House with open windows for ventilation

Natural ventilation in homes – a qualitative exploration of behaviours and an intervention for change

28 November 2022

Ventilation behaviour in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) is an under-researched area, despite the benefits that ventilation may have on occupant respiratory health. Most NZ homes rely on natural ventilation, i.e. window opening, which in turn relies on occupants to control ventilation. To understand how and to what extent people ventilate their homes, and ways in which ventilation can be improved, we will carry out a three-stage project.

  • Firstly, we will explore previously collected data, from 700 – 1000 participants across three Health Research Council (HRC) funded studies to identify the patterns of ventilation that are most closely associated with reduced indoor humidity and low indoor mould levels.
  • Secondly, we will deepen our understanding of ventilation behaviour in homes by conducting qualitative interviews with housing assessors and with whānau living in homes with known dampness issues.
  • Lastly, using the knowledge gained, we will pilot and evaluate a low-cost intervention aimed at improving ventilation behaviours.