Comfort in buildings

Explanation of the problem

During hot days, the temperature in buildings can rise significantly. This happens especially in buildings with poor insulation, dark roofs, a lot of glass, limited ventilation options, no air conditioning, no sun protection, and in spaces on the top floors. Many modern, well-insulated buildings with a lot of glass cannot dissipate the captured heat. The high temperature in buildings leads to health problems, reduced labour productivity, and sleep (quality) problems in the case of residences. Children in schools and daycare centres are also vulnerable when indoor temperatures rise.

Information and maps for better understanding

Basic maps according to the standardized stress test

  • Map showing the number of warm nights per year (Climate Impact Atlas) → provides insight into the number of warm nights in the built-up area, now and in the future. If it stays warm at night, it is more difficult to maintain a pleasant indoor temperature.

Additional maps

  • Map showing the number of summer or tropical days now and in the future (Climate Impact Atlas) → gives an indication of the increase in high indoor temperatures.
  • Maps with information about buildings (such as construction year and energy labels) → to estimate which houses are poorly insulated and therefore vulnerable.

Some measures and guidelines

  • Targeted information on cooling measures for building owners and users.
  • Building adjustments such as:
      • Sun protection (preferably outside than inside) and installing overhangs to prevent excessive heat from entering (especially important in well-insulated buildings with a lot of sunlight).
      • Installing active or passive ventilation.
      • Implementing green/blue roofs and facades to prevent internal climate warming.
  • Creating a well-accessible (walker-rollator friendly) cool outdoor space near the building, by providing shade and greenery.
  • See also the brochure ‘De hitte de baas: koeling in zorginstellingen’ (in Dutch) (Mastering the Heat: Cooling in Healthcare Institutions) from the College Bouw Zorginstellingen for tips for healthcare institutions.