Climate change may cause office conversions to flats unfit: Climate change could cause a vital risk to the UK’s office-into-home adaptations.

A current study from the insurer Zurich UK forecast that redeveloping shops as well as offices left abandoned by the pandemic may build a ‘swathe of substandard homes’ that are exposed to climate change.

The writers of the analysis believe current flats in out-of-date commercial areas may become unlivable due to rising temperatures & heatwaves.

Zurich UK says office-to-flat changes are at higher danger of serious overheating because of substandard design, containing a lack of suitable ventilation & shading.

The study reveals a calculated 64,700 flats have been built within the last 5 years in spaces initially occupied by offices, alongside the newest quarterly numbers revealing conversion applications are up 28%.

This trend is caused by new working patterns that permit staff to work from home, which leave many offices empty as well as unused spaces.

Under current permitted development rights (PDR), developers can change not only abandoned offices but also commercial sites like empty shops, restaurants & gyms into housing.

Paul Redington, Zurich’s Major Loss Property Claims Manager, stated: “Overheating in new & existing homes is emerging as a potentially deadly risk.

“Poor plumbing is also a serious issue that causes major disruption for residents. In the drive to revitalise our town centres, we must ensure that we do not create swathes of homes that are unfit for living and future climate conditions.”

Eddie Tuttle, Director for Policy, Research & Public Affairs at the Chartered Institute of Building, added: “While we agree with the principle of PDRs to create more flexibility in buildings, rejuvenate town centres & deliver more housing in the right locations, there is clear evidence that homes built using PDRs has led to spaces detrimental to the health, wellbeing, &  quality of life of future occupants.”

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson announced: “These claims are based on unfounded assumptions.

“Our reforms will transform unused buildings into much needed new homes & all new homes must be of high quality & meet national space standards & building regulations, including ventilation requirements.”

Climate change may cause office conversions to flats unfit

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