Health issues connected with Sick Building Syndrome in New Zealand have received prominence as more medical claims come forward from people with health problems linked to leaky, mouldy and damp buildings. It’s a pressing national issue already highlighted by BRANZ through air quality studies conducted in New Zealand homes and schools and also as a huge and costly problem for the NZ economy.
Sub-par building practices have been largely blamed for leaky building problems but the use of “cheaper, uncertified building products and materials are also a lurking culprit,” claims David Baggs, CEO and Program Director of the Global GreenTag product certification system who will be presenting on November 2 a workshop at Auckland Build 2017 on the issue.
Early this year, Global GreenTag introduced onto the market a new Product Health DeclarationTM (PhD) tool that will be of great value to New Zealand building professionals on future projects and be taking sick building issues – head on. David is going to be showing Auckland Build how the new product health tool will help professionals:
- Make distinctions confidently between products that are safer for human health and those that are not.
- Communicate health related product decisions to clients and building occupiers with a lot more ease for everyone’s peace of mind.
Unfortunately, says David, leaky buildings and their negative health impacts – most prominently asthma – are just one issue that can be product linked. Sick Building Syndrome is everywhere. “As building product certifiers, we have known for a long time that product toxicity found in buildings is a very real cause behind a range of human health problems – even to unborn babies – including cancer, hormone disruption, asthma, allergies, chronic fatigue and many other toxicity related illnesses.”
An ‘indoor environment’ study, published last year by the American Chemical Society, found a concerning combination of chemicals present and leaching or gassing off from products that people take in daily through their skin and airways in a range of typical indoor scenarios.
“It would help greatly if more governments mandated strict product certification to help curb the problem of sub-par building products becoming health issues – but the solutions are there,” says David.
GreenTag’s PhD is the first health transparency tool globally to assess the health impacts of the final product – and not just the hazards of the ingredients. At Auckland Build, David will expand further on:
- How products will be rated under the PhD tool
- How the tool will work with building rating schemes like the Green Building Council of New Zealand’s Green Star tool as well as support designers attempting to rate projects through other rating tools with a health focus.
- How building professionals will be able to use the tool in other ways to their advantage.
David Baggs will be speaking at Auckland Build 2017 on November 2 from 1:20 pm – 2:10 pm Workshop Area 02