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Health Considerations for Renovation Assessment, Specifications, and Program Development

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  1. Health Considerations for Renovation Assessment, Specifications, and Program Development Tiffani Irwin Habitat for Humanity International Partners in Sustainable Building Janet McIlvaine Florida Solar Energy Center/UCF US DOE Building America Program
  2. Agenda Introductions Shared Priorities Based on best practices Safe, healthy, durable, efficient, accessible – occupancy and funding stream Whole house approach What is an assessment? Why is it important? How is it achieved? Share tools: assessment, repair & rehab right, sws’s Statistics from the field Common conditions Prevalence of efficiency strategies Health concerns – first, do no harm - Building science dynamics Share links to professionals for hazardous materials Best practices Upfront measures – before you begin Appropriate insurance coverage Never go alone Safety i.e. personal co detectors, professionals when appropriate Building practices Standardized Approach Installation and QA guidelines verification Retrofit challenge initiative Summary – acknowledge sustainably No home more sustainable home than the existing home – Janet’s soapbox Sustainable homeownership Sustainable health, welfare, quality of life for occupants Experiences from our histories
  3. Tiffani Irwin Habitat for Humanity International Manager, Partners in Sustainable Building Affordable Housing Provider Janet McIlvaine Research Analyst, Florida Solar Energy Center US DOE Building America program Building Science for Housing Industry
  4. 2 Perspectives on Housing Rehab HFHI Repair Corp House Assessment Selecting What to Address Working Safely [Insert website] US DOE Building America Retrofit Challenge Standardized best practices Built-in health related measures Codifying the “Whole House Approach” www.ba-pirc.org/retrofit
  5. Habitat and the Existing House MISSION: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Janet, can you make a graph for me, showing The line for new vs line for existing over these 4 years? 2008 new 5017 existing 1150 total 6167 2009 4584 existing 1484 total 6068 2010 4379 existing 2328 total 6707 2011 4800 4523 total 9323 2012 3951 5100 total 9051 2013 3598 6276 total 9874
  6. Building America & Existing HousesConstruction Industry + Building ScientistsReal Houses. Real Improvement.
  7. Habitat & Building America Alignment Shared Priorities Health & Safety (Before, during, after rehab) Durability Energy Efficiency Accessibility (HFHI) Occupancy and funding stream Comfort (Building America) Uncomfortable, uniformed people will take action – not pretty!
  8. “Whole Building Approach” Everything Works (or doesn’t!) Together Image: Conservation Services Group
  9. A Whole-House Assessment is a full evaluation of each of the systems within the home. The information is most useful when related the experiences of the residents of the home regarding comfort, affordability and durability. Potential Partners The homeowner Home Inspectors Code Enforcement Energy Raters BPI Analysts Weatherization agencies Experienced Contractors
  10. Habitat Assessment Worksheet
  11. Online Tools at Your Disposal Repair and Rehab Right http://www.fas.org/rehabright
  12. Online Tools at Your Disposal Standard Workforce Specifications by US DOE – “How To” Guidance https://sws.nrel.gov/
  13. The Importance of Being Earnest Inspect For Hazardous Materials Lead Asbestos Mold Radon Combustion Issues Gas appliances Back drafting Carbon monoxide Ventilation Strategies Moisture/decay Electrical hazards Plumbing leaks
  14. First, do no Harm! First Priority: Health and Safety of the Occupants! Remove, Reduce, Remediate Indoor Air Quality Mobility and Accessibility features Potential hazards (i.e. improper wiring) Once Health and Safety Issues are Identified and addressed: Durability Energy Efficiency Additional Accessibility Features
  15. Place Holder for Updated HFHI Repair Corp Reports
  16. Best Practices for Assessment Use/develop assessment tools Proper insurances, certifications Safety training, personal CO detectors Agreement with homeowner, survivors’ clause Pictures to document existing conditions Always travel in packs Honor the sacred space of someone’s home Remediate existing conditions that threaten worker or occupant safety before beginning renovation
