‘We believe people should be able to live in comfort in properties, all year round’.

UK Overheating – Who we are

The design of residential buildings in the UK has been entirely focused on retaining heat, so that they are warm in the winter whilst using less energy. This has created living spaces that can become extremely hot in the summer. In England and Wales, around 2,000 people die each year from heat-related effects. Heat waves from global warming bring further extreme temperatures, and these are forecast to increase, both in occurrence and intensity. These effects are worse in big cities, due to dense built form, alongside populous movement and the expelling of waste heat. Our modern living spaces are simply not designed to cope with these hot conditions.

This has been recognised by industry in recent years, and methods of assessment have been developed. It has been common for residential buildings in London to consider the effects of overheating. However, the default solution to remove any excess heat is to open a window and where the environment is less than ideal, thermal relief comes at the expense of poor indoor environmental quality.

Full Overheating Strategy

In 2016 our founder, James Healey, recognised this mismatch and joined a committee formed to develop holistic solutions. The committee culminated in the production in 2019 of the world’s first national guidance document (the Acoustics, Ventilation & Overheating Guide), setting out a method to provide reasonable noise conditions inside our homes at the same time as providing comfortable thermal conditions. At a similar time, the UK government released studies showing that our living environments were at significant risk of overheating at the risk of health, triggering a need for change. Informed by the 2021 the government released Approved Document O ‘Overheating’ for England, which provides two routes, one prescriptive and one a more bespoke detailed approach, to mitigate overheating, whilst also requiring the methods to be safe and considerate of indoor noise and poor air pollution.

Most consultants in the industry provide only half the solution, whether it is a strategy reliant on opening a window regardless of the environmental conditions, or a noise or air quality solution that does not consider or properly understand the challenges of reducing heat gains and adequately removing excess heat. Developers and the design team then have to interpret and merge this advice to translate it into the design.

UK’s first provider of fully coordinated overheating strategies

“Working with James is a pleasure and an education. His enthusiasm and expertise in the field of acoustics and overheating mitigation is infectious and a pragmatic and practical approach, driven by a desire to arrive at cost-effective solutions shines through. As a consultant, he also has a good commercial understanding and that business acumen adds to his credibility and reliability. James is my ‘go to’ guy when it comes to overheating and acoustics.”

Churchill Retirement Living

Meet the team

Overheating in buildings has been highlighted as a key risk for the health and productivity of people and businesses in the UK

It is estimated that there are about 2,000 heat-related deaths each year in England and Wales. 

This has led to new regulations to ensure occupants in new residential buildings do not suffer excessive temperatures.

Approved Document O England

Approved Document O (2021 edition – England) was released in December 2021 and came into force for all Building Regulations building notices, full plans applications and initial notices for residential buildings submitted in England from 15 June 2022.

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Approved Document O Wales

Approved Document O (2022 edition – Wales) was released in May 2022 and came into force for all Building Regulations building notices, full plans applications and initial notices for residential buildings submitted in Wales from 23 November 2022.

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Scottish Building Standard 3.28

Standard 3.28 of the Scottish Building Standards Domestic Technical Handbook (December 2022 edition) was released in June 2022 and came into force for all residential Building Warrant applications submitted in Scotland from 01 February 2023.

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