Social Interventions: Housing

The use of social interventions in management of carbon dependence is delivering very encouraging results!   A particular attraction is their ability to produce improvements in a wide range of health parameters, often with synergistic effects.


Almost all carbon addict groups will benefit from housing interventions [4],[6]. However, particular gains are seen in those on low incomes, or suffering from cardiovascular or respiratory co-morbidities.[2],[3],[5]

In future, we anticipate a home insulation “step” in the stepwise treatment of asthma, while the impressive results achieved in the Glasgow Heatfest study** have led to calls for an “I for insulation” in the NICE alphabetical guidelines on hypertension.

Although some physicians have chosen to train in cavity wall insulation and roof lagging, others may prefer to refer to specialist services such as Warm Front:, or a local branch of the Energy Saving Trust:


* Typical CO2 savings (in tonnes/year) [4]:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation: 1.74/household
  • Loft Insulation (270mm): 1.25/household
  • Condensing Boiler: 0.88/household

** Improvements to home energy efficiency and heating reduced mean blood pressure from 142/85 to 122/73 in the intervention group, and was associated with reduced hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory disease. [1]