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Assessing the effectiveness of passive cooling design strategies to reduce overheating in epilepsy care homes in the UK

Siva Sai Varsha Kakuturu, Zoe Upton, Lisa Clayton, Sanjay Sisodiya, Anna Mavrogianni

With climate change, overheating in care homes is becoming a rising problem. This study analyses the current and future risks of overheating in care homes for epilepsy in the UK and tests passive design strategies to mitigate overheating to reduce its detrimental health impacts on residents with epilepsy.

Indoor environment of the care home was monitored and the occupancy, equipment profiles were established through surveys and field visits. Dynamic thermal modelling software was used to assess the impact of passive design strategies and to reduce the usage of active cooling. The results of the baseline model indicated that occupants were at a high risk of overheating, especially at night-time in bedrooms. A combination of night ventilation, shading strategies and high albedo surfaces had the most significant effect on overheating reduction in the current scenario. In the future scenarios, these passive strategies did not completely reduce overheating risks for night-time bedroom temperatures and active cooling measures should be considered.

This is a novel study that provides insights regarding methods to enable resilience to the rising temperatures for care settings with epilepsy. The findings can provide guidelines for passive design strategies and building adaptation methods for the industry and the users.

Passive and hybrid strategies for heating and cooling buildings