Is it too hot in your home during the summer? A hot house is increasingly becoming an overheating office. Up to 30% of workers in the UK worked from home during the pandemic, compared to only 5% in 2019. On the other hand, working is tough if you reside in a location that turns into an oven in the summer. According to a recent government report on climate concerns, unless dwellings can be kept cool in the summer and heated in the winter, health and productivity will suffer.

According to some estimates, air conditioning alone could contribute to a 0.5°C increase in global temperature by 2100. The Passivhaus Trust supports Passivhaus-certified buildings, which are energy efficient and comfortable to live in. In 2019, the Stirling Prize for Architecture was awarded to Goldsmith Street in Norwich, a shared housing development that incorporates Passivhaus principles. “Our existing housing stock is in many cases poorly prepared to deal with rising temperatures,” says John Palmer of the Passivhaus Trust.

Mr. Palmer says that the government plans to construct 300,000 new homes each year, all of which must be built to endure the heat without the need for energy-intensive air conditioning. Mr. Palmer believes that exterior shutters or overhangs that provide shade in the summer but don’t block light in the winter when the sun is low in the sky are a better alternative.