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Healthy housing

Our body is confronted with all kinds of pollution from outside air, but also from the indoor air of our buildings.

To have a healthy housing in Portugal, it is first necessary to understand where these different types of pollution come from, to then to be able to work on it.

OUTDOOR AIR 

  • Vehicles, fuel evaporation
  • Plant particles (pollen)
  • Fossil source combustion

INDOOR AIR 

  • Construction materials (insulation, airtightness…)
  • Varnishing of furniture
  • Chemical components of cleaning products
  • Room humidity level
  • CO2 rate

Towards a healthy housing in portugal

As a result it is necessary to renew the indoor air properly using a ventilation system. There are many solutions to choose depending on our needs and on the climate. This can be mechanical ventilation (single flow, double flow,…) or natural ventilation (climate sinks, window openings, wind tower). Each of these technologies is detailed here.

To maintain healthy housing, it is preferable to pollute it as little as possible. Consequently it is wise to choose healthy and ecological materials, products that are free of varnish and VOCs, and suitable construction materials.

It is recommended to use distributed insulation, that’s to say a structure that already has insulating properties and does not require the addition of an insulation material. However, it is only suitable for new buildings or extensions, and not for refurbishment. For instance these include porous concrete.

If distributed insulation is not possible, we recommend to use natural and local insulation materials.

habitat-sain-healthy-housing

In addition to a healthy home and in order to reduce its impact on the environment, it is wise to take into account the following parameters when choosing our materials:

  • Embodied Energy 

  • CO2 Emissions 

  • Recycling ability of the material at the end of its life time

  • Sustainably managed forest plantations to produce materials

  • Harmless materials on health (glues, solvents, insulation, etc.)

There are various labels and safety data sheets that can guide our choices of environmentally friendly and healthy materials. A list can be found here

Non-renewable embodied energy of some materials (kWh/m³)

healthy-housing-embodied-energy

CO2 emissions of some insulating materials with equal thermal performance (kg.eq CO2/m²)

healthy-housing-co2-emissions-insulating-materials