Overheating caused by global warming has been identified as the “biggest threat” to new houses at the North West Bicester eco-town according to the local paper in Oxfordshire.
The houses are being designed to account for global warming with funding from the Technology Strategy Board, a body set up by the government to promote new technologies, says the Bicester Advertiser and Review.
Councillor Richard Mould of the Eco Bicester Strategic Deliver Board (I do wish they did not have such a self-important name) told the paper:
We’re trying to future proof homes, taking into account global warming for the next 50 years. There’s also provision for shutters to protect them from the heat.
I am not going to be around that long and our renovation will not reach code level five for sustainable homes but we have thought about overheating with our big south-facing windows.
Having lived in southern Spain for a couple of years we are fairly confident of our ability to manage solar gain through the use of night-time ventilation and shutters or other shading during the day. And super-insulation helps keep homes cool in summer as well as warm in winter.
But we have not really thought about the security issues involved in capturing cooler night air. That is why houses in Spain have bars (sometimes very ornate) on the windows. Maybe we will need them here too sometime.