Joe Medosch – Hayward Score – The Business of Healthy Homes

Air Date: 6-28-2019|Episode 552

This week we look forward to a conversation with home performance and IAQ industry veteran Joe Medosch of Hayward Score. Joe is one of the smartest people in the industry and not just book smart, he has been there and done that with almost 30 years of experience as a contractor and 10 as a master trainer. Joe has deep experience in the home performance field, especially in the areas of health and energy-efficiency. His expertise includes building science and diagnostics, IAQ/IEQ assessments and home performance. He has a long history of involvement with the ICC, BPI, RESNET, SMACNA, and ASTM. He has served on numerous committees developing industry standards including: RESNET Standard 380, Equipment Sub-Committee, and BPI multifamily standards development.

Joe is an advocate for updating how home performance work is done and focuses on health of the occupants. He is adamant that we need to find ways to document that home performance improvements not only help with energy but that they treat the home holistically and help improve energy use, comfort and health.

Z-Man’s Blog:

Joe Medosch Hayward Score, the business of healthy homes

Joe Medosch was our guest on this week’s episode of IAQ radio. Joe is widely acknowledged as being one of the smartest people in the industry. He isn’t just book smart, he has been there and done it. Joe’s background has gone full circle. Just relocated in Loveland, CO. Started out as a home inspector IEP, shifting to home performance. Was confused when mentors told him not to worry about mold problems in attics and interstitial spaces because the mold wasn’t affecting occupants because it wasn’t in their breathable area. He disagreed, bought a blower door with which he experimented, and now ties IEQ and home performance together. Joe left energy, because he felt energy was a waste of energy when the actual savings were considered compared to the amount of effort and the health benefits are not acknowledged. Joe met Bill Hayward. After Bill Hayward and his family got sick in their home, Bill set out on a quest to allow occupants to determine if their homes are impacting their health.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

All things can impact health of building occupants.

Evidence based best practices are obtained by documenting what is done and all the effects.

Joe brings to Hayward practical knowledge and experience with buildings which compliments Carl Grimes’ mastery of occupants and what’s going on inside. Carl is an expert at allowing the occupant to determine what is going on inside of a home.

Homes are getting tighter and can cause people to be be more impacted by the chemicals and lack of ventilation.

There’s an energy meter on the wall, with which occupants can measure savings. We need to focus on what are the health benefits of a healthy home and begin to track them. IAQ does not mean a healthy home.Older adult falls are a growing financial burden, the annual cost of falls is over 18 billion.

Business of healthy homes. Kevin Kennedy, Kevin Kennedy, MPH, CIEC, (Dir Environmental Health, Children’s Mercy Hospital) introduced, educates and collaborates on the benefits of healthy homes. Through his clinical analysis has learned that leaky ceilings have greater health impact than pets.

Energy upgrades took 30 years to catch-on. He hopes through social media that the concept of healthy homes will “catch on faster than it hasn’t”.

An IEP can’t just use a “black box” (consumer IAQ monitor device) to fix the problem, especially for a challenged client. Challenged clients want and will pay for more than a 3 visit fix.

The National Center for Healthy Housing , code enforcement, home performance, Building Performance Institute

The “keep it safe principle” of Healthy Housing assesses homes beyond just damage and repair. Try and figure out what’s going on, discuss with occupants. The health symptoms may be home related and may be more than moisture and/or air leakage issue. These homes need more than a one spot fix.

What is a Healthy Home?Healthy Housing is designed, constructed, maintained,and rehabilitated in a manner that is conducive to good occupant health.This definition was used by the surgeon general in the call for action for healthy housing from 2009 and is established and used by HUD, CDC, and EPA.

Healthier Homes as Health Care. Home maintenance is preventative healthcare.

Deferred maintenance costs now mean major repairs later. Lack of maintenance is a source for moisture intrusion.

Generation Z grew up indoors. They lack biodiversity, which impacts their ability to resist disease. The indoor envelope is getting tighter and tighter. Our bio-effluence will be the greatest contaminate in the near future.

Book Recommendation: Never Home Alone  From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live by Rob Dunn. A natural history of the wilderness in our homes, from the microbes in our showers to the crickets in our basements  Chapter seven includes drywall is preloaded with mold spores.

Hayward homes gathers and documents data on attributes, habits, symptomology. Hayward gathers data without HIPAA restrictions. Hayward clearly discloses how they work with contractors. The Hayward questionnaire has 19-20 symptomologies, “does it change when leaving the home?” Multiple issues within a home cause the problem, its not a one-to-one fix.

Hayward Healthy Home’s 5 Principles:

Continuous fresh air, properly sealed and insulated, less toxic materials & products, cleanable surfaces, healthy home habits.

Formaldehyde content has diminished among some building products, formaldehyde is still permitted in structural materials. We didn’t grow up with an awareness of organic foods. Hayward hopes that the same organic awareness of foods will carry over into our homes.

Hayward Lumber is developing an exhaustive lists all of the ingredients, materials and the chemicals in the materials which make up what is in a home.

Hayward Score believes the building occupant is the IAQ receptor. The hope is that building occupants will be as concerned about what’s in their home as they are about what is in their food.

What are we breathing inside your home? Where is the indoor air you breathe coming from? During one clothes dryer load, the dryer exchanges all the air in the home. Static versus dynamic mode. Odors and particulate from factories travel many miles.

What happens after an event and remediation is done according to S-500 or S-520, and the occupants still have concerns? You might consider moving. You would be better-off avoiding known conditions and concerns.

Hayward has a boatload of data.

Renters have less control and more problems.

What Hayward Score users say: I think the air in my home is toxic-mold or something else. It’s hard to breathe and it seems to be getting worse.•When my kids and grand kids visit they seem to have to use their inhalers more frequently than they do at their places of residence.•After basement was redone, I got sick with breathing issues.•Became sick after they put in a new smart meter.•There is a strong sour odor when the air conditioner is on.•Always tired and groggy in the home.•We need to move out of here.

Roughly half of the respondents took action and made changes.

Owners were a little more likely to make change

Follow-up up survey results

Replaced Air Filters 47%

Replaced Vacuums 20%

Reduced Chemical Exposure 28%

Fixed Leaks 24%

Added Air Purifiers 24%

Removed Mold 21%

Other 16%

Removed Carpets 16%

Did Testing 17%

Installed Exhaust Fans 10%

Cleaned Ducts 12%

Completed Maintenance 9%

Added Humidifiers 12%

Added De-Humidifiers 12%

Sealed Crawlspace 6%

Added HRV 2%

Occupants are more complicated than the indoor environment.

Belief of impact. Buildings do not believe, occupants do. When occupants believe there is something wrong, there is something wrong.

“Biodiversity is declining and prevalence of inflammatory disease is increasing.” Kevin Kennedy.

Closing comments:

Energy and performance upgrades don’t just save energy they also positively impact comfort and health.

We need shareable health benefits. “Healthy remodel” will be a new business opportunity and profit center.

Z-Man signing off