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Can Buildings Affect Our Health?

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Can Buildings Affect Our Health?

By EnviroVent Dec 03, 2021

With dark evenings and colder weather keeping us indoors through the winter, many people find that they start to suffer with health problems that don’t affect them during the rest of the year.  SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder is recognised as a type of depression that is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are more prominent during the winter months.

A lack of natural light is a cause of winter depression or SAD, but the amount of time spent indoors is also a known factor that can also contribute to ill health throughout the rest of the year.

Increasing your exposure to natural light during the winter months – by going outside more frequently and taking as much fresh air as possible can help mitigate the effects of SAD, but you should also consider whether there are any triggers in your home or workplace that might also affect you.

Aspects of Buildings that Can Affect Health

Studies have shown that alongside basic health and safety factors the following considerations can affect the health of people using or living in a building and are an important aspect in both the design, and management of a building.

  • Visual comfort (lighting and artificial lighting)
  • Design comfort (layout and look and feel)
  • Acoustic Comfort (noise and reverberation)
  • Thermal Comfort (temperature and humidity)
  • Air Quality (pollution and ventilation)

In addition to the above, something that is increasingly viewed as important to the wellbeing of the occupants of a building is the connection to nature offered, whether this is through clear views of external areas, or the inclusion of plants in the interior décor.

Negative Health Effects from Buildings

The environment in a building can cause a number of impacts on health including headaches, dizziness, and even respiratory issues if the air is laden with pollution or allergens such as mould spores, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and pollen.

These health effects can be short term – only affecting people while they are inside the building – or can contribute to longer term chronic conditions alongside SAD.

Air Quality and Health

Several of the health affecting factors in buildings are directly related to air quality and can be addressed by ventilation.  The temperature and humidity of a building is directly affected by airflow, and the concentration of pollutants such as VOCs and problems with mould spores and dust can be mitigated with ventilation.

Find Out More

If you find that you are suffering with allergies or poor health as a result of your indoor environment during the winter, it’s possible that improving your air quality can help.  Our local ventilation specialists can carry out a free home survey to assess what issues may be present and advise you about the best way to improve the airflow in your home and help improve your health.

Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

Arrange a FREE Home Survey now

One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.

During the free survey we will:

  • Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution