Journal Article

Overheating in care settings: magnitude, causes, preparedness and remedies


Research in UK and elsewhere has highlighted that older people are particularly vulnerable to negative health effects of overheating. This paper examines the magnitude, causes, preparedness and remedies for addressing the risk of summertime overheating in four case study residential care and extra-care settings across the UK, spanning different building types, construction and age. An interdisciplinary approach is adopted, drawing from building science and social science methods, including temperature monitoring, building surveys, and interviews with design and management teams. The findings suggest that overheating is a current and prevalent risk in the case study schemes, yet currently little awareness or preparedness exists to implement suitable and long-term adaptation strategies (e.g., external shading). There was a perception from designers to managers, that cold represents a bigger threat to older occupants’ health than excessive heat. A lack of effective heat management was found across the case studies that included unwanted heat gains from the heating system, confusion in terms of responsibilities to manage indoor temperatures, and conflicts between window opening and occupant safety. Given that care settings should provide protection against risks from cold and hot weather, design, management and care practices need to become better focused towards this goal.

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Gupta, Rajat
Barnfield, Laura
Gregg, Matthew

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of Architecture


Year of publication: 2016
Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-01-10

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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