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Overheating impacts the health of Europeans

This summer, many people across Europe felt the consequences from the growing problem with overheated buildings. Overheating is a serious problem affecting our health and well-being. Research finds that preventing overheating positively affects sleep quality, work productivity and school children’s learning abilities1. The solutions do not require energy consuming and long-term expensive appliances but can be very simple and energy-efficient products.

A growing issue

The risk of overheating increases with growing energy requirements for buildings and rising outdoor temperatures due to climate change. If the right measures are not taken to prevent these new and renovated homes from overheating, they will have an increased risk due to a heavier insulated climate envelope intended to keep the homes warm in winter.

Not only does overheating affect the comfort and health of the European population, overheating can also have an impact on a building’s energy performance and Europe’s total energy consumption. If the problem with overheating leads to installation of air conditioning or cooling systems in buildings, the electricity consumption of these appliances will not only result in higher energy bills for consumers but can easily challenge the fulfillment of the European energy consumption goals.

The solutions

The most energy-efficient overheating solutions are solar shading, natural ventilation and solar protective glazing in combination with design solutions like overhangs.

With the right measures, good daylight conditions can go hand in hand with good thermal comfort, supporting a good indoor climate.

To evaluate whether the solutions will be adequate in a specific house, simple and easy-to-use software tools should be used before construction begins.

1 out of 5 European households faces overheating
1½ times as many Europeans report poor health when experiencing overheating during summer

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