Energy efficiency is great, but it seems that people have lately been sacrificing a lot more than usual for it. About a year ago, it became known that air circulation is negatively affected by the designs in today’s energy-efficient houses. They’re built very airtight, and include all sorts of materials and products which are emitted into the air.
Currently, no laws regulate how houses are built in terms of air circulation – heat recovery ventilators aren’t legally required. A recent study conducted by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board indicates that 67% of the recently built homes are sub-standard in terms of air changes – people don’t even do as much as open their windows or run their kitchen exhaust fans enough.
Almost all of the homes had dangerous formaldehyde levels too, and a situation of this kind is simply unacceptable for a modern society which strives for a better lifestyle. Something needs to be done – either about the laws, or about people’s habits and perceptions – but it needs to be done soon.
[ Via Treehugger ]