Experts in Leicester have developed an online toolkit which provides advice on how to adapt homes to cope with future climate change and cut energy use.
Stephen Porritt, a Research Fellow at De Montfort University’s (DMU) Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD), has created a toolkit for homeowners, residents and landlords, which shows the steps that can be taken to reduce overheating in homes.
During the heat wave in August 2003, when temperatures exceeded 37 degrees, more than 35,000 people died of heat related problems throughout Europe, with more than 2,000 of those deaths in the UK. It is predicted that extreme weather such as this will occur every year by the middle of the century.
The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers’ guidelines suggest that temperatures should not exceed 28 degrees in living areas or 26 degrees in bedrooms for more than 1 per cent of the time the home is being occupied.
The toolkit can predict overheating in four different house types - detached, semi detached, terraced and purpose-built flats. For each type the toolkit shows how different retrofit measures, such as external shutters, internal blinds and solar reflective roof and walls, can reduce overheating in homes and the effect the different measures have on energy use as well as providing typical costs.
It has already gained recognition by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and has been mentioned in the recently published London Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, ‘Managing risks and increasing resilience’.
Stephen Porritt said: “Our climate is constantly changing and further change is expected. We need to prepare for warmer, wetter winters, hotter, drier summers and more frequent extreme weather. The toolkit provides retrofit advice to cope with these future climate changes. Different adaptations can be selected to reduce summer overheating whilst also reducing energy use and cost.”
The toolkit is available at www.iesd.dmu.ac.uk/crew
It is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and forms part of the Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW) project.
Posted on Thursday 8th December 2011