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Publication Detail
Monitoring and modelling the risk of summertime overheating and passive solutions to avoid active cooling in London care homes
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Gupta R, Howard A, Davies M, Mavrogianni A, Tsoulou I, Jain N, Oikonomou E, Wilkinson P
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Energy and Buildings
  • Volume:
  • Article number:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Keywords:
    Care homes, Overheating, Temperature, Monitoring, Thermal simulation
  • Notes:
    © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Summertime overheating in care settings has been identified as a key risk and research priority for the health and social care system. This paper examines the current and future risk of summertime overheating in two London-based care homes occupying modern and older buildings. Continuous monitoring of outdoor and indoor temperature in bedrooms, communal areas and offices in summer 2019 helped to establish the prevalence and intensity of overheating. Dynamic thermal simulation (EnergyPlusV8.9) of the two care settings assessed the potential for avoiding active cooling in future climate using passive solutions. In both care settings, indoor temperatures were observed to exceed 30 °C during daytime hours, significantly higher than the recommended 26 °C threshold of Public Health England. Although severity of overheating was lower in the older building, overheating was found to be prevalent and prolonged across both care settings with bedroom temperatures higher than lounges especially at night. Thermal simulation analysis showed that, with regards to temperature reduction and cooling load, nighttime ventilation was the single most effective passive solution for both buildings for the current climate, while a combination of night ventilation, external shading and high-albedo external walls was the most effective package solution. By the 2080s, air-conditioning was the most effective solution for reducing temperature, but also had the highest cooling load, highlighting the importance of balancing passive with active measures to improve thermal comfort and reduce cooling loads.
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