Building Healthier Homes

By Robert Robillard on Uncategorized


Healthy Homes

A recent article in Builder Magazine discussed how HUD and CDC are pushing their “Healthy Homes Agenda”

Health Problems

Acting Surgeon General Steven K. Galson issued an official call to action to promote healthy homes, asserting that poorly constructed and ill-maintained residences can contribute to endemic health problems such as asthma and lead poisoning.

“In the United States today, the leading preventable causes of death, disease, and disability are asthma, lead poisoning, deaths in house fires, falls on stairs and from windows, burns and scald injuries, and drowning in bathtubs and pools,” Galson said during a press conference at the National Building Museum.

The National Center for Healthy Housing recommends the following practices for builders who want to construct healthier homes.

Ventilation Is Important

Make sure homes meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers standard 62.2 (ASHRAE 62.2, 2007).

This is an industry standard for ventilation for buildings of four stories or less. Mechanical ventilation helps ensure contaminants and humidity are exhausted to the outside and that the home receives clean, fresh air. Additionally, it can benefit occupant health by increasing comfort and reducing unplanned airflows which can result in moisture problems.

Smoke Detectors

Install proper smoke and CO2 alarms in all new homes.

Carbon monoxide causes 450 deaths and 15,000 emergency room visits per year, and death in a house fire is 50% more likely in homes without smoke alarms. Carbon monoxide and smoke alarms often cost less than $25, a small price to pay for safety.

Remove Radon

Add ducting for an active sub-slab soil depressurization radon reduction (fan-powered) system.

If tests determine that radon is a problem, the fans for the system can be added and activated. Radon is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless gas that is a decay product of uranium and occurs naturally in soil and rock. The main source of high-level radon pollution in buildings is surrounding uranium-containing soil such as granite, shale, phosphate, and pitchblende. Radon enters a home through cracks in walls, basement floors, foundations, and other openings.

Read entire article.

Source: Jenny Sullivan is senior editor, design, at BUILDER magazine.

 

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob If you have a building or remodeling question you can have rob respond to your answer via video. Click here for more information. https://jointruly.com/robillard Invite code: x22r2

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