Healthy Housing Enacted: A Qualitative Approach to Indoor Environment

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The present exploration is part of a PhD study concerning healthy housing,
a project generated against the background of problems related to damp and
mould in Danish homes. These problems can be caused either by constructional
conditions or by the use of a building. One can say that it is the interaction
between the house and its users that determines whether it is healthy or
not. However, the scientific field of indoor environment research has largely
been addressing single variables in quantitative measures. And even though
behavioural issues have been addressed as one of the main causes of the
problem, this has not been a topic investigated further. Rather, it seems as if
the questions of user issues are sidestepped by a persistent belief that technical
solutions such as mechanical ventilation can solve the problem by itself.
The article explores the interaction of human and non-human actors in the
role of causing the problems, but also in the role of creating and maintaining
a healthy home. It calls for a qualitative approach to the field, engaging with
the participants in their everyday practices, but also being perceptive to the
material, the artefacts, and the inscriptions that are of great significance to
the everyday practices. The article is based on the initial fieldwork conducted
during the autumn of 2015 and reflects the different methods applied to
capture the practices and interaction at play. Some of the interviews included
a walk-through in the apartments, where interviewees demonstrated their
everyday practices, including the handling of windows, ventilation systems,
drying facilities, and other appliances and technologies. The qualitative approach
enables a black-boxed understanding of the phenomena to be opened
up, with the findings illustrating the complexity of housing and public health
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Production of Knowledge : in Architecture by Phd Research in the Nordic Countries
EditorsAnne Elisabeth Toft, Magnus Rönn
Number of pages26
PublisherNordic Academic Press of Architectural Research
Publication date2018
ISBN (Electronic)978-91-983797-2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe Production of Knowledge in Architecture by PhD Research in the Nordic Countries - KTH, Architecture, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 19 May 201620 May 2016


ConferenceThe Production of Knowledge in Architecture by PhD Research in the Nordic Countries
LocationKTH, Architecture
SeriesNAF/NAAR Proceedings Series


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