  17. Professional Services Do Not Try This at Home! Resources for Identifying and Addressing Hazardous Materials Lead: http://www2.epa.gov/lead/lead-abatement-program-training-and-certification-program-lead-based-paint-activities-tsca Asbestos: http://www2.epa.gov/asbestos Mold: http://www.epa.gov/mold/ Radon: http://www.epa.gov/radon/ Carbon Monoxide: http://www.defenderdetectors.com/aboutco/nih.htmhttp://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.htmlhttp://www.stopcarbonmonoxide.com/
  18. Healthy Homes “Healthy Home” means The house does not compromise occupant health. The house itself is not sick – all it’s systems are AOK. Healthy New Habitat House (2000 JCWP) Unhealthy Homeowner’s Previous Dwelling
  19. Do houses make people sick? Many people believe the increased incidence of asthma might well relate to the increased amount of time spent indoors by children and the subsequent over-response of their immune systems to tiny exposures to [these] microbes. Institute for Environmental Assessment http://www.hazardousmaterialsconsulting.com/knowledge-base/sick-building-syndrome.htm
  20. Dr. Dockery says… It’s very clear that in the United States asthma is worst in poor [geographical] areas, and that we’re seeing an increase of the disease in these areas. This makes us think that there must be environmental characteristics involved. Douglas Dockery, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology Harvard School of Public Health.
  21. Lurking Health Concerns
  22. Relative Threat of Toxic Pollutants in the Home Immediate Death Carbon Monoxide Life Threatening Asbestos Lead paint Radon Life Degrading Applied poisons – pesticides, herbicides, etc. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Microbial growth Allergens
  23. Relative Threat of Toxic Pollutants in the Home Immediate Death Carbon Monoxide Life Threatening Asbestos Lead paint Radon Life Degrading Applied poisons – pesticides, herbicides, etc. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Microbial growth (Rot, mold) Asthma & Allergy triggers (pollen, dust mites, mold, pest dander)
  24. Driving ForcesAir, Heat, and Moisture Flow Dynamics
  25. Carbon Monoxide Ideally – none should be produced Product of incomplete combustion Any produced should go up the flue It happens anyway
  26. Carbon Monoxide Insert image of back-draft ghosting
  27. Carbon Monoxide does more than kill! Risks can be mitigated!
  28. Lurking Air, Heat, and Moisture Control Problems Dead Giveaway: Lingering, Repeating, Unpleasant or Unexpected Odors
  29. Building America (at FSEC) Experience ~50
  30. Why Were We There? Unmitigated moisture problems – in homes less than a year old! Multiple (very expensive) repair attempts Lovely pink mold poop! Looks lovely, smells awful – why?
  31. Why Were We There? Repeat repairs resulting in reoccurring reports of retrogressing… Look for water leaks (roof – plumbing) Replace damage product with same Problem comes back Blame customer (in frustration) Rust Water drip trails
  32. Warping Staining Rusting Damaged Walls
  33. Water in fixtures Staining Warping Damaged Ceilings
  34. Warping Staining Damaged Floors
  35. Molds & Mildews Biological growth
  36. Cave syndrome “cold & damp” Swamp thing “warm & humid” Comfort complaints U Got Cool U Want Cool
  37. Usually coupled with other problems Houses often sold as “energy efficient” High energy bills
  38. What was going on? No roof leaks No window leaks No rain getting in walls No moisture being suck in through foundation What was going on? Combination of air, heat, and moisture control issues
  39. What was going on? Process of Diagnosis: Document patterns of damage, distribution of mold, occupant reported operating conditions Find Source of the Moisture Find Driving Forces Introducing the Moisture Find the Path of Movement Recommendations Remove as much of source as possible Reducing Driving Forces as much as needed Eliminating as much of the movement paths as possible
  40. Return Air Plenum – dirt, debris, fiberglass, no air barrier (therefore connected to the walls)
  41. Don’t do this This is better Framed Return Plenum Connected to attic via walls. Where’s the return air coming from? Framed Return Plenum with continuous air barrier. Note sealant at floor joint.
