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Office-to-Residential Conversions Can’t Cope With UK Heat Wave

The insurer Zurich UK warns that commercial buildings that have been retrofitted into homes can be vulnerable to extreme heat, thanks to poor ventilation. 

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Heatwave Brings Soaring Temperatures Across UK, Europe

As Britain swelters under what could be its highest temperatures ever recorded and the UK government issues its first-ever extreme heat warning, a UK insurer warns that a popular homebuilding trend could make the country’s ability to cope with extreme heat worse.

As in many other cities around the world, office-to-residential conversions have become popular in the UK since the pandemic, as employees have continued to work at least part of the time from home and developers have snapped up vacant office buildings. But the insurance company Zurich UK notes that these repurposed units are also vulnerable to high temperatures: Glass curtain walls and floor-to-ceiling windows popular for office buildings are notably poor at keeping out heat, and can create kiln-like conditions in interiors.