Building Engineering Epidemiology: Northern Ireland House Condition Survey, 2009

Ivy Shiue
2013 Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology  
There have been several studies investigating the effects of housing characteristics on human health and biomarkers but how buildings could have become sick buildings was unknown. Therefore, we aimed to use a housing condition survey in a region-wide and building-based setting as an example to assess the architectural engineering correlates that could be related to "sick buildings" by adopting the epidemiological method commonly used in etiology and disease management research. Methods: Data
more » ... e analyzed in Northern Ireland House Condition Survey, 2009 (n=3,000). We hypothesized that the pathway is going from housing built year, on to indoor built environment fitness outcomes and The Decent Homes Standard, and then to long standing illnesses of the occupants. Statistical analysis included chi-square test and general or multi-level logistic regression modelling. Results: Apparently, when the age of buildings went higher, the likelihood of having unacceptable indoor built environment fitness outcomes also increased, regardless of any fitness outcome. Similarly, the odds of having poor The Decent Homes Standard were higher for buildings that were built long time ago than those built in recent years. The greatest odds were seen among buildings that were built pre 1919. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating potential architectural engineering correlates for sick buildings by adopting an epidemiological method more than the usual surveying engineering method. Future research moving from etiology aspect to sick building management in a well-established surveillance for proper maintenance would be suggested in order to ensure the housing equality for all occupants/residents.
doi:10.4172/2168-9717.1000112 fatcat:5u6hbk5es5hitao3q7tuwshpt4