Introduction of CIBSE TM59 marks positive step for building services industry

  • 30 May 2017

Rupert Kazlauciunas, Technical Product Manager – MVHR at Zehnder Group UK, discusses how the CIBSE’s introduction of TM59, the design methodology for the assessment of overheating risk in homes, is a positive indication that the building services industry is continuing to take the issue of overheating seriously.

Using thermo-modelling techniques to calculate the risk of overheating in apartments and houses with natural ventilation or natural ventilation with some mechanical ventilation, the TM59 methodology is an invaluable addition to the modern developer’s toolkit.

Overheating has been a growing concern for many years, due to the increasing trend to create airtight houses and the impact it can have on our sleep, our health and our well-being. Sleep deprivation, breathing problems and other health issues caused by overheating in homes is putting increasing pressure on the NHS, and other issues such as noise and air quality have also added to the problem.

All of these factors emphasise the requirement for good architectural design in homes which doesn’t compromise the health and safety of the occupants.

TM59 has brought together TM52 and CIBSE Guide A to create a universal document that has filled in some of the gaps previously open to abuse, such as occupancy and equipment gain profiles in addition to communal corridor gains and window or blind usage.

Used in combination, these tools ensure that measures to control overheating, ventilation, noise and air quality can all be considered and designed into a project from the very beginning, rather than being an afterthought which is costly and difficult to manage. This approach also enables properties to be futureproofed for rising global temperatures, meaning they are likely to comply with future standards as well as current ones.

As well as providing a practical method of combatting overheating, tools such as TM59 are also vital in the consistency they bring to the industry.

Although these guides are not compulsory, the advice and techniques they offer helps to level the playing field and bring everyone together to abide by the same guidelines and aim to achieve the same goals. We now have the technology, skills and opportunity to apply advanced thermo-modelling techniques to every building which is planned and constructed, to design out overheating and provide tangible solutions to this increasing problem.

We must take this chance while we have it to design and deliver housing which achieves the balance between comfort, health and energy efficiency.

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