Poor ventilation in new homes could lead to health problems for occupants, architecture experts have warned.
A lack of air vents or open windows leads to a build-up of pollutants and chemicals from furniture, flooring and plastics that is hard to detect, Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU) said.
Airtight is an issue
The unit claims most modern homes are being built to be airtight, which can cause problems for people with asthma and respiratory issues if they are not ventilated properly.
A public awareness film has been made by MEARU urging people to make sure they ventilate their homes.
Recommendations include keeping vents or windows open when cooking, showering and cleaning; drying laundry near an open window; and opening windows at night.
Hard to detect
Professor Tim Sharpe, head of MEARU, says poor indoor air quality, particularly in bedrooms, is hard for people to detect.
But he warns that there are clear links between poor ventilation and ill health so people need to be aware of the build-up of CO2 and other pollutants in their homes and their potential impact on health.
MEARU – which works between architectural design and scientific research – carried out a study of 200 modern homes and found “widespread evidence of poor ventilation, with bedrooms being a particular problem”.
In the past, some houses had plaques telling people to open their windows and public information films would offer similar advice.
MEARU hopes its film will help people to understand more about the need to ventilate and how best to ensure that they get the best possible indoor air quality so as to avoid problems of ill health and the associated cost to our health system.
Source: Glasgow School of Art
Date Published: May 10, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown