Health effects of energy efficient design strategies of passive house standard: a cross country analysis
Szerző: Samuel BABATOLA
Egyetem/főiskola: Central European University
Knowledge of the effects of demand for energy security, climate change, and the rising energy prices have aroused significant changes in construction practices, design thinking and legislation, aimed at lessening emissions of carbon dioxide and energy consumption within the building sector. One of the major features of Passive House technologies is the incorporation of airtight envelope, which reduce uncontrolled airflow through the structure of the building, while this reduces heat loss due to infiltration, there is a growing concern by the public due to alleged adverse health effects. With net based post occupancy questionnaire, interviewer-administered questionnaire (face to face) and semistructure interview, this study investigates if occupants of Passive Houses experience different health, wellbeing and housing satisfaction in their current dwellings as compared to when living in their previous houses, and if associations with indoor air quality exist. 92 occupants of Passive Houses from 6 countries completed the net-based questionnaire, 6 occupants in Munich, Germany completed interviewer administered questionnaire and 4 Passive House experts in Germany were interviewed. Experts and occupants were interviewed to gain information on perceived occupants’ health, wellbeing, indoor air quality, thermal comfort and adaptability of Passive House technologies to different climates. Occupants’ self-reported health and their household improved frequently (p <0.05) in their current houses (Passive House) than in previous dwellings (82% vs. 42%). Occupants rated perceived indoor air quality and thermal comfort significantly higher (p=0.03), prevalence of Sick Building Syndrome Symptoms was again higher in previous dwellings except dry eyes that was relatively high in Passive Houses (8.2%). As humidity in Passive Houses is lower, there is a possibility that occupants reported relatively high prevalence of dry eyes.