Report Summary

Thermal Comfort and Cooling in Apartment Towers

Ontario’s considerable stock of high-rise apartment towers developed during the post-war period provide a crucial stock of purpose built rental and affordable housing. However, they exhibit several challenges in building performance, thermal comfort and public health.

Damp, overheating, and lack of temperature controls have all been flagged as issues impacting comfort within this housing stock. Of these, overheating – at times resulting in health impact and pre-mature death – have been flagged as the key concern by Public Health agencies in Canada.

The following is an overview of some of the factors, solutions and challenges in achieving winter and summer comfort through tower retrofit, and considerations for the development of comprehensive retrofit standards.