How Can I Prevent Overheating?

27 June 2022
by Karen Humphreys

I am having a single-storey house built with floor to ceiling glazing at each end. The internal area is 76m2.

I was going to have air-conditioning installed in the main bedroom but I met someone today who told me how unhealthy it is. Of course, I have heard this before.

But what are the alternatives, do blinds keep the heat out? In my previous home which was a 1st floor flat built in the 80's it could be unbearably hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I was told that was because of the insulation in the brick. I don't want to end up with a very hot home in the summer? Any suggestions please.

Thank you

3 Answers

  1. Anamika Talwaria says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for your question. I have put this to our experts and will come back with an answer for you ASAP.

    In the meantime, you may be interested to know that the new Building Regs (as of 15th June 2022) have a dedicated standard (Part O) for the prevention of overheating. This is something to discuss with your designer, as they will be able to suggest things like roof overhangs in the right place to help prevent your home from getting too hot.

    Best wishes,
    Anamika Talwaria (Build It Features Editor)

  2. Opinder Liddar says:

    There are several factors to consider here. Firstly, the orientation of the building its immediate context must be assessed. If one of your large glazed windows is south-facing and there is no external shading from trees or other structures, your building could overheat. You may want to consider introducing some form of external shading device into the design, such as louvres or external shutters, or reduce the size of the window.

    Secondly, you must take a fabric first approach and make sure that the insulation and airtightness you achieve is achieving excellent levels. This will help temper the building in its exposure to absorbing and losing heat. I’d expect that a lack of insulation and potentially heat rising from your ground floor neighbours were the issues behind your previous overheating experience.

    Your designer should have carried out a SAP assessment of the proposed building taking the above into account and this will normally flag if there is a potential overheating risk. If there is, then you and your designer need to design the issue out early on, rather than introduce energy-hungry gadgets to address the problem such as air-conditioning.

    It is possible to use heat pumps for your house and some suppliers allow for the flow to reverse to dissipate excess energy from inside the building to an outside store. We have done this successfully to cool a house and use the excess heat for a swimming pool. Other heat providers do state that they can have an element of cooling within their systems so these would be worth exploring with your provider.

    Opinder Liddar (Director, lapd Architects)

  3. Richard Maudslay says:

    It is the sun in the summer which will cause overheating. So make sure you have enough roof overhang to stop summer sun striking your window. If you are using 3D CAD design with suitable software you should be able to model the path of the sun on your window at all times of the year.

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