Lester supports healthy home technology
March 21, 2019
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says he would ‘love’ to see devices which measure heat and humidity in all of the city’s state homes.
Speaking at the first in a series of events entitled ‘Our City Tomorrow’ at Wellington’s City Gallery, Lester showed his support for the ‘fantastic’ technology created by local start-up Whare Hauora.
“I’d love to see this in all of our country’s homes over time and I’d love to see this in all of the state houses in Wellington,” said Lester.
The devices, called ‘Whare Sensors’ collect temperature and humidity readings from each room of a home then send the information to a smartphone or computer.
The aim is to collect data from as many households as possible across New Zealand to compare to World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for healthy homes.
Data sets will then be sold to district health boards, government departments and other organisations so they can better allocate funding to support housing developments.
Whare Hauora chief executive Hiria Te Rangi said the technology was a way to ‘shine a light’ and ‘make transparent’ the often substandard quality of homes in New Zealand.
As well as temperature and humidity, Whare Sensors can detect issues such as mould growth, dust mite population and environmental effects on respiratory illnesses.
“People can make decisions on what they can see instead of doing it by fee. All that data with the underlying temperature and humidity can be used as evidence.”
WHO guidelines stipulate that houses should be between 18c and 21c. Research published in 2010 by the Building Research Association (BRANZ) found the average temperature of NZ living rooms was 17.8c.
The University of Otago’s housing and health research programme estimates about 1600 people die each winter in NZ due to substandard housing.
“I don’t know why 1600 deaths are allowed,” said Te Rangi.