Estimating the influence of housing energy efficiency and overheating adaptations on heat-related mortality in the West Midlands, UK

Jonathon Taylor, Phil Symonds, Paul Wilkinson, Clare Heaviside, Helen Macintyre, Michael Davies, Anna Mavrogianni, Emma Hutchinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mortality rates rise during hot weather in England, and projected future increases in heatwave frequency and intensity require the development of heat protection measures such as the adaptation of housing to reduce indoor overheating. We apply a combined building physics and health model to dwellings in theWest Midlands, UK, using an English Housing Survey (EHS)-derived stock model. Regional temperature exposures, heat-related mortality risk, and space heating energy consumption were estimated for 2030s, 2050s, and 2080s medium emissions climates prior to and following heat mitigating, energy-efficiency, and occupant behaviour adaptations. Risk variation across adaptations, dwellings, and occupant types were assessed. Indoor temperatures were greatest in converted flats, while heat mortality rates were highest in bungalows due to the occupant age profiles. Full energy efficiency retrofit reduced regional domestic space heating energy use by 26% but increased summertime heat mortality 3-4%, while reduced façade absorptance decreased heat mortality 12-15% but increased energy consumption by 4%. External shutters provided the largest reduction in heat mortality (37-43%), while closed windows caused a large increase in risk (29-64%). Ensuring adequate post-retrofit ventilation, targeted installation of shutters, and ensuring operable windows in dwellings with heat-vulnerable occupants may save energy and significantly reduce heat-related mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number190
JournalAtmosphere
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2018
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Dwellings
  • Heat
  • Indoor temperature
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

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