free-running UK homes. However, the temperatures in the Leicester homes were much lower than anticipated by the BSEN15251 model. Numerous possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed.


The 4M consortium was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under its Sustainable Urban Environment programme (Grant Number EP/F007604/1).



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


LOMAS, K.J. and KANE, T., 2013. Summertime temperatures and thermal comfort in UK homes. Building Research and Information, 41 (3), pp.259-280.


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