Värmestress i urbana inomhusmiljöer: Förekomst och åtgärder i befintlig bebyggelse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This literature review describes how heat stress can develop indoors, how it can be identified, and what actions can be taken, with a focus on property owner’s responsibilities. The review is limited to existing buildings in Sweden and includes schools, retirement homes, apartments, preschools, and non-industrial offices (those without industrial processes that produce heat). The expected climate changes increase the risks of heat stress, especially in urban areas where urban heat islands can develop. Strong heat can have several negative health outcomes, and this report has identified the risk groups as the chronically ill, people who take certain medications or have a disability, infants, pregnant women, individuals with heavy physical work, and emergency workers. There is a connection between the outdoor and the indoor climate in buildings without air conditioning, but the pathways leading to the development of severe heat levels indoors during heat waves are complex. These depend, for example, on the type of building, window placement, the residential area's thermal outdoor conditions, and the residents’ influence and behaviour. This review shows that few studies have focused on the thermal environment indoors during heat waves despite the fact that in Sweden people spend most of their time indoors and are likely to experience increased heat stress indoors in the future. Further, current Heat-Health Warning Systems (HHWS) are based on the outdoor climate, which can lead to a misleading interpretation of the health effects and hinder the development of more effective interventions. In order to identify severe heat, six factors need to be taken into account, including air temperature, heat radiation, humidity, and air movement as well as the physical activity and the clothes worn by the individual. Severe heat can be identified using a heat index that includes these six factors. However, it is noted that existing indexes do not take into account a person’s health status. This report presents some examples of heat indices that are relevant for indoor environments, as well as models that can be applied at the city level. It also highlights the need for the development of a heat index that specifically targets the identification of severe heat in indoor environments. There are a number of measures that can be taken in existing buildings to reduce heat indoors and thus improve the health and well-being of the population in urban areas. This report also describes a number of effective measures that are relevant to both property owners and its residents. Examples of effective measures to reduce heat stress indoors are the use of shading devices such as blinds and vegetation, but also personal cooling techniques such as the use of fans and cooling vests, as well as the integration of innovative Phase Change Materials (PCM) into facades, roofs, floors, and windows.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical and Health Sciences
  • Engineering and Technology
Original languageSwedish
Title of host publicationVärmestress i urbana inomhusmiljöer - Förekomst och åtgärder i befintlig bebyggelse
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 5
Publication categoryPopular science