As homes become more highly insulated, it is less easy for unwanted heat to escape during the summer months, resulting in a greater risk of overheating; a problem that is further compounded by a warming climate.
Alongside adequate ventilation and shading, the thermal mass provided by masonry construction offers another means of tackling overheating. Masonry’s thermal mass allows it to absorb and later release excess heat, helping smooth out the gains and stabilise the internal temperature. Heat stored in masonry is expelled at the end of the day by ventilating the building with cool night air. The combined benefit of thermal mass and night ventilation is accounted for in the SAP overheating check, which allows a reduction in the peak internal temperature of up to 3.5°C compared to an equivalent lightweight dwelling with night ventilation.
Overheating in homes is increasing for two key reasons:
Download the Designing to avoid overheating from The Concrete Centre website. This version of the guide (updated in 2022) covers information on the new Building Regulation Part O, which deals specifically with overheating in new residential properties.
In addition to offering guidance on the use of thermal mass, this publication also provides an overview of the new Part O regulations, which deal specifically with overheating in new residential buildings and sets out new requirements for delivering safe and usable overheating measures.
MPA Masonry is part of the Mineral Products Association, the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and industrial sand industries. www.mineralproducts.org
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