Birmingham’s experts have shared advice on how we can keep our homes cool now and in the future.
People living in the UK are facing a second heatwave within weeks of the first one in July and the cost-of-living crisis and rising energy bills are deterrants in adding fans or air conditioners to homes.
However, there are some changes we can make to our homes to cope with the rapidly changing climate.
Birmingham-raised interior designer Katherine Christopher and Dominic Skinner, Director of Architecture at Spatial Future, a West Midlands-based architecture firm, shared tips.
1. Use light colours like warm taupes and off-whites in the summer.
2. Keep home décor accents and soft furnishings, such as cushions, ornaments, bedding etc., on display if they are light, muted colours such as warm taupes and off-whites.
3. If you have the budget, re-painting a few walls in your house in these lighter tone colours can make your home feel cool and calming.
4. Use window treatments. For example, lightweight curtains and blinds can make your room hotter as they struggle to block out the sunlight. Instead, purchase some window treatments like eyelet or pencil pleat curtains that have a light-coloured lining which will reflect the sunlight away.
5. Less is more, so ditch thick rugs, furry blankets and unnecessary clutter which can make your home feel cooped up and like its retaining heat. These items can be kept in trendy wicker or wire storage baskets to keep your home looking neat and stylish.
1. Homes should be cheaper to heat and power and a ‘fabric first’ approach is necessary for that.
2. Get under the skin of your home and you should find a structure that keeps you warm in the winter and cool in our ever-hotter summers.
3. Passivhaus methods of construction that use high levels of insulation and air tightness “should be mandatory so that they create healthier homes for us to live in.”
4. Smart and connected machines, using AI to adapt to their inhabitants, is the way to look forward.
5. Adaptable homes increase its usefulness and longevity.
“People’s well-being should be at the forefront of any architect’s thinking. Our future homes, and infrastructures, will be machines for living; living a healthier, happier and more connected life,” he added.
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