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Thermal performance and indoor air quality in new, medium density houses – Auckland, New Zealand

Thermal performance and indoor air quality in new, medium density houses – Auckland, New Zealand New Zealand’s historical housing stock comprises largely single-storey detached houses, characterised by poor winter comfort with high air infiltration. Challenges with affordability and land use are shifting New Zealand’s housing stock towards double-storey, conjoined medium-density housing (MDH). Reduced external surfaces in this typology should reduce winter heat loss and infiltration, improving winter comfort and health. New concerns arise, however, regarding summertime overheating and poor indoor air quality.Design/methodology/approachA field study was undertaken where temperature, humidity, airtightness, particulate matter (PM) and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) were measured in two unoccupied, newly built double-storey, conjoined houses, for several weeks over summer.FindingsThe reduced surface area of this typology did not reduce infiltration and demonstrated significant periods of overheating. Internal PM concentrations generally exceeded outdoor concentrations but did not exceed annual average outdoor PM10 guidelines of 20 µg m-3. Infiltration factors (Finf) were closer to more traditional houses. TVOC readings varied widely, but frequently exceeded international guidelines.Research limitations/implicationsThe small sample limits the applications of conclusions more widely. Recommendations to investigate a wider sample in different locations with more detailed VOC analysis over all seasons are made.Practical implicationsImprovements to internal environments cannot be guaranteed by housing typology changes alone and must still involve thoughtful environmental design.Social implicationsHousing typology changes may not improve internal living environments.Originality/valueA move to the new MDH typology may not achieve expectations of airtightness and thermal improvement. New challenges arise from significant overheating and high TVOC levels, which may lead to new negative health effects. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation Emerald Publishing

Thermal performance and indoor air quality in new, medium density houses – Auckland, New Zealand

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References (37)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2398-4708
DOI
10.1108/ijbpa-08-2021-0110
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

New Zealand’s historical housing stock comprises largely single-storey detached houses, characterised by poor winter comfort with high air infiltration. Challenges with affordability and land use are shifting New Zealand’s housing stock towards double-storey, conjoined medium-density housing (MDH). Reduced external surfaces in this typology should reduce winter heat loss and infiltration, improving winter comfort and health. New concerns arise, however, regarding summertime overheating and poor indoor air quality.Design/methodology/approachA field study was undertaken where temperature, humidity, airtightness, particulate matter (PM) and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) were measured in two unoccupied, newly built double-storey, conjoined houses, for several weeks over summer.FindingsThe reduced surface area of this typology did not reduce infiltration and demonstrated significant periods of overheating. Internal PM concentrations generally exceeded outdoor concentrations but did not exceed annual average outdoor PM10 guidelines of 20 µg m-3. Infiltration factors (Finf) were closer to more traditional houses. TVOC readings varied widely, but frequently exceeded international guidelines.Research limitations/implicationsThe small sample limits the applications of conclusions more widely. Recommendations to investigate a wider sample in different locations with more detailed VOC analysis over all seasons are made.Practical implicationsImprovements to internal environments cannot be guaranteed by housing typology changes alone and must still involve thoughtful environmental design.Social implicationsHousing typology changes may not improve internal living environments.Originality/valueA move to the new MDH typology may not achieve expectations of airtightness and thermal improvement. New challenges arise from significant overheating and high TVOC levels, which may lead to new negative health effects.

Journal

International Journal of Building Pathology and AdaptationEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 8, 2023

Keywords: Performance analysis; Airtightness; Indoor air quality; Medium density housing; Particulate matter; TVOC

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