LOMAS, K.J. and KANE, T., 2013. Summertime temperatures and thermal comfort in UK homes. Building Research and Information, 41 (3), pp.259-280.
Internal summertime temperatures measured in 268 homes in the UK city of Leicester are
reported. The hourly data was collected from living rooms and bedrooms during the summer
of 2009, which was generally cool but with a short hot spell. Some household interviews
were conducted. The sample of homes is statistically representative of the socio-technical
characteristics of the city’s housing stock. The data provides insight into the influence of
house construction, energy system usage and occupant characteristics on the incidence of
elevated temperatures and thermal discomfort.
The warmest homes were amongst the 13% that were heated. Significantly more of these
were occupied by those over 70 who are particularly vulnerable to high temperatures. The
national heatwave plan might usefully caution against summertime heating.
Temperatures in the 230 free-running homes were analysed using both static criteria and
criteria associated with the BSEN15251 adaptive thermal comfort model. These indicated
that that flats tended to be significantly warmer than other house types. Solid wall homes and
detached houses tended to be significantly cooler.
It is argued that adaptive criteria provide a valuable and credible framework for assessing
internal temperatures in free-running UK homes. However, the temperatures in the Leicester
homes were much lower than anticipated by the BSEN15251 model. Numerous possible
reasons for this discrepancy are discussed.
This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Building Research and Information [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09613218.2013.757886
The 4M consortium was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under its Sustainable Urban Environment programme (Grant Number EP/F007604/1).