Healthy Building Specification Proposal G#12652

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Healthy Building Specification Proposal

Healthy Building Specification Proposal
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Healthy Building Specification Proposal by Green Building Encyclopaedia

Initial follow-up after meeting at EcoBuild 2016.

GBE proposal to Building Biology Association via Architects Gale+Snowden.

David@ecodesign.co.uk


Mainstream construction industry’s perception of ‘green’ and its consequent efforts seem to be focussed on energy saving, which is a significant issue, but by no means the only one.

Mainstream has begrudgingly and superficially engaged with environmental design, specification and construction.

Driven initially by Environmental Assessment Methods (EAM) like EcoHomes, Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM; reinforced by BRE’s Green Guide to Specification (GGtS) (more later).

 

Efforts to drive down building energy demands are focussed on by the building regulation approved document L and EAM. (more later)

By improved U values combined with very poor airtightness targets, results in buildings that fail in the ‘performance gap’ between design and implementation; caused by lack of understanding, poor detailing, weak specification and inevitable inadequate construction; leading to:

  • cold, drafts and uncomfortable buildings
  • interstitial condensation, rot and structural failure

 

Some of mainstream are creating buildings with better U values and better airtightness but without providing adequate dedicated purposeful ventilation, resulting in two potential issues:

  • Condensation activating ever present spores into mould with potential for asthma, toxic mould, unusable buildings and risk of death
  • Unhealthy materials and finishes, off-gassing into the building, affecting occupant’s health with some serious consequences

 

The Building Regulation’s preoccupation with U values and lack of engagement with decrement delay of solar radiation heat gains results in 20% of UK housing and many other buildings suffering from overheating.

The industry’s preoccupation with thinness of construction and fiduciary rules (obligation to make a profit for shareholders) means it uses the thinnest and/or cheapest insulation materials both of which can lead to overheating, poor wellbeing in occupants and ultimately to their death.

 

GreenDeal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) have been carrying out whole house external insulation to reduce heating demands, in tens of thousands of houses. There are examples of blatantly ignoring thermal bridges created at services interfaces, perimeters and abutments.

These will inevitably lead to water penetration, condensation and mould and subsequent ill-health.

 

BRE also contributes to these failures by ‘forcing’ designers to specify methods of construction using conventional materials from GGtS.

GGtS uses Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as its criteria for Greenness.

GGtS openly ignores important issues of health, allergies, toxicity and indoor air quality.

The result is pretty unhealthy new additions to the housing stock and more buildings with sick building syndrome.

 

Recent drives to reduce waste to landfill mean a lot of materials were recycled into new products, like waste wood into wood panel products bound together with synthetic petro-chemical adhesives.

Manufacturers are persistently required to respond to requests for cheaper goods.

They inevitably resort to chemicals to deliver competent materials.

These new cheap goods are often very unhealthy in airtight building, off-gassing leading to indoor air quality (IAQ) issues.


In response to an Architecture Student shifting to an Interior Design Course and looking for a focus, GBE promoted IAQ and recorded a brain dump which lists all GBE was aware of at the time.

Indoor Air Quality IAQ G#1119 N#1135


Scottish Environmental Design Association (SEDA) addressed two conflicting issues and produced two complimentary guides:

  • Designing for Airtightness
  • Building with low toxicity materials
  • GBE extracted this information into a Word file and reorganised into specification order

 

Other sources GBE are familiar with:

  • The Indoor Environment Handbook by Philomena M. Bluyssen
  • Sentinal Haus (German?) IAQ assessment method
  • Healthy Flooring Network HFN (out of Women’s Environment Network (WEN) Specification (GBE has file)
  • HFN c/o The Women’s Environmental Network, info@healthyflooring.org
  • Allergy UK Website & The British Allergy Foundation www.allergyfoundation.com (GBE has schedule)
    Grants products a British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval
  • The Healthy House www.healthy-house.co.uk
  • The Sounder Sleep Company
  • Action Against Allergy National Asthma Campaign www.asthma.org.uk
  • National Eczema Society Information, support and advice for people with eczema and their carers.
  • Health & Safety Executive regarding work-related respiratory problems.
  • Green Guard USA data base (but GBE have reservations about its BAU content) (GBE has file)
  • REACH Regulation (lists)
    • ECHA SubsPort Substitution Portal
    • SVHC Substances of Very High Concern Lists
    • SIN Substitute it Now List
  • Google Red List
  • BRE Scotland EU project PERFECTION on IAQ (GBE has numerous PDF or PPT file)
  • “Sustainable construction labelling – user needs” Conference, 21 October 2008, Bruxelles 5
  • ECA report nr. 18 “Evaluation of VOC emissions from building products solid flooring materials’’

