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UK Should be Better Equipped for Heatwaves, Says Expert

Following record-breaking temperatures this summer, REHAU is advising that both old and new UK building stock needs to become more resilient to high temperatures.

03.08.2022

On 19 July, temperatures in excess of 40°C were recorded across the UK, with as many as 46 weather stations exceeding the previous record of 38.7°C. Recent research from the MET Office indicates that climate change is causing heatwaves to be more frequent, intense and long-lasting in the UK. 

However, a report from the Climate Change Committee highlights that more than 570,000 properties have been constructed since 2016 that are not fit for high temperatures, with another 1.5m set to be built in the next five years. With this in mind, REHAU is highlighting the need to adopt more innovative strategies to help better equip new and existing building stock for increasing occurrences of extreme weather.

Franz Huelle, Head of Technical at REHAU Building Solutions, said: “As we all can attest, the high temperatures recently observed in July made for an uncomfortable living and working environment. However, with all research pointing towards extreme weather events becoming more frequent, we need to ensure that we are equipped to deal with such temperatures.

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“There are a number of approaches we can take to help keep building stock cool. The installation of air source heat pumps, wind catchers and smart control systems, for instance, can all help keep internal temperatures in check. Here, it’s crucial that temperature management is factored in early in the design stage for new buildings.”

REHAU’s NEA Smart 2.0 was upgraded last year to allow the smart heating control system to seamlessly transfer between heating and cooling. The device uses algorithms to regulate temperature, while data from sensors in floors and walls is used to learn occupant habits and automate heating.

The system also ensures that temperature change takes place gradually, placing less demand on fan coil systems and heat pumps, and delivers more efficient energy usage. As opposed to blast heating or chilling the space, this also prevents the formation of condensation and mold.

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Franz concluded: “Smart control systems offer an effective means for old and new buildings to regulate their temperature during both summer and winter. An-all encompassing solution such as this will be crucial to enabling UK building stock to effectively manage the demands of increasingly hot weather.”

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