Health warnings for buildings?

Draughts. Uninsulated building fabric and unaffordable heating. Condensation. Mould growth. Poor indoor air quality and inadequate ventilation. Summer overheating.


Nobody likes to say it and nobody wants to hear it, but buildings can be very bad for our health. With extremes of weather come a rise in the number of deaths. Our changing climate means more extremes of weather, more often.

It's perfectly possible to construct buildings resilient enough to face this oncoming challenge, but the sad truth is that few are. There shouldn't be an excuse, but that's a post for another time. The even greater challenge is retrofitting existing buildings in a sensitive and holistic way to provide them with that resiliency.

I'm not a smoker, and nobody I spend any time with smokes, so I'm almost never exposed to cigarette packaging. I saw a discarded packet on the ground the other day and was reminded of the graphic images of diseases and smoking-related illnesses put on the front of boxes. It's some ten years since the measure was introduced, though written warnings had been around for decades before that.

It got me wondering: what if you went to view a house and there was a warning on the estate agent's advert, or even mounted on the front door, telling you the property would be bad for your health?