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Last edited 07 Feb 2021
Tips for staying cool in buildings
With 2018's record-breaking summer heatwave stretching on into August, BSRIA has published a list of top tips for surviving in buildings. The list is by no means prescriptive, but even adopting a couple of the suggestions could help keep staff cool and more productive:
- Installing external solar shading – technicalities, practicalities and location allowing.
- Installing glazing that reduces solar gain – such as a 'green' foil that reflects high levels of radiant heat.
- Leaving thermal mass exposed as part of a major internal refurbishment of concrete or masonry buildings.
- Making use of night-time free cooling, either using a building’s existing ventilation system, or a 'manual' method (security should be taken into account if leaving windows open at night).
- Reducing internal gains by installing energy efficient lighting and ensuring all lights and other electrical equipment are switched off when not in use.
- Installing energy-efficient air conditioning (although this should be seen as a last resort and it may be a trigger for consequential improvements under the building regulations).
- Using electric fans.
- Giving out free ice cream and ice lollies on hot days and maybe allowing staff to leave early (with flexible working of course).
David Bleicher, Publications Manager at BSRIA, said:
"Drinking water should play a big part, with water coolers available for staff to keep hydrated and reminders for staff to drink more. One should be aiming for over the recommended two litres per day in hot weather. Tea and coffee are dehydrating but if staff can’t live without their morning caffeine fix, iced latte is an alternative.
"Another idea is to unplug electrical devices once they’re charged. Indeed: chargers, iPads et al all produce unnecessary heat while they’re plugged in – and every little bit helps when you’re trying to cool down.”
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