 

IAQ Labels

  • AgBB (Germany)
  • CESAT (France)
  • M1 (Finland)
  • ICL (Denmark)
  • LQAI (Portugal)
  • Natureplus(Germany)
  • The Blue Angel (Germany)
  • Ecolabel(Austria)
  • GUT (Germany)
  • EMICODE (Germany)
  • ECA Report no. 24 -11 labelling systems

 

Selection Procedure Promoted by PERFECTION partner

  • Legal status
  • Product relation
  • Basic requirements
  • Additional testing besides emission
  • Emission resting
  • Test of functionality and quality
  • Requirements to test laboratories
  • Test specimen preparation
  • Detailed analytical procedure available
  • Round robin tests
  • Regular tests of already labelled material
  • Market relevance

 

There are glimmers of hope coming off the back of airtightness failures.

Wellness and IAQ are becoming a popular subject of seminars and interest groups:

  • Elina Grigoriou’s Feelgood Foundation, seminars & White paper
  • FeelGood Foundation Wellness matters 2004 White Paper
  • Ska (Fit-out EAM) for Higher Education; now addresses wellness more robustly than the two previous schemes for offices and retail
  • Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) seminar series regularly touches on healthy buildings
  • The Green Register (TGR) seminars regularly tackle issues related to healthy buildings
  • Peterborough City Council’s Live Healthy Live Green project
  • Well (USA Health and Wellness Assessment Method)

 

Whilst there are a number of on-line databases of healthy products they are not yet in the sights of the mainstream industry and they are often devoid of information on how to use the product to best effect.

 

Biological Building Association (BBA) have a long track record in understanding these issues and have numerous healthy buildings to case study and sets of tried and tested materials, known to contribute to healthy buildings.


GBE would welcome the opportunity to work with BBA to extract the essence of what it’s individual members do and know and make it readily available to all of its members and to a wider audience.

The process of assimilating this information would be a joint effort between BBA members and GBE in close liaison throughout.

 

Green Building Encyclopaedia (GBE)’s approach to delivering information is to identify issues, investigate their problems, analyse cause and effect, determine basic principles, rules of thumb; find solutions and provide lists of solution providers and their solutions.

All delivered in a way that informs and educates the readers, if they have the time and if they care to learn.

Working with BBA may generate a whole new set of ways of working that GBE can adopt and develop.


GBE offers many types of information supporting the ambition for environmental and healthy buildings, these include:

Jargon Buster:

  • Addressing definitions of new and existing symbols, classifications, initials, abbreviations, acronyms, terms, phrases, used in environmental design in general and healthy buildings in particular
  • A ‘Jargon Buster Theme: Healthy Building’ can be created linking relevant Jargon Buster pages

Environmental Checklist

  • New Build, Refurbishment, Adaptation checklists
  • One for every trade, every checklist includes a subtopic on health and healthy building in particular
  • “Avoid this, consider these and recycle or reclaim those”
  • A stand alone Healthy Building checklist can be created as a daisy chain linking pages

Materials:

  • Characteristics and properties of environmental, healthy and conventional materials
  • Appropriate applications to consider
  • Inappropriate applications to avoid
  • Data sets and equations for calculators or Apps.

Issue Papers:

  • Interrogating issues that are generating big or numerous problems that need to be understood
  • Enable correction and avoidance in future
  • E.g. Overheating, Urban Risks, Thermal Bridges, Flood Resilience, Healthy buildings, Indoor Air Quality, etc.

Defects Analysis:

  • When GBE users submit images of defects we analyse the images and promote reasons for the failure and offer solutions all posted on the website to share to a wider audience

Questions & Answers:

  • GBE users occasionally phone the helpdesk and ask questions,
  • GBE’s published response is always thorough
  • Addressing all the questions around the first question
  • Ensure all issues are understood and answers given
  • Enable informed decisions to be made.

Companies: Specialising in healthy buildings, surveys, analysis, eradication,

  • Manufacturer, suppliers, installers, servers (service providers) and specialist consultants.
  • Contact details
  • Linked to all their product or service pages

Products, accessories and systems:

  • Product pages with description and analysis,
  • Appropriate and competent applications;
  • All supporting information attached and downloadable or listed and linked to.

Robust specifications

  • For each part and for assemblies and details, workmanship, waste, maintenance, deconstruction and reuse.
  • Elemental specifications linked to component specifications

Elemental Assemblies: (walls and floors, etc.)

