Investigating the potential of overheating in UK dwellings as a consequence of extant climate change

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Dynamic simulation is used with defined domestic building variants to investigate internal temperatures of UK dwellings. Factors such as a warming climate and varying internal heat gains are estimated to examine whether UK domestic buildings are likely to be prone to overheating in the future, and therefore require mechanical air conditioning. The study suggests that the ability, or inability, of the occupant to adapt to bedroom temperature is paramount in the understanding of the conditions for overheating. While this is difficult to quantify (and a range of comfort temperatures are proposed), the effect of changing the building construction and geographical location can result in significantly different thermal conditions. As might be expected, the problem appears most noticeable for buildings in the south of the UK and with lightweight constructions. Even with a window-opening schedule applied to such a scenario, the average internal temperature is simulated as being over 28. °C for almost 12% of the year. A different metric, defined as "cooling nights", suggests that there might be a cooling problem in bedroom areas for approximately a third of the year. In the North of the UK, and also for solid wall dwellings, this problem diminishes significantly. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3277-3288
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • Climate change
  • Domestic
  • Overheating
  • Simulation
  • Thermal mass


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