Influence of indoor hygrothermal conditions on human quality of life in social housing

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Sara Soares
EPIUnit, Institute of Public Health, University of Porto, Portugal.

Sílvia Fraga
EPIUnit, Institute of Public Health, University of Porto, Portugal.

João M.P.Q. Delgado
CONSTRUCT-LFC, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal.

Nuno M.M. Ramos
CONSTRUCT-LFC, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal.

ABSTRACT

Background: Modern societies spend most of their time indoors, namely at home, and the indoor environment quality turns out to be a crucial factor to health, quality of life and well-being of the residents. The present study aims to understand how indoor environment relates with quality of life and how improving housing conditions impacts on individuals’ health.

Design and Methods: This study case will rely on the following assessments in both rehabilitated and non-rehabilitated social housing: i) field measurements, in social dwellings (namely temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide concentration, air velocity, air change rate, level of mould spores and energy consumption); ii) residents’ questionnaires on social, demogaphic, behavioural, health characteristics and quality of life. Also, iii) qualitative interviews performed with social housing residents from the rehabilitated houses, addressing the self-perception of living conditions and their influence in health status and quality of life. All the collected information will be combined and analysed in order to achieve the main objective.
Expected impact: It is expected to define a Predicted Human Life Quality (PHLQ) index, that combines physical parameters describing the indoor environment measured through engineering techniques with residents’ and neighbourhood quality of life characteristics assessed by health questionnaires. Improvement in social housing should be related with better health indicators and the new index might be an important tool contributing to enhance quality of life of the residents.
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