The Importance of Part O and Overheating in Homes.

Indoor Air Quality family

As we continue to experience the effects of climate change, it is becoming increasingly important to many of us to ensure that our homes are energy-efficient and comfortable to live in. Part O, forming part of the 2021 Building Regulations, has been effective since June 2022, and plays a significant part in achieving this goal.

Here, we look at how Part O will contribute to solving the problems we face with rising temperatures and the effects of overheating.

So, what does Part O mean?

Part O of the building regulations is concerned with the thermal performance of buildings. It sets out the standards for insulation, heating, and ventilation to ensure that a building is energy-efficient and comfortable to live in.

The approved Document Part O, forming part of the 2021 Building Regulations was published on 15 December 2021 and has been effective since 15 June 2022. It covers overheating in new residential properties in England and Wales including private houses and flats, institutional buildings such as care homes and other types of accommodation, which includes student halls of residence.

Why are we so concerned with the effects of overheating?

Overheating is a common issue that can cause significant damage to machines, equipment, and humans. It can result from various factors, such as high temperatures, friction, and electrical resistance.

For people, overheating can have serious consequences for their health and well-being as it can lead to heat exhaustion, dehydration, and heatstroke, particularly in vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children, and those with pre-existing health conditions. However, the good news is that there is a way to prevent overheating effectively, which is where the Part O statement comes into play.

Part O will impact the design of buildings.

Overheating of buildings has become a significant issue in the construction industry for housebuilders and the self-builder. This is the result of several contributory factors including:

  • Air tightness of new buildings
  • Insufficient ventilation
  • The more extensive use of glazing within new builds
  • Climate change
  • The number of extremely hot days with unprecedented high temperatures

Part O promotes building design and measures that offer a solution to these problems, and in doing so improves the well-being of homeowners.

What is the solution to overheating in the home?

The aim of Part O is to reduce the occurrence of indoor high temperatures and address the issues of overheating resulting from solar gain and not having an adequate means of removing excess heat from indoors.

The installation of a mechanical ventilation system or mechanical cooling is listed as a possible measure to assist in compliance of Part O, which means that the use of a Unico Small Duct High Velocity (sdHV) all-in-one cooling, ventilation and heating solution can be considered.

Its capabilities, performance and ease of installation make it a viable, convenient, and cost-effective way to help meet Part O requirements and reduce the effects of overheating.

Our recent article in P&H Engineering “The Big Chill” highlights the fact that many homes in the UK are overheating as a result of poor insulation, inadequate ventilation, and inefficient heating systems. You can read the full article here.