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Title: A study of the implications for the health of UK passive houses : investigating indoor climate and indoor air quality and understanding occupants' practices
Author: Kermeci, Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 672X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2018
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Policies related to the reduction of both carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption within the residential sector have contributed towards a growing number of passive houses and other highly energy-efficient dwellings being built in many countries. Since these dwellings are very well insulated and airtight, concerns have been raised over the quality of the indoor air and, consequently, the possible health effects for their occupants. Additionally, following well established evidence from the residential energy consumption literature, it has been considered vital to explore occupants’ practices when trying to understand possible contributions to the quality of the indoor environment in passive houses, and thus any potential effects to the health of occupants. Nevertheless, very little research has explored this issue. This longitudinal, mixed methods, interdisciplinary study has collected and analysed qualitative data (from house occupants’ interviews and diary) and quantitative data (from the monitoring of the indoor climate and indoor air quality) over three different seasons (winter, spring and summer) from different rooms in five passive houses and in four conventional (control) houses in the UK. Additionally, data has been compared with reviews of epidemiological, toxicological and other health related published studies to reveal the following: Passive houses can provide either a potentially healthy or unhealthy environment for their occupants, depending on the hazard being analysed. For instance, when analysing indoor temperatures, passive houses were found to be potentially healthy during cold months but potentially unhealthy during the summer. On the other hand, the analysis of relative humidity levels suggest that passive houses are potentially healthy during the summer and potentially unhealthy during the winter. Potential health risks in passive houses were caused by one or a combination of variables, including passive house design and construction and occupants’ practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available