Investigating effective building fabric as a passive cooling technique to combat overheating in UK residential buildings


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that the Earth’s temperature is increasing by 1.5 degrees Celsius, with 9 out of 10 homes within the UK experiencing overheating. As a result, the growing concern of overheating within residential homes should be resolved before occupants turn to the use of mechanical means. Passive cooling strategies need to be implemented into residential homes in order to meet the current aim within the Built Environment which is to reduce carbon emission by 50% by 2030. This research investigates the most appropriate building construction fabric as a passive cooling strategy that can be implemented into residential homes to alleviate the evolving overheating problems and concerns of climate change. The weather data files for Glasgow, Belfast, Manchester, and London for 2020 and the predicted weather periods of 2050 and 2080, provided through the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineering (CIBSE) has permitted modelling and simulation to be conducted on the EDSL TAS software. The following constructions have been implemented into the EDSL TAS residential model: EcoBIM construction, Passivhaus construction and Standard construction. The results from this investigation show that the standard construction overall did present the most effective solution against the number of hours experiencing overheating.  The research provides evidence to suggest that the current 2021 Building Regulations in place are not at risk of experiencing overheating in Manchester, Belfast, and Glasgow across the 2020,2050 and 2080 simulations, as well as for the 2020 and 2050 London simulation. This proposes that within these locations the current 2021 Building Regulations regarding the U values in document Part-L shall be deemed as having an acceptable tolerance to overheating, and further adaptations are not necessary, as there is no concern regarding the encountering of overheating within these regions and weather periods. Furthermore, the utilization of the EcoBIM construction on average did cause significant increased risk of overheating. The only exception to this was the 2080 simulation for London in which the EcoBIM construction obtained 71.10% less overheating compared to the Standard construction. The outcome of this research suggests that London is at extreme risk of enduring overheating by 2080, as all the constructions during this simulation process were perceived as exceeding the CIBSE TM59 requirement.


Overheating, Climate Change, Passive cooling strategies, Weather data, Building Regulations, Standard Construction, Passivhaus, EcoBIM, CIBSE TM59

How to Cite

Davies, F. N., Sadique, M. & Amoako-Attah, J., (2023) “Investigating effective building fabric as a passive cooling technique to combat overheating in UK residential buildings”, Engineering Future Sustainability 1(2). doi:


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Ffion N Davies (Liverpool John Moores University)
Monower Sadique orcid logo (Liverpool John Moores University)
Joseph Amoako-Attah orcid logo (Liverpool John Moores University)





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