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Zurich health warning on office conversions

Residential use may be unsafe with climate change
By Sarah Pearce,

A surge in office-to-residential conversions could create homes unfit for future climate conditions, Swindon-based insurer Zurich UK has warned.

Planning figures show applications to convert offices into residential units increased in England from 1,765 in 2020 to 2,121 last year – a jump of 20%, as developers snap up blocks left empty by the pandemic.

But there are concerns poorly designed conversions, which lack appropriate ventilation and shading, could create homes in danger of overheating in more frequent and intense heatwaves.

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