Climate: Ecosystems + Housing


Indoor environmental quality in Mexican vulnerable housing

Team Leader

Dr. Claudia Eréndira Vázquez-Torres

Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization


What is the name of your solution?

Indoor environmental quality in Mexican vulnerable housing

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Diagnosis and mitigation of the indoor environment in vulnerable housing with a novel construction system that also impact climate change mitigation

What specific problem are you solving?

The recent COVID-19 pandemic and the new social distancing provisions generated the need to increase the time spent in dwellings, forcing their occupants to remain for a prolonged hours indoors, compromising the physical and mental health of the vulnerable areas inhabitants with minimum regulatory spaces in climatic conditions with a normal maximum temperature above 33 °C. Against this background, the need arises to diagnose the indoor environment in dwellings to ensure more favorable conditions. The aim was to answer the following questions: What are the current indoor environment conditions and building materials used in dwellings in vulnerable areas in different climates? How is the improvement of indoor environmental quality related to the use of innovative building systems that also impact climate change mitigation?

This problem affects more than half of the people living in warm climates, making it a global challenge for public health, social equity and climate change mitigation.

What is your solution?

It is proposed to identify the influence elements that determine vulnerable environments in housing development and to conduct monitoring periods to measure the variables related to indoor environmental quality according to the established limits by international standards applicable to the monitoring of indoor spaces. Dwellings with the potential to be monitored will be determined by level of influence and benefit to the greatest number of people. The monitoring period will be carried out in three stages to cover more dwellings. The data obtained will be statistically analysed for an annual energy thermal simulation process to propose building systems and improvement strategies. The findings will be reinforced with experimental modules and finally a projection of the indoor environment quality behavior for dwellings in vulnerable environments in 30, 50, and 100 years will be made to determine the impact of climate change. The results will improve the users quality life in vulnerable environments and strengthen scientific findings on housing, energy and public health for the benefit of society.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

The most disadvantaged people receive the greatest impacts: environmental, social, and public health. The solution focuses on improving indoor environmental quality for housing in vulnerable areas, however, the strategies can be used in social housing at all socioeconomic levels.

The proposed solution will provide scientifically proven strategies and construction systems to improve indoor environment quality with a lower environmental impact and will provide elements for improvements in energy policies with 30, 50, and 100 year projections.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

To determine indoor environmental quality improvement needs in vulnerable housing areas, characterization was conducted to identify vulnerable areas in the central region of Mexico, and for 10 years, social perception interviews have been conducted, which were suspended during the recent pandemic. The proposed solution is in the prototype stage, so the users have not been involved, however, this point is contemplated to be addressed with communication between the team and the users of vulnerable areas to inform, monitor and follow up on the implemented strategies.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Enable mass production of inexpensive and low-carbon housing, including changes to design, materials, and construction methods.

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

León, Guanajuato, México

Our solution's stage of development:


How many people does your solution currently serve?


Why are you applying to Solve?

The main objective in applying is not only to obtain resources for monitoring teams, but also to network with experts to enrich the positive impact of the proposed solution, and to obtain support in analyzing the results.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Claudia Eréndira Vázquez Torres

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

The proposed solution is innovative because it includes social perceptions of the outcomes and includes 30, 50, and 100 year projections of climate change impact using the proposed novel building system, so it is expected to provide elements to mitigate the impact of climate change on vulnerable housing according to different climate zones. It is also expected to contribute elements in favor of energy policies with less environmental impact on Mexico.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

The goal for the following year is to implement the innovative solution in at least 4 more houses, and to measure the results and user perceptions. To achieve this goal, the team contacted users of vulnerable housing in the central region of Mexico, interested in improving their quality of life by improving the indoor environment conditions in their homes.

With these results, we hope for the next 5 years to adjust the construction system and increase the impact, supervision and advice to users. To achieve this objective, part of the additional resources will be used to acquire measuring devices to cover a larger number of homes. During this period, it is expected that any uncertainties that arise will be resolved and it is proposed to disseminate the knowledge acquired, for which international public and private institutions will be contacted to exchange knowledge.

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Initial 30, 50, and 100 year projections indicated that with the proposed solution, carbon levels in the indoor environment of the homes tested increased less than without using the proposed solution. It is expected to reinforce climate change mitigation and increase the social impact.

What is your theory of change?

Taking measurements in dwellings already generates an impact on experimental information that we do not currently have according to climates present in developing countries. In the short term, the impact will be on the increase of experimental data. In the medium term, the impact will increase its scope with strategies that directly benefit the population in vulnerable conditions, and in the long term the impact will be quantitative with experimentation on the same houses with the strategies incorporated into the daily lives of people living in vulnerable situations.

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Calibrated and validated onset or similar data loggers will be used for residential measurements, and artificial intelligence supported by thermal simulation software such as Design Builder and Energy Plus will be used for 30-, 50- and 100-year scenarios.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Materials Science

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13. Climate Action

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Mexico

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Mexico
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Not registered as any organization

How many people work on your solution team?


How long have you been working on your solution?


What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

The objectives of the project are oriented to meet the needs of indoor air quality for vulnerable dwellings, to provide equal opportunities for all users and equity in a healthy indoor environment.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

As this is not a for-profit project, but rather with the purpose of developing solutions that bring benefits to the most vulnerable society, professional services provided in the first stage correspond to the evaluation of the current state of vulnerable housing, then monitoring and evaluating strategies that contribute to a healthy indoor environmental quality, and finally, 30, 50, and 100 years of prospection offered to evaluate the solutions offered and their performance according to different climate change scenarios.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

No financial support received. The equipment used has been financed by the project participants.

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

The financing has worked because each member has professional jobs. However, the scope of the project requires a business plan with external participation.

Solution Team

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