Kat Kelly recently showed that rented flats using variable ventilation and direct electrical heating under Atamate smart control delivered better energy efficiency than predicted for heat pump-based systems. We argue that the data shows that automation has been under-valued in planned reforms to the UK building...Read More
The 200 common cold viruses are more prevalent in the British winter. That's mainly because indoor relative humidity drops below the comfort threshold of 40%, making it easier for them to infect. Being infected with one makes us more vulnerable to others, enhancing the misery of the winter 'flu season'.Read More
Modernist architecture in the early 20th century adopted the Licht und Luft principle, maximising light and ventilation to combat tuberculosis. Amid another airborne disease pandemic, the same principles apply: the ultraviolet component of sunlight kills viruses and good ventilation is an established approach to...Read More
The modern urban environment is ideal for the transmission of respiratory viruses, which is why the common cold spreads so fast. COVID-19 spreads using the same mechanisms but is far more serious because it can cause pneumonia and long-term illnesses. Developing ways to limit the spread of viruses in the built...Read More
The urban environment facilitates respiratory virus transmission. COVID-19 is now the major threat but the common cold has long had a serious impact on wellbeing, personal income and the economy. The factors by which urban living aids virus transmission are known but little attempt has been made to address them.Read More
The UK government's Future Homes consultation aims to improve energy efficiency in British homes but gives little attention to the problem of overheating driven by the warming climate. We call for the proposed regulatory reforms to include design to avoid overheating alongside design for energy-efficient heating.
District heating schemes use a single powerplant to provide heating and hot water to many buildings. They have been promoted as important in decarbonising the British economy but their dependence on gas limits their carbon efficiency and heat is lost as it is distributed which causes internal gains.Read More
In March 2020, the Chartered Institute for Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) published an update to their TM40 guidelines titled Health and Wellbeing in Building Services. It discusses principles that place wellbeing at the centre of building design and management.Read More
Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) extracts heat energy from exhaust air to pre-heat incoming outdoor air.
However, it is expensive to install and case studies found many systems are incorrectly designed and operated. In the mild British climate, there are cheaper and more efficient options.Read More