Latest from the Housing Health Bulletin

3rd April 2018 RIAMS

The Housing Health Bulletin is a unique and international service monitoring and reporting on current Housing Health Research. You can stay up to date whether you are tackling poor housing conditions or researching and teaching about the health impacts. Research summaries are provided by David Ormandy and Steve Battersby.

This month, a research paper by Hamiltton I, et al (2015) entitled ‘Health effects of home energy efficiency interventions in England: a modelling study.’ was one of those included in the Volume 38 Bulletin.

The objective of this study was to assess potential public health impacts of changes to indoor air quality and temperature due to energy efficiency retrofits in English dwellings to meet 2030 carbon reduction targets.

Three retrofit scenarios were modelled:
(1) Fabric and ventilation retrofits installed assuming building regulations are met.
(2) As with scenario (1) but with additional ventilation for homes at risk of poor ventilation.
(3) As with scenario (1) but with no additional ventilation to illustrate the potential risk of weak regulations and non-compliance.

This modelling study found that scenario (1) resulted in the best outcomes for mortality and morbidity due to improved temperatures and reduced exposure to indoor pollutants. Scenario’s (2) and (3) saw negative impacts on mortality and morbidity due to increased exposure to indoor pollutants, despite targeting in (3).

Therefore, by using these modelling techniques, it is possible to see that ventilation and air quality should be considered as part of any energy efficiency upgrades.

References
Hamiltton I, et al (2015). Health effects of home energy efficiency interventions in England: a modelling study. BMJ Open 2015. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007298

You can read a more in depth summary of this study at housinghealth.com.