Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Energy Efficient Homes Are Also Asthma Causing Homes

The UK government have for some time been supporting (by deed and funding) the construction and renovation of our homes so that they meet very strict energy efficiency requirements. As a direct consequence insulation has been lavishly funded while there has been little or no emphasis on introducing fresh air into properties i.e. via ventilation - presumably because ventilation can cause heat loss and thus lead to higher energy consumption.
Unfortunately this one-eyed thinking has led to a housing stock that has insufficient ventilation in many cases, leading to the accumulation of moisture and other gases e.g. carbon dioxide. The UK based Institute for Specialist Surveyors and Engineers has for some years now been advocating the introduction of heat-saving mechanical ventilation to help improve ventilation while minimising costs to energy efficiency.

A new paper (summarised here in the Sunday Times) has looked at asthma rates in a range of energy efficient housing and concludes that higher rates of asthma correlates with higher energy efficiency rating - a clear indication that greater consideration needs to be given by the UK government to supporting the installation of ventilation alongside insulation rather than insulation alone.

The ISSE alongside the Institute of Buildings and Health are to take this up with government ministers and senior officials of the UK construction Industry in the very near future.

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