Urban climate resilience: tackling microclimates and dwelling overheating

Brick building 30 June 2021, 12:00 - 13:30

A joint LCCP/Buildings and Cities event

The design of our cities, streets, open spaces and homes impacts on the local climate (microclimate) as well as on the health of citizens.  Compact urban form is often argued to be a more sustainable approach, but can cause adverse consequences on local microclimates, with localised cascading impacts on building energy demand for cooling/heating and air quality.

At the scale of the individual building, summertime internal overheating in new and existing dwellings is widespread and increasing, even in the UK’s temperate climate.  There is an urgent need to solve the problem. Urban flats and small dwellings are particularly affected, presenting new health risks to elderly and vulnerable residents.

This event will feature the launch of two briefing papers on microclimates and overheating in temperate climates, bringing in panels of professionals from a variety of disciplines to consider the findings and implications for professional practice in the UK context. We will examine interacting consequences that arise from modern demands (e.g. increased density, increased floor area ratios, economic drivers), explore how resilience can be created and what this means for modifying existing cities, and showcase new knowledge and solutions. Respondents from government and practice are asked:  How can we create and operationalise a resilient response? Which decisions take account of this?  How can this be mainstreamed into professional practice?

To register, use this link.

Who should attend?

This event should be of interest to those involved in the sustainability and resilience of UK building stock. In particular:

  • For built environment professionals
    • What can be done to better understand the consequences of built form on its surroundings
    • Designing dwellings that do not overheat
    • Identifying dwellings that need retrofitting to reduce their overheating in summer
    • Ensuring energy retrofit does not exacerbate summer overheating
  • For planners
    • Should neighbourhood-scale assessment of impacts on local climate be part of the decision process?
    • What are appropriate metrics and principles to account for the microclimate impacts of built form?
    • Should plans be assessed for their overheating impacts?
  • For building owners
    • What is the duty of care owed to tenants to prevent summer overheating?
    • What guidance or training should be given to tenants about how to reduce overheating?
  • For government
    • What protection can be provided to improve air quality and health of streets and neighbourhoods?
    • What standards and regulations would reduce overheating?
    • What safe havens or ‘cool rooms’ should be provided for extreme events?