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Cibse publishes timely report on minimising overheating in buildings

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (Cibse) has released a new Guide to provide greater understanding and improved prediction of overheating in commercial buildings, cannily timed to coincide with the current heat wave.

TM52: The limits of thermal comfort: avoiding overheating in European buildings’ will be published today (Tuesday) on Cibse’s online Knowledge Portal and will be shortly followed by ‘TM49: Probabilistic design summer years for London’

Both Guides offer information to help avoid uncomfortable conditions for occupants. These support the existing publication ‘KS16: How to manage overheating in buildings’ which gives guidance for building managers and owners about the causes of overheating and how to mitigate it.

Fergus Nicol, lead author of the Guide TM52 said: Overheating has become a major problem in building design. The rising cost of energy combined with global climate change has reduced the options available for building comfortable, low-energy buildings. Research has been directed towards methods for increasing indoor winter temperatures but this can lead to lightweight, highly insulated buildings that respond poorly in the summer. To assess this further, Cibse responded by forming the Overheating Task Force.

The Overheating Task Force explored what is needed from building designers, service systems, ventilation and facilities management in order to maintain comfortable living and working conditions, especially in the summer months. Only recently it was quoted that Mark Zuckerburg, founder, Facebook, keeps his offices at 15 deg C as it is believed to increase productivity. Cibse recommended temperature is 20 deg C, the Institute said.

Cibse President George Adams also emphasised the importance of designing buildings fit for a changing climate due to global warming in his inauguration speech entitled ‘Whole Life Thinking’.

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