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Our climate is changing. Temperatures are rising and it’s predicted that, without mitigation, extreme heat will impact 300 million Europeans each year by 2100, resulting in 90,000 fatalities.

Current legislation is understandably focused on keeping buildings warm in winter but we urgently need to address the summer months too – and the summers that lie ahead. An ageing population and growing urbanisation have made us more vulnerable to the effects of overheating. As temperatures rise, today’s comfortable buildings could become extremely uncomfortable for future generations.

Illustration How Heat Impacts People Thermal Comfort

With 90% of our time spent indoors, we need to prioritise the thermal comfort of our buildings all year roundThat means we need to make insulation do more.

Here’s the good news: with the proper design, construction, renovation, and maintenance, we can create Better Buildings, with the power to protect us from extreme temperatures, 365 days a year. This needs to start now, because 80% of the buildings that will be occupied in 2050 are already being built and renovated today.

We need to rethink building design

Insulation is integral to creating climate-resilient buildings, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

There are many factors which can cause people to overheat in buildings:

Illustration Of Main Reasons Why Buildings Overheat

Year-round thermal comfort requires a whole-building approach:

To achieve better thermal comfort, we must first create a controllable internal environment. Only then can heating and cooling systems work effectively to maintain the desired temperature.

Holistic Design Year Round Thermal Comfort
Icon Solar Heat Gain Through Windows

Balance solar heat gain

With windows and shading optimised to be beneficial during all seasons.

Icon Orientation Buildings

Consider orientation

Position the building with wind and peak sunlight in mind.

Icon Buildings Ventilation

Control ventilation

Include systems that allow heat to be purged or recovered.

Icon thermal mass better energy efficiency

Deploy thermal mass

Use thermal mass (such as stone, or concrete) to help dampen daily temperature peaks.

Building With Vegetation Better Thermal Comfort

Deploy living roofs and greenery

Green roofs offer passive cooling in summer and thermal insulation in winter.

Internal Heat Gains Icon

Manage internal heat gains

For example, by insulating hot water pipes.

Icon Maximise Insulation And Airtightness

Maximise insulation and airtightness

Create a stable interval environment with minimal uncontrolled heat transfer.

Insulation preserves and protects

Regardless of the time of year, creating the optimal indoor temperature becomes virtually impossible if heat is continually gained or lost through a building’s external envelope.

A well-insulated building envelope preserves the internal environment by reducing that heat transfer, maintaining thermal comfort, and protecting occupants from the effects of extreme heat or cold.


Learn what to look for in your insulation:

Specify for thermal comfort