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The effect of outdoor pollution and ventilation on Indoor Air Quality

The importance of reducing the ingress of outdoor pollution into the indoor environment is becoming increasingly important as concerns rise regarding the acute and chronic health effects of air pollution. In general, people in developed countries spend typically 90% or more of their time indoors, with the most susceptible individuals, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions, spending almost all of their time indoors.

The impact of the quality of homes on indoor climate and health: an analysis of data from the EU-SILC database

Today one out of six Europeans (84 million Europeans, or the equivalent of Germany’s population), report deficiencies regarding the building status. In some countries, that number is as high as one out of three. This puts these buildings in the ‘Unhealthy Buildings’ category, which is defined as buildings that have damp (leaking roof or damp floor, walls or foundation), a lack of daylight, inadequate heating during the winter or overheating problems.

Circadian House: a vision for homes designed to be healthy and human-centric

Based on a series of workshops, a Circadian House is defined as a house that is designed to support a healthy life for its occupants through a human-centric design. The workshops were held in 2012-2013 and defined 3 key principles and ten key factors to consider in the design of homes.

Will naturally ventilated dwellings still be safe under heatwaves?

Heatwaves are often responsible for many deaths due to high temperature indoors. Energy savings is a key element in building design and refurbishment works to reduce the impact of climate change. Natural ventilation is often promoted as an indoor space cooling solution thanks to its energy saving potential.
The paper deals with prediction of heat-related health risks situations in naturally ventilated dwellings.

VIP 36: Metrics of Health Risks from Indoor Air

In a recent review of 31 green building certification schemes used around the world, IAQ was found to contribute to only 7.5% of the final score on average. As policy makers strive to reduce the energy demands of buildings by sealing or reducing outdoor air ventilation rates, an unintended consequence could be the reduction in the quality of indoor air with corresponding negative health effects at a population scale. This article summarizes the discussions of an Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre workshop on IAQ metrics held in March 2017.

Indoor Air Quality in New Zealand Homes and Schools

This guide, released by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ), is a literature review of recent research on indoor air quality that is relevant to New Zealand’s indoor environments (residential houses, schools, preschools and age care facilities). The document looks at the health effects, the pollutants and the building characteristics. Where possible, New Zealand research is presented. Emphasis is placed on gaps in the knowledge in order to identify future research in New Zealand.

Shifting the IEQ Paradigm from Comfort Silos to Holistic Health and Performance

Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) is generally taken to encompass four main factors: indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal conditions, visual quality, and acoustical quality. Although there is an implicit concern for safety, the predominant metrics all four in standards for design of buildings are based on perceived quality or comfort.

Mitigating Occupant Exposure to PM2.5s Emitted by Cooking in High Occupancy Dwellings Using Natural Ventilation Strategies

The long term exposure to fine particulate matter with a diameter of ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) is linked to numerous health problems, including chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. In dwellings, a primary emission source of PM2.5 is cooking, an activity conducted several times per day in most households. People spend over 90% of their time indoors and more time in their homes than any other type of building. Therefore, they are at risk of exposure to elevated levels of PM2.5 emitted by cooking if these particles are not removed at source.

Ventilation and health – a review

People in industrialised countries spend about 90% of their time indoors. Hence, a good indoor climate is essential for health and well-being. Ventilation of buildings plays an important role concerning health aspects of the occupants and inadequate ventilation may cause health costs that may have been avoidable if ventilation would have been adequate. Additionally, good or bad ventilation has impacts on the quality of the building, e.g. in very tight buildings, the risk of mould and dampness is higher if air change is insufficient.

The Effects of Ventilation in Homes on Health

It is estimated that people in the developed world spend more than 85-90% of their time indoors. Of this, most is spent in homes. To minimize health risks from pollutants occurring in homes, exposures should be controlled. The most effective way to achieve this is to control sources of pollutants and to reduce emissions. Often, especially in existing buildings, this strategy is difficult to implement, in which case exposures are controlled by providing sufficient, presumably clean, outdoor ventilation air to dilute and remove the contaminants.

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