This Building Research & Information special issue explores the unintended rise in internal temperatures during warm weather, which can lead to heat stress and constitutes a public health problem. Many countries do not currently rely on air conditioning for comfort. However, the inability to create comfortable buildings in many temperate climate zones such as the UK where air conditioning was not necessary will have a perverse outcome by increasing summer electricity usage and create a dependence on air conditioning. In examining the causes, magnitudes, consequences, this special issue considers whether and how overheating and associated health risks and vulnerabilities could be defined, identified and reduced. In doing so, it highlights the tensions between climate change mitigation and adaptation, energy demand reduction and the quality of the indoor environment.
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