Climate change induced indoor overheating has become a major challenge in ensuring safe, healthy, and resilient indoor environments, particularly in previously unaffected countries with inadequate cooling provisions in conventional housing thermal designs. Indoor overheating can exacerbate housing disparities, with consequent impacts on health inequities and energy poverty. Indoor thermal environment is closely linked to housing quality and thermal performance, and tenants can be disproportionately exposed to the indoor overheating risks while having limited capacity to adopt cooling strategies.

In this mixed-methods PhD research Zhiting aims to explore the condition of summertime indoor overheating and its impacts on public housing tenants' health and wellbeing.

This research will be conducted at the interface of building physics, public health, and social sciences. Therefore, a mixed-methods approach will be employed as it allows for a combination of diverse approaches to answer complex and interdisciplinary research questions. Quantitative methods will be used to assess the statistical risk of indoor overheating, quantify its health and wellbeing impacts, and conduct demographic and socio-economic comparisons. Overheating assessment will be conducted through both static and adaptive thermal models using monitored indoor temperature data. Health impacts of indoor overheating will be investigated using a week-long daily symptom diary, in which participants will report the incidence and intensity of heat-related events through a set of dichotomous and scaling questions.

Qualitative methods will be used to build in-depth understanding of tenants’ lived experience in overheated homes and to complement and support findings from quantitative research. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted, in which participants will be encouraged to share their experiences on how indoor overheating affects their lives, health, and general wellbeing, as well as their insights on what could be beneficial in improving the current conditions.

For further information, contact Zhiting Chen -