The average UK one-bedroom home is a compact 46 sq m (495 sq ft), according to the Royal Institute of British Architects. And as well as being on the small side it's also increasingly very insulated.
This can be a good thing when it's cold and damp outside but not always helpful during a heatwave when a nice draught could make all the difference. There are even fears that homes insulated under the government's Green Deal could actually lead to deaths.
And then there's the fact that the typical flat only points one way.
"The problem with British housing provision is there's no legislation to ensure residences have double aspect," says Ellis Woodman, executive editor of Building Design magazine. "This means you get a lot of new flats in cities that only have one room orientation, which means you can't have cross ventilation, or a draught."
In north Africa and the Middle East the ideal home was traditionally based around a central courtyard, helping with air flow and leaving somewhere to cool down. Most British flat owners would relish this.