Rising summer temperatures suggest overheating issues for new buildings

Following the recent global rush of heatwaves, MPs have highlighted a warning from the Met Office stating that UK summer temperatures could regularly reach 38.5C by 2040. Although scientists differ on whether the current heatwaves have been caused by climate change, all agree that future heatwaves are to become hotter and more frequent due to carbon emissions. The government claims it is committed to cutting carbon emissions however it is not on track to achieving its targets.

According to MPs, the government’s current plans will not stop buildings overheating therefore tougher rules are needed to ensure new developments can deal with extreme heat. It is likely that future iterations of building regulations will focus upon overheating within buildings, occupant comfort and wellbeing. Currently, compliance checks require a simple, solar gain analysis whereas CIBSE thermal comfort assessments (such as TM 36 and TM 59) offer a more robust methodology however, these are often not mandatory. CIBSE thermal comfort assessments are typically driven by planning requirements or client due diligence.

It is imperative that new buildings pass current regulations in terms of solar gain within Part L of the building regulations and this is expected to become more stringent. Element Sustainability use the latest accredited SAP software for domestic properties and the latest SBEM and Dynamic Simulation Modelling software for commercial buildings to achieve compliance, ensuring that your building will meet the requisite targets.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44956310

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