Objectives

The Overheating Solutions for New Homes working group has been formed to help the industry address the growing problem of overheating in homes, with the consequent risks to health, well-being, and asset value. We also have concerns about carbon emissions from powered cooling which in many circumstances would be unnecessary with improved design. The Working Group brings a range of expert research, technical and practical experience to the problem, and contributes perspectives from across the built environment spectrum. We intend to break down the overheating problem into component issues, look at current initiatives where progress is being made, and recommend further action – catalysing this where we can. Our focus is broad and will include regulation at the planning and buildings scales, good practice guidance, the tools available to designers and decision makers, process issues, research gaps, and investor / owner / occupier awareness of the issue.

Overheating in new homes is a complex problem that may take years to solve, the OSNH group will seek to partition the problem and prepare a toolkit of solutions. The group is also available to act as a contact group for relevant research projects. This includes (but is not limited to) considering:

  • The functioning of SAP Appendix P – the current “overheating check”.
  • The use of dynamic thermal modelling software and appropriateness for domestic property design and identification of gaps in the market
  • The use of CIBSE’s new overheating assessment criteria for domestic schemes, including in schemes outside of London
  • The role/effectiveness of NPPF and the planning process in reducing overheating risks
  • The effectiveness of compliance regimes, including Building Regulations
  • Educational and Training needs/gaps
  • Research gaps
  • Consumer knowledge/awareness
  • Case studies and monitoring programmes evidencing overheating

Outputs

The outcomes of this working group will include (but are not limited to):

  • To investigate the establishment of a set of baselines that progress can be measured against
  • To provide a definition of overheating
  • To identify and facilitate a set of process and policy solutions to reduce overheating issues in new homes at the design/planning stage, the construction and commissioning/handover stages, and for the occupation stage
  • To improve the awareness and understanding around overheating issues for masterplanners, designers, developers and specifiers
  • To identify skill gaps and handover failures between disciplines or processes

New homes are defined by this group to include: owner occupied/private rented, student accommodation and care/extracare homes.

The working group will draw upon existing studies and commission new studies where necessary.

Who’s involved?

The following organisations are committing to represent the sectors on the working
group:

  • Good Homes Alliance (chair and co-ordination)
  • BRE
  • CIBSE
  • Berkeley Group
  • LABC
  • BSRIA
  • NHBC
  • UWE
  • Loughborough University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Four Walls Consulting
  • The Buildings Hub
  • ARCC Network (Adaptation and Resilience in the Context of Change)

Other groups can be co-opted as and when appropriate, including:

  • The Homeowners Alliance
  • Public Health England
  • CCC-Adaptation Sub Committee

Next project

The GHA has developed a proposal for one key area of research namely to:

  • examine the costs and benefits of local planning authorities across the UK utilising a protocol or guidance document to help them identify risky new schemes during the planning process
  • work with planners to determine how they can work more closely with developers to reduce the risk/chances for overheating, and
  • develop an approach for delivering the protocol/guidance, in consultation with planners

If you are interested in supporting this proposal, or have specific knowledge that might be useful for the project, please contact us at richard@goodhomes.org.uk.