Supporting 'Healthy Homes'...

Supporting 'Healthy Homes'...

 

John Mellor, Senior Product Manager comments on the busy start to the year for the Healthy Homes Act campaign by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and why Glidevale Protect is supporting this initiative.

“It is pleasing to see that work continues apace from the TCPA on this national campaign which calls on the Government to adopt the Healthy Homes Bill.  This includes recent efforts to ramp up the pressure by actively encouraging more local authorities to adopt the principles contained within the Bill.  For example, most recently, the TCPA has supported the 38 Degrees’ petition to call on the Liverpool City Region to adopt the Healthy Homes principles.  Having met Dr Daniel Slade and Jack Dangerfield from the TCPA, it is clear to see how committed they are in terms of making a difference to ensure that legislation is ratified to ensure homes constructed in the UK and the surrounding amenity space are fit for purpose and do not have negative impacts on physical and mental health.  The TCPA’s continued drive to ensure that the Bill is put before Parliament and then enshrined in law is crucial to ensure that legislation will exist to outlaw those developments that undermine the wellbeing of occupants.

In the 21st century, we believe the requirement for all homes to be of decent quality should be a fundamental right not just part of a wish list.  As previous Government-commissioned research has shown, on permitted development rights (PDR) where planning permission is not required, in one particular case of an office-residential conversion development of 639 properties, only c. 22% met the nationally described space standards, with 72% only having a single aspect window (ten properties having no windows at all) and only 3.5% having access to private amenity space.  This is not an isolated example and clearly should not be a facet of modern-day Britain.  As described in the Marmot Review, the follow-on impact on these unhealthy homes and neighbourhoods is the likelihood that poor housing increases the risk of respiratory, cardiovascular and communicable diseases, and mortality.  This comes into sharp and a sobering focus during the current Covid-19 pandemic, where occupants are having to spend a greater number of hours living and working at home during the lockdown period and therefore need a healthy home and surrounding living space to contribute to their wellbeing and overall mental health.   

Linked to this drive for a Healthy Homes Act is the clear direction of travel by the Government in terms of requiring homes to be more energy efficient and the building envelope to be more airtight but have this balanced against low carbon ventilation strategies, to meet the Net Zero targets by 2050.  Following the recent response to the consultation from the Government on Building Regulations Part L and Part F updates in the transitionary period to the Future Homes Standard in 2025, it is important to ensure that an airtightness and ventilation balance can be achieved.  Airflow into and out of a property needs to be regulated and not contribute to unsafe levels of indoor or ambient air pollution or the risk of condensation and damp, which in turn results in harmful impacts on human health and the environment.  This is one of the key Healthy Homes principles detailed in the Bill, along with the need for dwellings to be designed to provide year-round thermal comfort for inhabitants. 

As well as Glidevale Protect’s wide collection of product solutions that can ensure this balance is achieved between thermal comfort, airtightness and ventilation for both new build and retrofit developments, the TCPA’s campaign is morally responsible and an ideal fit for our business, one we are happy to support as the work continues into 2021.  One of the key pillars detailed within Glidevale Protect’s core values is quality, in terms of our products and services but also that these are provided with honesty and integrity, qualities which are fundamental aspects of this TCPA campaign.  Another core value of our business is success and that through teamwork, we can work together towards a fulfilling future for the company and the community.  Supporting this campaign with the ultimate aim of improving human health in the community can only be a positive way to help ensure this success and ultimately result in homes being built which are fit for heroes, not ones which are glorified, modern slums.”

To find out more about the Healthy Homes Act and to sign up your support visit: 

https://www.tcpa.org.uk/healthy-homes-act