Is new housing a health hazard?

  • YEAR
    Nath, Shruti
    Dewsbury, Mark
    Orr, Kirsten
    2018 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science: Building Science and Built Environment Quality


The National Construction Code has been regularly enhanced since 2002 with an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many aging, and very young Australians spend most of their time within their homes. Coincidently, in Australia, asthma is the leading cause of disease in children aged 0 – 14 years, accounting for 17.9% of the total burden in boys and 18.6% in girls. Many researchers have supported a connection between damp housing and sensitivity to dust mites and other childhood respiratory symptoms. Within Australia’s temperate and cool temperate climates, the commensurate change in energy efficiency requirements in the national building regulations may have inadvertently created ideal interior environments that promote mould growth. If the built environment is promoting mould growth, leading to sick building syndrome, it is a matter of serious concern that could be resulting from design or technical flaws in the building fabric. This concern, which has been raised by medical scientists, requires the action of architects to provide guidance on methods
to passively, or actively, manage air-borne moisture within homes and workplaces. This paper attempts to bridge the gap between architectural and medical science perspectives in this area of study.


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