London: As temperatures rise and the population ages, premature deaths from overheating houses could triple by the 2050s, says a study.
The report stresses that an increase in the frequency and severity of heat waves is likely to be an early consequence of climate change.
"Homes and public buildings such as hospitals are still being constructed based on the past climate rather than the future climate," researchers from Loughborough University in Britain noted.
They carried out extensive temperature measurements in over 100 different rooms in four separate hospital trusts across the country over a two-year period.
Taking into consideration the existing weather conditions, a computer model was developed to look at the impact of potential future temperature scenarios.
The team then analysed detailed refurbishment strategies that both mitigated the overheating risk and reduced the buildings' energy demands and carbon dioxide emissions.
The findings of the research provided the foundations of a new progress report of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), an independent body that advises the British government on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"Our building energy demand research focuses on actual measurement, as well as modelling is of particular importance and delivers real benefit. This has clearly been recognised by the CCC in its report," said professor Kevin Lomas from Loughborough University.