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How do you determine if a building material is not only a better choice for the planet, but also for the wellbeing of the people whose home you are designing?

  • ‘Sustainable’ doesn’t always mean ‘healthy’.

  • A material that supports an energy efficient home isn’t always the best choice for human health, or the environment.

  • Once you’ve considered mould susceptibility, it’s important to consider if the material might have other unintended health consequences.

In this presentation, Zara D’Cotta, Building Biology New Build Consultant and Founder of The Healthy Home, will share what criteria to consider to assess a building material for health and environmental impacts, the advantages and disadvantages of three commonly used building materials, and why context is so important when making building material choices.


Learning outcomes

  • List the key criteria that need to be considered when assessing the health and environmental impacts of building materials.

  • Explain why the context in which a material is used is such an important consideration.

  • Identify characteristics of building materials that may increase the likelihood of condensation and mould in the built environment.

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of three commonly used building materials.