British ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia has welcomed the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Healthy Homes and Buildings’ White Paper ‘Building our Future: Laying the Foundations for Healthy Homes and Buildings’, published on October 24, 2018. The White Paper makes clear recommendations to the government on how it can improve standards in housing to benefit occupants’ health and wellbeing. This follows on from the APPG’s green paper published last year which set out the political, economic and business case for healthy homes and buildings.
The White Paper details how, as a nation, healthy homes and buildings can and should be delivered. These fall under three overarching recommendations:
- The government needs to establish a cross-departmental committee for health and buildings to champion change; recognising the interaction between buildings, health, education and the economy.
- To grow the research and evidence base to develop a clear case for further government action to improve new-build standards.
- To make renovation of current housing stock and infrastructure a government priority and develop plans for retrofitting that takes a holistic approach to maximising health and wellbeing.
Within these recommendations to help overcome the problem of unhealthy homes the White Paper calls for better and consistent building standards and regulations. It also calls for both new-build building design and building renovations to consider health and wellbeing and take a holistic approach to consider elements such as ventilation, air quality, lighting and acoustics.
“At Vent-Axia we are committed to sharing the importance of ventilation with households to help protect public health. We therefore support the publication of the APPG’s White Paper and welcome its recommendations,” said Jenny Smith, marketing manager at Vent-Axia.
“Ventilation is often overlooked when implementing energy efficiency measures in homes. This can have a detrimental effect on indoor air quality. Without good ventilation in a home air quality can potentially deteriorate and as a result can lead to condensation, mould and a build-up of toxic chemicals. We are therefore delighted that the White Paper calls for a national renovation strategy that takes a holistic approach to building renovation and that it recommends improved standards and regulations, which will improve installer best practice.”
Jenny SmithA staggering 65% of homes in the UK suffer from poor indoor air quality (IAQ) as a result of inadequate ventilation. This is having a significant negative impact on the health of people in their homes with poor IAQ contributing towards many serious health problems such as asthma, lung cancer, strokes and cardiovascular disease.
In the White Paper it cites that poor IAQ is reported to cost the UK over 204,000 healthy life years, with 45% of those lost to cardiovascular diseases, 23% to asthma and allergy and 15% to lung cancer with the Royal College of Physicians warning in 2016 that indoor air pollutants cause at a minimum, thousands of deaths per year and are associated with healthcare costs in the order of ‘tens of millions of pounds’.
The publication of the White Paper follows hot on the heels of DEFRA’s new Clean Air Strategy consultation, published on May 22, 2018, which confirmed the importance of clean air in the home. This draft strategy outlines the government’s ambitions to reduce air pollution, making our air healthier to breathe, protecting nature and boosting the economy, with the draft setting a clear direction for future air quality policies and goals. The consultation closed in August 2018 and the final UK Clean Air Strategy and detailed National Air Pollution Control Programme is to be published by March 2019.
To help protect health in the home Vent-Axia has been working hard to provide ventilation solutions to improve IAQ for households. Designed to work with the natural air infiltration, continuous ventilation systems control the air path through the home, preventing the migration of damaging humidity and pollutants, such as VOCs.
For new-builds, Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Kinetic mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) system has 94% thermal efficiency. For private refurbishments, Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Svara is said to offer quiet, disturbance-free running, helping ensure good indoor air quality and comfort. Meanwhile the Lo-Carbon Revive and the new PoziDry Pro PIV unit has been designed specifically with social housing in mind, reportedly offering an effective continuous ventilation solution for residents.