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Keeping Cool: avoiding overheating risks

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As our climate warms, minimising the risks of overheating in new and existing buildings must be addressed. As a comfort-driven approach, the Passivhaus standard includes an overheating criterion that internal temperatures do not exceed 25ºC for more than 10% of the year, and best practice is a maximum of 0-2%.

The stress testing element of the Trust’s overheating PHPP plug-in has been integrated into the new iteration of PHPP10. If you are a PHPP9 user, the stress testing feature is still included in our freely available plug-in. Other features of our plug-in including the detailed risk log and overheating heating key indicators designed for use with PHPP9, can now be run with PHPP10, by downloading our free PHPP10 compatible plug-in. Our detailed guidance, covers design strategies to reduce risk, key indicators of the likelihood of risk, and a series of stress tests that apply to all users.

The Keeping Cool: avoiding overheating risks short-course is now available on-demand! The course opens with a short introduction to the new overheating stress test in PHPP10 (see above) assisting designers to ensure summer comfort in their buildings. The first module introduces our technical overheating guidance, with a second module covering how to use our plug-in.

PHI Credit Renewal Points available: Delegates will earn 1 PHI credit point towards renewal of their Certified Passivhaus Designer / Consultant qualification. See here.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module you will be able to understand: 

  1. The impact of a warming climate on the overheating of buildings. 
  2. The concept of the overheating balance and how it is similar to the heating balance. 
  3. How losses and gains can contribute to the overheating of buildings. 
  4. Factors that are specific to Passivhaus buildings and can contribute to overheating. 
  5. The need for realistic assessments of summer overheating risk. 
  6. The importance of having sufficient “headroom” or margin for safety. 
  7. How effective design strategies should be considered alongside limitations and constraints. 
  8. Key indicators can reveal potential overheating risks within a building design. 
  9. How to apply stress tests to demonstrate the robustness of a design for overheating. 
  10. The use of the Overheating Tool, for assessing and mitigating overheating issues. 

Cost: Free to access.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this module you will be able to understand: 

  1. The impact of a warming climate on the overheating of buildings. 
  2. The concept of the overheating balance and how it is similar to the heating balance. 
  3. How losses and gains can contribute to the overheating of buildings. 
  4. Factors that are specific to Passivhaus buildings and can contribute to overheating. 
  5. The need for realistic assessments of summer overheating risk. 
  6. The importance of having sufficient “headroom” or margin for safety. 
  7. How effective design strategies should be considered alongside limitations and constraints. 
  8. Key indicators can reveal potential overheating risks within a building design. 
  9. How to apply stress tests to demonstrate the robustness of a design for overheating. 
  10. The use of the Overheating Tool, for assessing and mitigating overheating issues. 

Additional resources:

Avoiding summer overheating - guidelines for summer comfort in PH buildings

Download the PHPP plugin: