HEALTHY BUILDINGS II (BUILDING ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH)

Course CodeBSS300
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Explore the Complex Relationships that Exist between Buildings and People

Learn to manage interior environments for maximum health.  Minimise risk, harmful chemicals and toxins and create a comfortable surrounds.
  • Learn how your environment impact human health.
  • Learn to evaluate, describe and explain how physical characteristics of a building and surrounds for impact on human health.
  • Manage risk at work, home or elsewhere, to help yourself, family, or community.
 

 

Lesson Structure

  1. Environmental Impacts On Buildings
    • Scope, nature and principles of building biology
    • Environmental impacts on buildings
    • Climate, building location, radon, air quality, allergies, temperature, humidity, light, EMR
    • Creation of electric fields
  2. Chemicals
    • Air pollutants
    • Cleaning chemicals
    • Chemical breakdowns
    • Leakages and spills
    • Pesticides -household, industrial, agricultural
    • Solid Waste pollutants
    • Persistent organic polutants (POP's)
    • Formaldehydes
    • Heavy Metals
    • Ammonia
    • Resins
    • Where different chemicals originate in a building
  3. Building Surrounds
    • Creating a buffer zone
    • Windbreaks, hedges, screens
    • Creating Shade
    • Designing a healthy home garden
    • Going natural in the garden
    • Avoiding problem materials
    • Disposing of waste
    • Making compost
    • Working with rather than against nature
    • Energy conservation
    • Solar House Design
    • Green principles for house design
  4. Furnishings
    • Gas appliances, heaters and fireplaces
    • Furniture
    • Materials characteristics
    • Floor Coverings
    • Cane
    • Metals
    • Fabrics
    • Flame retardation treatments
    • Matresses
    • Dry cleaning and mothballing
    • Temperature and acoustic properties of fabrics
  5. Finishes
    • Chemical reactions
    • Lung disease, cancer, skin disease
    • Paint
    • Repainting
    • Timber finishes against decay
    • Varnishes and oils
  6. Pesticides & Alternatives
    • Types of insecticides -inorganic and biological (organophosphates, carbamates etc)
    • Rodenticides
    • Miticides, Bacteriacides, Algaecides, Termite treatments
    • Understanding pesticide characteristics -toxicity, persistence, volatility, etc
    • Common chemicals used in buildings, and natural alternatives
    • Common garden chemicals and natural pest/weed management
    • Understanding Insect Pest Management options
  7. Managing Interior Environments
    • Assessing air quality
    • Ventilation
    • Temperature control
    • Cleaning
    • Acoustics
    • Electricity
    • Domestic pets
    • Light
    • Colour
    • Indoor Plants
    • Othyer hazards
  8. Consulting
    • Services that can be offered to a client
    • Checklist of building hazards
    • Procedures and business practice for a consultant
    • Setting up costs
    • Operating a business
    • Developing a business plan
    • Determining fees to charge

Aims

  • Explain the impact of the macro-environment (location) on health.
    • Explain the impact of building surrounds, including a garden, on the interior environmental conditions.
    • Choose interior furnishings which are not likely to damage human health.
    • Explain the health implications of using different types of finishes, including sealers, paints, preservatives and stains.
    • Explain the health implications of using alternative methods of pest control inside buildings.
    • Plan health conscious management systems of interior environments.

What You Will Do

  • Explain how proximity to different bodies of water can affect human health, including: *Sea/Ocean *Freshwater lakes *A river *Ground water.
    • Explain how different aspects of prevailing weather patterns may influence house design in different regions, including: *temperature *rainfall *winds *day length.
    • Explain in a summary, how proximity to electromagnetic radiation may impact on health.
    • Explain in a summary, how proximity to different types of pollution can impact on health inside a dwelling.
    • Compare the impact of different garden treatments upon temperature inside buildings, including: -tall trees -lawn -paving -mulched surfaces -climbers on walls.
    • Explain how different garden design decisions can affect ventilation in a house, including: *earth shaping *planting *constructions *water features.
    • Compare the affect different garden components on light inside a building, including: *Plant types *How plants are grouped *Walls *Topography *Pergolas.
    • Explain how the visual characteristics of two different gardens influence the inside environment of a building.
    • Analyse two different gardens for the impact they have on buildings they surround.
    • Compare health aspects of different materials used for furnishings including: -metals -plastics -timbers -upholstery -curtains.
    • Compare health aspects of different floor coverings including: -tiles -carpets -vinyl -cork -slate -timber.
    • Explain health aspects of different electrical appliances including: -televisions -computers -refrigerators -microwaves -heaters -air conditioners -ovens.
    • Evaluate the furnishings in a building inspected by the learner, to determine recommended changes to improve building habitability.
    • Compare the health affects of different types of finishes including: sealers, paints, stains, preservatives and varnishes.
    • Compile a resource directory of ten sources of healthy alternatives to traditional finishes.
    • Describe the characteristics of three different specific products which are healthy alternatives to traditional paints and finishes.
    • Explain the toxic affects of ten different pesticides commonly used in buildings, both during and after construction.
    • List alternative "healthier" methods of controlling pests in buildings, including: -rodents -ants -termites -flies -cockroaches.
    • Develop a detailed pest control strategy for a building, in the learners locality, which includes: -structural treatments during and post construction
    • -preventative measures for anticipated problems
    • -eradication measures for existing problems.
    • Explain issues of building usage which can impact on health with respect to different factors including: -number of people -electricity -windows and doors -cooking -smoking -curtains -hygiene.
    • Analyse the way two specific buildings including a home and a workplace are used; to determine health risk factors in that use.
    • Recommend guidelines to the way in which different buildings, including an office, and a workplace, are used, to minimise negative impacts upon health.

What Makes a Building Environmentally Friendly to the Occupants?

A building should provide a pleasant, efficient and healthy environment for its occupants. Its primary purpose should be to protect from adverse conditions found outside; but in doing so, not loose the beneficial conditions found outside. If a building is properly planned and built well, these aims can be achieved. In most situations, buildings should satisfy the following:

  • Buffer the impact of adverse external conditions (e.g. extremes of temperature, wind, moisture).
  • Make use of natural light during the day (with windows, skylights, reflective interior surfaces, etc).
  • Provide appropriate artificial light (without glare, with appropriate intensity and wavelengths, etc).
  • Maintain good air quality inside (e.g. through ventilation, indoor plants).
  • Minimise pollutants/toxins (e.g. fumes, dust).
  • Control acoustics (stop unwanted noise; avoid interference/distortion of desirable noise, etc)
  • Provide unimpeded movement and access to all areas.
  • Provide rapid response to environmental controls (e.g. ability to raise or lower temperature quickly, ventilate rapidly if necessary).

 

Why Study This Course?

This course provides students with insight into the many ways that buildings can impact upon the health of their occupants.

Here the emphasis is on the environment rather than the materials used to construct the buildings, which is the focus of our Healthy Buildings I course.

Use what you learn here and apply it to your home, you workplace, or other buildings. Make a difference to your own health and that of others.

This course can enhance existing building and design knowledge or serve as a foundation towards other studies and higher level qualifications.

Use your knowledge in roles which entail the planning, design and construction of buildings as well as inspections of existing buildings for health risks.

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