  42. Building Envelope Leak Path Marriage line failure
  43. Proposed Solution… Duct repair Add return air paths to private rooms Increase return air grill size Add positive pressure ventilation Reduce building leakage to 0.35 natural ach Findings: Multiple Problems=Rapid Failure High negative pressures Duct leaks Door closure Exhaust fans Low temperature Discomfort driving thermostat Large moisture source The ground Tell-tale signs Not so subtle
  44. Let’s Create Healthy Houses that Endure – How?! Recognize the signs Adopt standard treatments for managing Air Movement Heat Transfer Moisture Control Take the Retrofit Challenge Hot-humid climate only Learn more: www.ba-pirc.org/retrofit http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/publications/pdf/FSEC-RR-384-12.pdf
  45. Systems Engineering Whole House Approach Consensus Building Specifications & Performance Testing Quality Assurance Multiple Benefits from Same Improvement Reducing duct system leakage improves: Energy Efficiency, Health (IAQ), Safety, Durability and Comfort First cost = ~$400; First Energy Year Savings ~$200
  46. Healthy Homes “Healthy Home” means The house does not compromise occupant health. The house itself is not sick – all it’s systems are AOK. What does it look like? Source Control Air, Heat, and Moisture Flow Control Minimize paths & driving forces How can we ensure it happens in our retrofits?
  47. Influences on Healthy Homes Local Climate Environment House Construction House Operation
  48. Stakeholder Need Affordable Housing Sector - Renovation Local Gov’t Community Development HUD funding Foreclosed homes Sell in affordable housing sector Mutual Goal – 30% Improvement in HERS Index Tell us what to do. Give us “the list”. Let’s figure out together.
  49. Technical Approach – Field Study 70 Houses (yellow) - resulted in detailed best practices.
  50. Building America & Existing HousesConstruction Industry + Building ScientistsReal Houses. Real Improvement. Market-ready Best Practices.
  51. 2014 –The Retrofit Challenge Leverages Federally-Funded Research for Regional Benefit 2009-14 2009-14+ 2009-11 2012-13 2014 Retrofit Challenge Audience: Primary: Affordable Housing Entities Conducting Comprehensive Renovations Secondary: Other Sectors of Renovation Industry
  52. 2014 - Retrofit Challenge Partners (green) – Committed to 30% Best Practices Better Buildings Grantee with microloan program. As of 12/13 closed 249 loans valued over $2 million. Cumulative energy savings > 1 GWh (average home saves 20%). Pledged 150 homes to the Retrofit Challenge in FY 14-15. Administering $20 million in mortgage settlement funds. Promoting Retrofit Challenge to all grant recipients. Pledging all retrofit projects. Pledging all retrofit projects. Community Development Corp
  53. Retrofit Challenge Landing Page Resources and Participation Action Items www.ba-pirc.org/retrofit
  54. Retrofit Challenge Process 1 Action Plan 4 Test Houses & Detail Prototyping 2 Pledge 3 Customize Best Practices 39% 5 Master Specs & Software Library 6 Training 7 Case Studies & BASC Content
  55. Retrofit Challenge Objective Integrate Best Practices into Master Rehab Specifications, bid documents, work write-ups, and scopes of work.(Example from City of Melbourne Community Scale Pilot Study) Language in software library for work write-ups/bid docs
  56. Built-in Systems Engineering Best practices include performance verification (but not ratings) & QA recommendations such as developing feedback loop so staff can confirm performance targets and specs have been met.
  57. Value Tell us what to do. Give us “the list”. Meets stakeholder need originally expressed in field study Incorporates systems engineering and building science concepts into “business as usual” environment Addresses gaps and barriers at the local level Take the Retrofit Challenge!
  58. Major Gap: Contractor Awareness Half-day workshop delivered to SELF contractors 3/2014 Awareness self-assessment pre/post workshop Very familiar Never heard of It
  59. This is what it’s all about – the stakes are high.
  60. Call to Action [Insert statistics on aging population & aging housing stock] [Insert statistics aging in place] Multiple impacts of making existing homes more sustainable Homeowners retaining insurance Disaster resistance Retaining independent lifestyle Homes retain value Health, welfare and quality of life for occupants – what’s more important than that?