www.sefindia.org

STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING FORUM OF INDIA [SEFI]

 Forum SubscriptionsSubscriptions DigestDigest Preferences   FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister FAQSecurity Tips FAQDonate
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log in to websiteLog in to websiteLog in to websiteLog in to forum 
Warning: Make sure you scan the downloaded attachment with updated antivirus tools  before opening them. They may contain viruses.
Use online scanners
here and here to upload downloaded attachment to check for safety.

Are Our Buildings Safe to live?

 
Post new topicReply to topic Thank Post    www.sefindia.org Forum Index -> Speak Out Box
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Dr. N. Subramanian
General Sponsor
General Sponsor


Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Posts: 5307
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:13 pm    Post subject: Are Our Buildings Safe to live? Reply with quote

Are Our Buildings Safe to live?

After World War II, new houses were rapidly built in Germany to accommodate the growing population. Studies of these new houses found an unusual patterns of illnesses. It was concluded that these patterns could be attributed to the rapid construction of the buildings. The rapid construction had given materials insufficient time to outgas various volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and these VOCs instead harmed the occupants. Many modern homes, at least in Western countries are sealed units, with closed doors and windows(because of central heating and air-conditioning systems) and make people sick. In addition to air-tight windows and door, plastic vapour barriers, concrete floors,insulation foam, and impermeable layers of plastic paints and adhesives wrap-up the building tightly that the house can not breathe. Inside this sealed system of housing, stale air and chemical vapours are continuously building-up until they reach concentrations that can cause disease. It has to be noted that the natural materials like untreated wood, brick, etc. that we have used in the past, have been replaced by, or treated with synthetics. Not only they emit potentially harmful vapours, but also it is not possible to recycle them and hence such materials add to the burden of pollution.

We are also bombarded with electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and static, both from high-voltage power lines and also from domestic electricity, appliances, computers, cell phones and synthetic materials. EMF radiation may emanate from the ground too, and when disturbed by underground faults and streams it can be a source of a disease called geopathic stress. Studies conducted in 1920s in Germany by Dr Manfred Curry and Dr Ernst Hartmann suggested that some illnesses are linked to "Earth Radiation" and said that EM from the ground runs in a grid or net, and sites where two grids cross are the most hazardous to personal health. ( It may be of interest to note that "Earth Radiation" was not accepted as a scientific field of study and is considered to be pseudoscience). The illness is also attributable to problems with the electrical systems of the homes.

From these discoveries a study began in earnest among a few individuals to catalog and characterize these VOCs. What emerged was a Standard of Baubiologie Method of Testing, with recommended threshold guidelines for sleeping areas, where one is most susceptible and spends a large amount of time. Prof. Anton Schneider, Wolfgang Maes did pioneering work and established the Institut für Baubiologie und Nachhaltigkeit (IBN) in 1976 in Germany and started a training system in Building Biology. The 'Building-biological Measuring Standard'(see above) relies on physiological impact on biological systems, when determining threshold values. This is in difference to most government standards that use thermal impact (for microwaves) and other quantifiable measures, as advised by the relevant industries. This explains, why the recommended threshold values of the Building-biological Measuring standard are considerably lower than the values advised by government standards.

Helmut Ziehe introduced Building Biology to the United States. In 1987, he founded the International Institute of Building Biologie and Ecology (IBE) (Building Biology | hbelc.org) in Florida which presently offers seminars in building biology . Similar institutes were established in New Zealand by Reinhard Kanuka-Fuchs (from 2000 headed by Alexander Greig) and architect Sydney A. Baggs in Australia. The original training then slowly evolved into an on-line course "Certificate in Ecological Building and Design" This new course was edited and compiled mainly by Jenny Rattenbury.

Infants, the elderly, and the immuno-compromised are most affected by indoor air quality. Some people become environmentally hypersensitive, and although conventional medicine suggests that the problem(s) may be psychological, there is growing acceptance that there is an environmental cause. One aspect of this problem is known as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

As mentioned earlier, indoor air quality (IAQ) can be affected by gases (including carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds), particulates, microbial contaminants (mold, bacteria), or any mass or energy stressor that can induce adverse health conditions. Source control, filtration and the use of ventilation to dilute contaminants are the primary methods for improving indoor air quality in most buildings. Residential units can further improve indoor air quality by routine cleaning of carpets and area rugs.Determination of IAQ involves the collection of air samples, monitoring human exposure to pollutants, collection of samples on building surfaces, and computer modelling of air flow inside buildings.Indoor air pollution in developing nations is a major health hazard[1]. A major source of indoor air pollution in developing countries is the burning of biomass (e.g. wood, charcoal, dung, or crop residue) for heating and cooking[2]. The resulting exposure to high levels of particulate matter resulted in between 1.5 million and 2 million deaths in 2000.

