Doesn’t That Just Kill Green Housing And Passivhaus? Indoor CO2 Kills

It is a major part of the Green New Deal and all such atttempts to make the world safe from climate change. Housing must be properly insulated, there must be none of that movement of air from outside to inside – nor vice versa. Because only then will we be using our own body heat to warm up a place. If there’s those openings to the Great Outside then we’ll end up boiling Flipper in those fumes from the last ice floe.

This is all something of a problem because us human beings do in fact breath out carbon dioxide. It’s one of the things that defines us as animal life. And CO2 internal to buildings and housing kills:

Indoor carbon dioxide levels could be a health hazard, scientists warn
CO2 in bedrooms and offices may affect cognition and cause kidney and bone problems

‘Tis a bit of a problem, isn’t it?

Traditionally, the team say, it had been thought that CO2 levels would need to reach a very high concentration of at least 5,000 parts per million (ppm) before they would affect human health. But a growing body of research suggests CO2 levels as low as 1,000ppm could cause health problems, even if exposure only lasts for a few hours. The team say crowded or poorly ventilated classrooms, office environments and bedrooms have all been found to have levels of CO2 that exceed 1,000ppm, and are spaces that people often remain in for many hours at a time. Air-conditioned trains and planes have also been found to exceed 1,000ppm.

No, this doesn’t mean that climate change is the problem. We’re nowhere near the levels in general where this does become a problem. Rather, it’s our reaction to climate change which is that problem. Because we’re sealing off our indoor space, not allowing ventilation to happen. All to save on those heating and cooling expenses, d’ye see?

The lesson of this research is that Green housing is killing us. We’d better stop building it then, eh? For we need more old style housing with leaky windows…..

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The Mole
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The Mole

Coming to building regs soon – you must have a tree inside your house.

I wonder if any enterprising office plant suppliers are using this in their pitches as to why companies should put plants round their offices?

Leo Savantt
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Leo Savantt

CO2 levels at 1,000 parts per million is normal inside buildings. There is an enormous amount of unbiased research and experimentation that has been going on for decades that clearly show 5,000 and even 7,000 parts per million has no negative effect. Submariners and astronauts have been expertly monitored in high CO2 environments by real scientists, who without an AGW agenda or funding line, have stuck to science, avoiding politicised fear-mongering. To put things in perspective, 1,000 parts per million is just one tenth of one percent, the rest of the air breathed is then 99.9% being made up of… Read more »

Dodgy Geezer
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Dodgy Geezer

If you don’t ventilate you will indeed feel stuffy as the CO2 and water vapour build up. But well before you get discomfort from this you will enter the environment where black mould growth is optimal. And spores from this can cause health problems.

There is a reason that people were happy with leaky homes….

Boganboy
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Boganboy

To increase the panic, let me point out that dreadful radon can also accumulate if the insulation and sealing of the house is too good. If you believe in the linear no-threshold hypothesis, you’ll quake in terror at the thought of what it’ll do to you.

Since I’m not a believer, I’d say ‘Don’t worry.’

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

I blame the modern tendency to keep all house windows permanently closed for the rise in asthma and allergic reactions to stuff.

nae a belger
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nae a belger

If Passivhaus doesn’t come with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery then this might happen. However MVHR is part of the implementation rather than the actual specification so you can get a green/passive house without it and all the issues mentioned will arise but generally it shouldn’t.
Passivhaus is however an economic question. What is the actual payback period for the work required and is it actually worthwhile? Even most building mags (Self Build, Homebuilding and Renovating, Build It, Grand Designs etc) advocate an economic analysis as well. In most cases a slightly lower airtightness etc is more sensible.