This heatwave highlights how complacent we’ve been

22nd July, 2022.      //   Climate Change  // 

This heatwave highlights how complacent we've been | Letters | The Guardian

The heatwave this week has exposed the pitiful state of our housing stock and a decades-long lack of a strategy to deal with it. With few exceptions, British housing is poorly designed to deal with extremes of heat and cold, as well as energy efficiency. Indeed, politicians wanting a “bonfire” of regulations have responsibility for poor housing standards.

Promises of government help to install insulation as well as other green measures appear to have evaporated under recent Conservative administrations. Our building industry seems to work at higher costs and lower technical standards than those of our European neighbours.

Having lived in the UK, California and Germany, it is striking how adrift we are in Britain from dealing with energy efficiency and comfort. In Germany, external insulation ensures that in winter heat stays within the walls while in summer it stays outside. Inward opening windows (standard in Germany and France) ensure that you can have outside roller shutters to keep heat outside the home in summer and protect against the cold in winter. We need wholesale reform of our housebuilding standards.

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