UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Stay cool and beat the heat: UCL researcher provides expert tips on BBC Radio Bristol

13 June 2023

UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering researcher Giorgos Petrou set out ways for people without air-conditioning to avoid over-heating in this current heat-wave

Photo Of person holding an electric fan

We are currently experiencing the first heatwave of 2023, which has prompted the UK Health Security Agency to announce its first Amber Heat-Health Alert.  

Traditionally, heatwaves have not been a concern in the UK, and this is reflected in the design of housing. As with other countries in Central and Northern Europe, UK homes have been constructed with the aim to retain heat during the winter months, with little consideration of their performance during hot summer days. However, as the frequency and severity of heatwaves is on the rise due to Climate Change, and in conjunction with other factors such extensive urban development and an ageing population, indoor overheating is now a widespread and major problem.  

There are several impacts associated with thermal discomfort experienced at home, including poor sleep, reduced productivity, and reduced enjoyment of the home. In some cases, indoor overheating can pose severe health risks, including acute heat illness, especially for the very young and older individuals, those with pre-existing cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, and the socially isolated. 

During hot weather, simple actions can help keep buildings cool, allowing us to enjoy our homes and sleep better. Dr Giorgos Petrou, an expert in indoor overheating with years of modelling and empirical research on the topic, was invited to BBC Radio Bristol to discuss these actions. The programme is available now, via the link below.


Image credit: pexels.com