  • Each element is shown in many different methods of construction
  • 892 are documented already, ready to post on line
  • These can be selected from or added to or modified.
  • They offer the opportunity to describe readymade combinations of components, materials and products that through BBA experience make healthier buildings.
  • Each assembly described in detail
  • CAD files, 2D and/or 3D diagrams
  • Appropriate components and materials or products can be identified and linked

Data sets and equations:

  • Make calculators
  • Become core components of Apps in future
  • Expert systems to create Design & Decision Tools

CPD seminars

  • To read on-line
  • To download
  • To present to audiences

All of the above:

  • All relevant and related pages listed and linked in both directions
  • No need to search menus and lists
  • Everything at your finger tips

Delivery of the results:

  • Can be via GBE and/or BBA websites or both sites could be considered as satellites (or binary pulsars) of the other.
  • Avoiding duplication is important, the content can maintained on one and delivered to the other using RSS technology.
  • Reinforcing and connecting the content of each by sign-posting each other’s complimentary content should occur.
  • All contributors of know-how, time or funding would be acknowledged on each page footer.

 

Income from sale of data sets, tools, apps and files or membership can be apportioned as appropriate:

  • Overhead costs to hosting website
  • Income for time or know-how contributors
  • Repay BBA to cover development costs (if not funded)

© Green Building Encyclopaedia Brian Murphy BSc Dip Arch (Hons+Dist)
9th June 2016 – 12th August 2016


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
12th August 2016

Healthy Building Specification Proposal
Images:


bba-logo-websiteBBA Building View

GBE_Logo_def80

NGSLogoCropped-alt3


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
12th August 2016

Healthy Building Specification Proposal
See Also: 


GBE Brain Dumps

In response to an Architecture Student shifting to an Interior Design Course and looking for a focus, GBE promoted IAQ and recorded a brain dump which lists all GBE was aware of at the time.

Indoor Air Quality IAQ G#1119 N#1135


GBE Books

Scottish Environmental Design Association (SEDA) addressed two conflicting issues and produced two complimentary guides:

  • Designing for Airtightness
  • Building with low toxicity materials

GBE Links

Other sources GBE are familiar with:

  • The Indoor Environment Handbook by Philomena M. Bluyssen
  • Sentinal Haus (German?) IAQ assessment method
  • Healthy Flooring Network HFN (out of Women’s Environment Network (WEN) Specification (GBE has file)
  • HFN c/o The Women’s Environmental Network, info@healthyflooring.org
  • Allergy UK Website & The British Allergy Foundation www.allergyfoundation.com (GBE has schedule)
    Grants products a British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval
  • The Healthy House www.healthy-house.co.uk
  • The Sounder Sleep Company
  • Action Against Allergy National Asthma Campaign www.asthma.org.uk
  • National Eczema Society Information, support and advice for people with eczema and their carers.
  • Health & Safety Executive regarding work-related respiratory problems.
  • Green Guard USA data base (but GBE have reservations about its BAU content) (GBE has file)
  • REACH Regulation (lists)
    • ECHA SubsPort Substitution Portal
    • SVHC Substances of Very High Concern Lists
    • SIN Substitute it Now List
  • Google Red List
  • BRE Scotland EU project PERFECTION on IAQ (GBE has numerous PDF or PPT file)
  • “Sustainable construction labelling – user needs” Conference, 21 October 2008, Bruxelles 5
  • ECA report nr. 18 “Evaluation of VOC emissions from building products solid flooring materials’’

GBE Green Labels

IAQ Labels

  • AgBB (Germany)
  • CESAT (France)
  • M1 (Finland)
  • ICL (Denmark)
  • LQAI (Portugal)
  • Natureplus(Germany)
  • The Blue Angel (Germany)
  • Ecolabel(Austria)
  • GUT (Germany)
  • EMICODE (Germany)
  • ECA Report no. 24 -11 labelling systems

 


GBE CPD

Wellness and IAQ are becoming a popular subject of seminars and interest groups:

  • Elina Grigoriou’s Feelgood Foundation, seminars & White paper
  • FeelGood Foundation Wellness matters 2004 White Paper
  • Ska (Fit-out EAM) for Higher Education; now addresses wellness more robustly than the two previous schemes for offices and retail
  • Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) seminar series regularly touches on healthy buildings
  • The Green Register (TGR) seminars regularly tackle issues related to healthy buildings
  • Peterborough City Council’s Live Healthy Live Green project
  • Well (USA Health and Wellness Assessment Method)

© Green Building Encyclopaedia Brian Murphy BSc Dip Arch (Hons+Dist)
9th June 2016 – 12th August 2016


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
12th August 2016

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