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Type: Journal article
Title: The Thermal Environment of Housing and Its Implications for the Health of Older People in South Australia: A Mixed-Methods Study
Author: Hansen, A.
Williamson, T.
Pisaniello, D.
Bennetts, H.
Arakawa Martins, L.
van Hoof, J.
Visvanathan, R.
Zuo, J.
Soebarto, V.
Citation: Atmosphere, 2022; 13(1):96-1-96-22
Publisher: MDPI AG
Issue Date: 2022
ISSN: 2073-4433
Statement of
Alana Hansen, TerenceWilliamson, Dino Pisaniello, Helen Bennetts, Joost van Hoof, Larissa Arakawa Martins, Renuka Visvanathan, Jian Zuo and Veronica Soebarto
Abstract: Older people are often over-represented in morbidity and mortality statistics associated with hot and cold weather, despite remaining mostly indoors. The study “Improving thermal environment of housing for older Australians” focused on assessing the relationships between the indoor environment, building characteristics, thermal comfort and perceived health/wellbeing of older South Australians over a study period that included the warmest summer on record. Our findings showed that indoor temperatures in some of the houses reached above 35 °C. With concerns about energy costs, occupants often use adaptive behaviours to achieve thermal comfort instead of using cooling (or heating), although feeling less satisfied with the thermal environment and perceiving health/wellbeing to worsen at above 28 °C (and below 15 °C). Symptoms experienced during hot weather included tiredness, shortness of breath, sleeplessness and dizziness, with coughs and colds, painful joints, shortness of breath and influenza experienced during cold weather. To express the influence of temperature and humidity on perceived health/wellbeing, a Temperature Humidity Health Index (THHI) was developed for this cohort. A health/wellbeing perception of “very good” is achieved between an 18.4 °C and 24.3 °C indoor operative temperature and a 55% relative humidity. The evidence from this research is used to inform guidelines about maintaining home environments to be conducive to the health/wellbeing of older people.
Keywords: health andwellbeing; older people; housing; thermal comfort; indoor temperature; Australia
Description: Published: 8 January 2022
Rights: Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).
DOI: 10.3390/atmos13010096
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Appears in Collections:Architecture publications

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