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Damp homes may cause asthma

Mould in New Zealand houses may be a cause of young children developing asthma, a new study has found.

The study looked at the homes of 150 children making a first visit to a doctor for asthma medication and the homes of 300 children who had never has asthma symptoms.
 
Dampness and mould were found more frequently in the bedrooms and homes of children who had developed asthma compared to the others. The more mould found in the bedroom, the higher the risk that a child would develop asthma.
 
Researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, say it has long been known that damp homes can make asthma worse. This study goes beyond that, showing that the mould in houses may actually be a cause of the asthma in the first place.

The study has been published in the international journal Indoor Air.

A BRANZ survey of 560 New Zealand homes in 2015/2016 found mould present in around half of them. Ventilation was found to be insufficient. Half of all bathrooms and kitchens did not have extract fans to vent damp air outside to the house.

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Homestar V4 launched

Version 4 of the Homestar efficiency rating tool has been officially launched.

The new easier-to-use version of the Homestar tool is now in place. The tool measures efficiency of New Zealand houses and apartments, encouraging the construction of warmer, drier, healthier homes. It rates homes on a scale up to 10.

The tool can be applied to both plans and to a finished home. The areas it considers include site, materials, waste, energy, health and comfort, water and home management.

The New Zealand Green Building Council launched the first version of Homestar in 2011. The latest version, refined after industry input, streamlines the assessment process.

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A sustainable Expo

Auckland Build Expo 2017, on 2–3 November, will have a lot of information about sustainable construction. Read more.

Conference speakers include:

  • Andrew Eagles from the New Zealand Green Building Council, speaking on ‘The coming revolution to buildings and homes’
  • Francesca Lipscome, speaking on ‘Building products and the importance of Ecolabels in NZ’
  • Alec Couchman, speaking on ‘Passiv-Haus building in Christchurch’
  • Evžen Novák, speaking on ‘Sustainable architecture using timber technology’.

Build 2017 includes a Sustainability Summit. In addition to a variety of presentations, this includes an exhibition feature area.

Auckland Build 2017 takes place at ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane, Epsom, Auckland, 9.30am–5.30pm, 2–3 November.

Find more information here.