Effect of Indoor Plants

Houseplants together with the medium in which they are grown can reduce components of indoor air pollution, particularly volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as benzene, toluene, and xylene. Plants remove CO2 and release oxygen and water, although the quantitative impact for house plants is small.The effect of house plants on VOC concentrations was investigated in one study, done in a static chamber, by NASA for possible use in space colonies. The results showed that the removal of the challenge chemicals was roughly equivalent to that provided by the ventilation that occurred in a very energy efficient dwelling with a very low ventilation rate, an air exchange rate of about 1/10 per hour. Therefore, air leakage in most homes, and in non-residential buildings too, will generally remove the chemicals faster than the researchers reported for the plants tested by NASA. The most effective household plants reportedly included aloe vera, English ivy, and Boston fern for removing chemicals and biological compounds.

Plants also appear to reduce airborne microbes, molds, and increase humidity. However, the increased humidity can itself lead to increased levels of mold and even VOCs.While results do indicate house plants may be effective at removing some VOCs from air supplies, a review of studies between 1989 and 2006 on the performance of houseplants as air cleaners, presented at the Healthy Buildings 2009 conference in Syracuse, NY, concluded "...indoor plants have little, if any, benefit for removing indoor air of VOC in residential and commercial buildings."

Since high humidity is associated with increased mold growth, allergic responses, and respiratory responses, the presence of additional moisture from houseplants may not be desirable in all indoor settings.

HVAC design

One way of quantitatively ensuring the health of indoor air is by the frequency of effective turnover of interior air by replacement with outside air. In the UK, for example, classrooms are required to have 2.5 outdoor air changes per hour. In halls, gym, dining, and physiotherapy spaces, the ventilation should be sufficient to limit carbon dioxide to 1,500 ppm. In the USA, and according to ASHRAE Standards, ventilation in classrooms is based on the amount of outdoor air per occupant plus the amount of outdoor air per unit of floor area, not air changes per hour. Since carbon dioxide indoors comes from occupants and outdoor air, the adequacy of ventilation per occupant is indicated by the concentration indoors minus the concentration outdoors. The value of 615 ppm above the outdoor concentration indicates approximately 15 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per adult occupant doing sedentary office work where outdoor air contains 385 ppm, the current global average atmospheric CO2 concentration. In classrooms, the requirements in the ASHRAE standard 62.1, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, would typically result in about 3 air changes per hour, depending on the occupant density. Of course the occupants aren't the only source of pollutants, so outdoor air ventilation may need to be higher when unusual or strong sources of pollution exist indoors. When outdoor air is polluted, then bringing in more outdoor air can actually worsen the overall quality of the indoor air and exacerbate some occupant symptoms related to outdoor air pollution. Generally, outdoor country air is better than indoor city air. Exhaust gas leakages can occur from furnace metal exhaust pipes that lead to the chimney when there are leaks in the pipe and the pipe gas flow area diameter has been reduced.

The use of air filters can trap some of the air pollutants. The Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy section wrote "[Air] Filtration should have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 13 as determined by ASHRAE 52.2-1999." Air filters are used to reduce the amount of dust that reaches the wet coils. Dust can serve as food to grow molds on the wet coils and ducts and can reduce the efficiency of the coils. In addition, high humidities give rise to mold growth and moisture indoors is associated with a higher prevalence of occupant respiratory problems.


Research

A variety of scientists work in the field of indoor air quality including chemists, physicists, mechanical engineers, biologists, bacteriologists and computer scientists. Some of these professionals are certified by organisations such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American Indoor Air Quality Council and the Indoor Environmental Air Quality Council.

On the international level, the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ), formed in 1991, organises two major conferences, the Indoor Air and the Healthy Buildings series.[38] ISIAQ's journal Indoor Air is published 6 times a year and contains peer-reviewed scientific papers with an emphasis on interdisciplinary studies including exposure measurements, modeling, and health outcomes
Conclusion

In conclusion, we need three ‘breathable’ skins to our health. Our skin is vital to our health and comfort. It maintains our body temperature, moisture, and bioelectrical balance owing to its capacity to breathe. It is important that our second skin-our cloths-are also able to breathe in order to keep us healthy. Finally, our third skin- that is our homes- should also be made breathable in order to provide healthy indoor environment!


References

1. Bruce, N; Perez-Padilla, R; Albalak, R (2000). "Indoor air pollution in developing countries: a major environmental and public health challenge.". Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol. 78, No.9, pp.1078–92.

