Health implications of conventional planning/design strategies on occupants of contemporary residential buildings in the hot-humid tropical environment

Abstract

The wholesome embracing of conventional planning/design strategies with the resultant contemporary residential buildings by most people in the developing countries has led to the abandonment of the vernacular/traditional building design strategies and concepts, resulting in predominance of peculiar building forms that do not factor in necessary environment considerations in their designs. Consequently, these compact buildings, in addition to other design issues, have been found to be poorly ventilated, due to the prevailing common window type in use, which necessitates reliance on non-dependable mechanical devices for improved indoor air quality. The resultant effect is incessant indoor air pollution with the attendant health implications on occupants of the buildings. This has hitherto never been thought of in the designs. This study therefore examines the health implications of conventional planning/design strategies on residents of these buildings in the hot-humid tropical environment of Enugu, Nigeria. Questionnaire surveys were conducted, and logistic regression used to compare the level of health symptoms experienced by occupants of these buildings with those in buildings with traditional/other strategies. The findings show that some design decisions and residents’ indoor activities account for pollutions within the buildings; this ultimately affect occupants’ health. Residents of conventional planning/design strategy buildings, exhibited more symptoms of the various health challenges associated with the buildings. Recommendations were made for future buildings.

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Correspondence to Chuba O. Odum.

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Odum, C.O., Ezezue, A.M. Health implications of conventional planning/design strategies on occupants of contemporary residential buildings in the hot-humid tropical environment. J Hous and the Built Environ (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-020-09769-x

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Keywords

  • Residential buildings
  • Hot-humid tropical environment
  • Indoor air quality
  • Indoor air pollution
  • Poor ventilation
  • Health symptoms
  • Global south
  • Enugu, Nigeria