Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

The increased use of community heating and CHP in residential apartment schemes can lead to excessive overheating in corridors. Our dynamic modelling estimates that temperatures can reach 50oC unless mitigation measures are designed in from the outset.

The heat gains are due to hot water being circulated throughout ceiling voids in the corridors and risers within the building. The prediction of rising temperatures in the future due to global warming is likely to cause even higher internal temperatures; therefore it is essential that mitigation strategies are adopted.

The graph below shows the scale of the issue if mitigation measures are not included.

Corridor Overheating Graph 72dpi

Using our Dynamic Simulation Modelling software (DesignBuilder) we have been working on a number of developments to minimise the predicted temperature rise in corridors and have identified several key mitigation strategies:

  • Elimination of pipework oversizing to reduce heat gains – a proper assessment of loads and diversity to eliminate oversizing will result in a significant reduction in heat gains (& capital cost);
  • Increasing pipework insulation & ensuring its continuity in both the ceiling voids and risers to help minimise heat loss escaping through the pipework;
  • Introducing presence detector lighting into the corridor space to decrease the lighting gains within communal spaces;
  • Installation of dedicated fans in the ceiling void to promote air movement and distribute the heat away from corridors below. Utilising smoke extract fans in a similar way could also minimise the overheating risk and linking these fans to a thermostat in the corridor to control the heat levels experienced;
  • Vents at the top of riser shafts will help air flow, reducing build-up of excessive heat in these spaces.