2. Ezzati M, Kammen DM (Nov. 2002). "The health impacts of exposure to indoor air pollution from solid fuels in developing countries: knowledge, gaps, and data needs". Environ Health Perspect., Vol 110, No.11, pp. 1057–68.

3. Indoor air quality - Wikipedia
4. http://www.thebreathablehome.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
B.V.Harsoda
Bronze Sponsor
Bronze Sponsor


Joined: 19 Jan 2009
Posts: 2293
Location: RAJKOT,GUJARAT, INDIA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RERA to be implemented from May 1: Here are the benefits buyers must know

India's real estate sector has been marred by inordinate project delays and poor quality of construction. Last year, the government had announced the much-awaited regulator for the realty sector.
If you plan to buy a home, you should wait until May 1, 2017 as Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) will be implemented from this day.

According to experts, implementation of RERA is likely to bring in transparency in the sector. RERA will protect the interest of the homebuyer and ensure timely delivery of projects.
Under the Act, builders have to deposit 70 per cent of the collected amount in an escrow account to ensure that money is not diverted from one project to another. There will be fines and penalties if the developer does not adhere to delivery guidelines.
Moreover, regulatory bodies and appellate tribunals have to be set up in each state to solve builder-buyer disputes within 120 days. Besides, promoters will not be able to change a project's design without buyers' consent, and carpet area will carry a uniform definition - a common reason for builder-buyer disputes.
Here are six ways in which homebuyers stand to benefit from RERA, which will come into force from May 1:
1)Escrow account: The developer will have to transfer 70 per cent money received from home buyers to an escrow account. "This money will be withdrawn as per the stages of construction, approved by engineers and chartered accountants of builders. This will prevent developers from using the money raised for one project for any other project," Narendra Kumar, Advocate on Record, Supreme Court, said at a recent conference on 'Real Estate Sector Post Remonetisation & RERA,' organised by the PHDCCI.
2)Pay for what you get: The buyer will pay only for the carpet area (area within walls). The builder can't charge for the super built-up area, as is the practice at present, where you get 900-1,000 sq. ft. carpet area if you book a 1,300 sq. ft. house (the rest is balconies and common spaces). The new law is expected to stop this practice.
3)Clearances before selling: Developers will be able to sell projects only after the necessary clearances. Under RERA, builders and agents will have to register themselves with the regulator and get all projects with more than eight apartments registered before launch. This will take care of common malpractices such as selling property before getting the necessary clearances. The builder will also have to disclose every detail about the project - number of apartments, carpet area, etc.
4) Five-year warranty: The builder will have to provide for any structural defect in the building for five years. However, the law doesn't define structural defect clearly, which may lead to disputes between builders and home buyers, says Gaurav of HKJ & Associates.
5) Will property prices increase after the implementation of RERA?
According to Pankaj Kapoor, MD, Liases Foras, "Property prices are not connected to RERA. It is determined by demand and supply in the market. Given the scenario right now, I do not think prices will see a correction after the implementation of RERA. However, margins are expected to increase because of lower cost of construction and developers will be in a position to pass the benefits to customers."

6) Role of states: Although RERA is a central law, its implementation will depend on state governments, as real estate is a state subject.
Though RERA promises to bring transparency in the real estate sector, dilution of the Act at the state level is a cause for concern. A few state governments have done away with application of the Act on under-construction properties, while the Central Act clearly states it has to apply to both under-construction and new projects. "I believe the government made their intention very clear when RERA was passed, as they (state government) can only increase but not reduce provisions from here," says Kapoor.

Source:
  
http://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/rera-real-estate-regulation-development-act-may-1-home-buyers-real-estate/story/250385.html



Warning: Make sure you scan the downloaded attachment with updated antivirus tools  before opening them. They may contain viruses.
Use online scanners
here and here to upload downloaded attachment to check for safety.
Microsoft Word - 2616gi.pdf
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  Microsoft Word - 2616gi.pdf
 Filesize:  281.79 KB
 Downloaded:  214 Time(s)

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
B.V.Harsoda
Bronze Sponsor
Bronze Sponsor


Joined: 19 Jan 2009
Posts: 2293
Location: RAJKOT,GUJARAT, INDIA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RARA Act


Warning: Make sure you scan the downloaded attachment with updated antivirus tools  before opening them. They may contain viruses.
Use online scanners
here and here to upload downloaded attachment to check for safety.
201616.pdf
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  201616.pdf
 Filesize:  214.82 KB
 Downloaded:  212 Time(s)

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topicReply to topic Thank Post    www.sefindia.org Forum Index -> Speak Out Box All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


© 2003, 2008 SEFINDIA, Indian Domain Registration
Publishing or acceptance of an advertisement is neither a guarantee nor endorsement of the advertiser's product or service. advertisement policy