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Healthy buildings from science to practice

Seppänen O., 2003
building | health | indoor air quality
Bibliographic info: Healthy Buildings 2003 - Proceedings 7th International Conference (7th-11th December 2003) - National University of Singapore -. Vol. 1. , pp 29-50, 5 Fig., 6 Tab., 32 Ref.
Languages: English

The activities of indoor environmental research have increased significantly since the firstenergy crisis of the early 1970s. Since then, research has produced many significant resultsthat have already been put into practice. These include the health effects and prevention ofenvironmental pollution by tobacco smoke, formaldehyde, radon, asbestos, etc. The healthrisks of these contaminants have been verified, and appropriate measures have been taken bythe authorities, as well as by the building industry and product manufacturers. Recently, thefocus of research has not only been on specific compounds in the air, but also on the indoorenvironments of buildings. Research has identified several risk factors relating to buildingdesign, construction and operation that may have an adverse effect on health and productivity.A major challenge is to discover how best to utilize this information in practice; that is, howto transfer the information familiar to scientists to practitioners in the field. In thisdissemination process, various methods should be utilized. This paper presents an overview ofbuilding and environmental factors associated with health and productivity. These includeventilation rates, ventilation system types, hygiene of air-handling systems, control ofmoisture and mould, and emissions from building materials. Also discussed are the practicalmeasures that can be taken into account in the design, construction and operation of buildingswith a view to creating a better indoor environment. Various measures and methods ofdisseminating scientific information to those involved in the practical aspects of indoorenvironment control are discussed and evaluated. These methods include voluntary andmandatory strategies such as using test and demonstration buildings, stipulating criteria forhealthy buildings, integrating healthy building concepts into the building process, devisinglabelling schemes, etc. Examples are given of successful activities at the national level, withan emphasis on the activities of the Finnish Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate.


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