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Is maintenance the missing link?

We do not all breathe the same quality air!

The health impact of indoor air quality has become starkly apparent as a result of Covid. At the same time, the airtightness of homes is increasing to cut heat loss, whatever the source of heat.

What is happening in our homes?

Recent research at the University of Sheffield, focusing on low-rent housing association homes, has explored how fresh air is maintained in low-energy homes. Ventilation maintenance is a critical practice affecting the intersection between healthy indoor air and minimising heat loss.

Findings reveal that multiple practices through the lifecycle of homes, from design through to development and housing management, are frequently obstructing the maintenance of ventilation. The evidence indicates that this can compromise both air quality and energy use.

Take a look at a brief summary of the findings below. I would love to hear from you if you would like to find out more about the research or discuss how you can put the findings into practice.

Low energy houses

About me

I have been curious and passionate about housing and homes for as long as I can remember.


As escalating climate change threatens the future of life on earth, exploring more deeply how our homes contribute to carbon emissions, and especially how we can tackle this reality, has become a driver for me.


A career in housing associations in Yorkshire, seeking to build and manage truly affordable, sustainable homes, has led me to investigate how we could do this better, achieving low energy use in homes that have healthy air to breathe.


So this research project was born.

Get in touch with me if you would like to find out more about my research or how I can help you to apply the findings in your practice.

Dr Jenny Brierley

Please contact me here
or email

Thank you for contacting me.

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