London South Bank University has conducted research that has proven blinds can significantly reduce overheating in UK homes by helping to lower internal temperatures.
This study involved environmental monitoring of newly converted apartments in north London over a 16-day period. Operative temperatures as high as 47.5c were recorded in an apartment with no window shading. This is the average temperature over a day in Death Valley, California, also known as the hottest place on earth!
Different shading treatments were trialled. The data proved that external blinds reduced temperatures by between 11 – 18c and internal blinds by between 9 – 13c.
20% of UK homes are estimated to be suffering from overheating. Passive solutions such as effective solar shading are important contributors used to control temperatures for the health and wellbeing of occupants, whilst also helping to reduce the energy usage of other cooling methods.
Overheating obviously affects other buildings too. There is research to show that uncomfortable temperatures have a negative impact on learning in schools, extend recovery rates of patients in hospitals and lower the productivity of staff in offices.
Solar shading should be considered as a first line of defence to help control overheating. In particular, external shading prevents heat from entering the building so then there is not the challenge of removing hot air caused by preventable solar gain. But as the London South Bank University study showed, correctly specified internal shading can also have a significant benefit in reducing internal temperatures.
Once published, the research will be available here: https://www.lsbu.ac.uk/research/case-studies