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TM59 Design methodology for the assessment of overheating risk in homes (2017)
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TM59 Design methodology for the assessment of overheating risk in homes (2017)

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Recent evidence has shown that overheating risk needs to be taken seriously in the residential sector. Many new or refurbished homes have designs that contribute to overheating risk by, for example, having high proportions of glazing (resulting in excessive solar heat gains), inadequate natural ventilation strategies or mechanical ventilation systems that are not delivering intended air change rates

Overheating risk is also affecting existing homes, especially in buildings that do not have adequate methods for dissipating heat gains and are less resilient to climate change. The health and well-being impacts of overheating can be significant for residents, resulting in stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation and even early deaths in heat waves, especially for vulnerable occupants. The situation is predicted to get worse. The Committee on Climate Change has estimated that mortality rates arising from overheating could rise from 2000 per year in 2015 to 7000 per year by the 2050s

Assessing overheating risk in homes is a complex issue and not adequately assessed by building regulations. Indeed, it would be wrong to assume that a home that complies with building regulations that were designed to focus on energy conservation also gives sufficient assurance of avoidance of overheating. Hence the recommendation that comfort conditions are separately assessed if it is felt that there could be a risk.

Many factors influence overheating in homes, including the intensity of heat gains, occupancy patterns, orientation, dwelling layout, shading strategy and ventilation method. Dynamic thermal modelling can be used to simulate the internal temperature conditions and will therefore help establish whether threshold conditions of discomfort will be reached. Given the complexity of the factors influencing overheating it is important that a standardised methodology is used to assess risk and hence the need for this technical memorandum. It can be applied to dwellings, care homes and student residences. Early analysis of overheating risk is recommended so that mitigation strategies can be reviewed in design proposals.

In summary, the application of this technical memorandum, by standardising the assessment methodology, should play a key role in limiting overheating risk in new and refurbished homes.

In June 2017, corrections were made to Table 2 (on page 7), Figure 1 (page 8) and Figure 7 (page 9). These changes are incorporated into the PDF available for download. Purchasers of the hard copy should downloaded the corrigendum here.


1 Introduction

1.1 About the methodology

1.2 Clarifications

1.3 Basis of design comfort criteria

1.4 Implications of applying the methodology


2 The methodology

2.1 Identification of risk

2.2 Methodology overview

2.3 Suggested reporting requirements


3 Guidance

3.1 Sample size

3.2 Weather files

3.3 Window and door openings

3.4 Exposure type

3.5 Infiltration and mechanical ventilation

3.6 Air speed assumptions

3.7 Blinds and shading devices

3.8 Pipework, hiu and heat maintenance tape heat loss

3.9 Communal corridors


4 Compliance criteria

4.1 Definitions

4.2 Criteria for homes predominantly naturally ventilated

4.3 Criteria for homes predominantly mechanically ventilated

4.4 Adjustments for homes with vulnerable occupants

4.5 Corridors: assessment criteria


5 Internal gains profiles

5.1 Occupancy and equipment

5.2 Lighting

5.3 Gain profile tables and charts


6 Supplementary information on profile development


Task Group Chair: Ashley Bateson (Chair, CIBSE Homes for the Future Group)

Contributing authors: Cecilia Bonfigli (ARUP); Marguerita Chorafa (AECOM); Susie Diamond (Inkling); Chris Eliades (ARUP); Anastasia Mylona (CIBSE); Becci Taylor (ARUP); Dane Virk (UCL/CIBSE sponsored EngD)

Testing of methodology: Zsolt Bako-Biro (GT Advanced); Ashley Bateson (Hoare Lea); Cecilia Bonfigli (ARUP); Owen Boswell (Hoare Lea); Tom Brown (Hoare Lea); Marguerita Chorafa (AECOM); Gabriela Costa (Sweco); Ed Cremin (Etude); Claire Das Bhaumik (Inkling); Susie Diamond (Inkling); Chris Eliades (ARUP); Marcus Haydon (Inkling); Narguess Khatami (Hilson Moran); Alexandros Kyrkopoulos (AECOM); Juliana Moreira (WSP); Tom Spurrier (Hoare Lea); Leon Tatlock (Etude); Dane Virk (UCL/CIBSE sponsored EngD).

Peer Reviewers: Kevin Lomas (Loughborough University); Isabelle Smith (Atkins); Neil Smith (NHBC); members of the CIBSE Homes for the Future Special Interest Group: Susan May (Affinity Sutton), Tom MacNeil (Max Fordham), Jon Nuttall (Hoare Lea)

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