The risk of overheating in buildings has increased significantly in recent years due to a combination of factors such as climate change, improved insulation performances and low air permeability rates. This has led to an increased number of deaths during recent heatwaves and is predicted to worsen.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) have released a new Approved Document O which came into effect in 2022. It sets out the overheating mitigation measures for residential dwellings to limit unwanted solar gain during the summer months and provide occupants with adequate means of removing excess heat from indoor environments.
Overheating analysis is crucial for ensuring that buildings in the UK are designed and constructed in a way that minimizes the risk of overheating, promoting the health, wellbeing, and sustainability of occupants.
We perform our analyses using dynamic simulation software using the relevant CIBSE guides TM52, TM59 and guide A. We will use thermal modelling techniques that take into account schedules, equipment, people and solar gains as well thermal performance of the building to design an appropriate strategy to reduce the risk of overheating.
Our in-depth knowledge of building façades means that we can use our expertise to limit solar gains in the first instance and secondarily to be able to effectively incorporate passive ventilation means if overheating occurs – aiming to prevent active cooling measures as far as practicably possible.