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Experienced temperature, health and the implications for the built environment

Kennard, Harry R.; (2019) Experienced temperature, health and the implications for the built environment. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Domestic heating demand accounts for around 14% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions (BEIS, 2018c). Reduction of this demand is necessary if the UK is to meet its emissions commitments. At the same time, the consensus is that dangerous cold exposure contributes to winter mortality rates. However, determining when, where and for whom this dangerous exposure occurs is challenging. Rather than using static measures of ambient temperature, this study makes use of experienced temperature { a novel measure of the immediate thermal environment of an individual. The relationships between experienced temperature and sociodemographic, housing and health factors are examined using data from a longitudinal observational health study of over 100,000 participants (the UK Biobank). Each participant wore an AX3 activity monitor for a week of everyday life between May 2013 and December 2015, which also measured temperature. The total unprocessed dataset for all participants was over 27TB. Following a considerable data processing exercise, each participant's experienced temperature and activity data were summarised in a series of metrics designed to characterise cold exposure. The resultant metrics were used in regression models against the available sociodemographic, housing and health factors to determine the relationship between cold exposure and health. Various findings were revealed. The choice of summary metric is important to characterising the experienced temperature of a participant. The coldest times of the year are associated with lower experienced temperature for participants. Experienced temperature increases with age and decreases with activity level, health satisfaction and whether a solid-fuel open re is used for home heating. There is clear evidence that low standard deviation of experienced temperature, named thermal variety in this study, is associated with poor health. The implications of these findings are discussed, with particular attention on who might be targeted for domestic carbon reduction schemes without risking overall population health.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Experienced temperature, health and the implications for the built environment
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10087307
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