“Only not the first and not the last floor” - this is what we say when buying a new apartment. Is there really an environmentally friendly floor?

Do not offer the first and last: which floor is better to live on, experts say

About mold and harmful bacteria 

Molds and pathogenic bacteria are a serious threat to allergy sufferers and asthmatics. But even healthy people can suffer. Harmful microorganisms feel great on the first floors of old houses. Air circulation is disturbed, and excess moisture is created due to damp basements and shading by trees.


Contact the city services: these trees need to be pruned or cut down, and in order not to be left without greenery , plant young one-year-olds or shrub plants in their place - they will not soon grow to a dangerous size. 


Remember that in old houses, fungi and bacteria live in concrete floors. When repairing, it is useful to pickle them with antiseptics, and at the same time change the screed and plaster.


In newer houses, where there is a ventilation shaft, as a rule, there is good air circulation. In such an atmosphere, fungi and microbes do not heal. But if one of the neighbors, making repairs, suddenly decides to block the ventilation, then allergy sufferers and asthmatics will have a hard time. 


Keep in mind: blocking the ventilation is prohibited, so look for the culprit and sue.


On a note. In Russia, the first and last floors are unpopular. In the US, apartments above the 10th floor are noticeably growing in price. In the EU countries, floors above the 6th are considered non-prestigious and non-environmental, so elite houses have 5-6 floors. But the higher, the warmer: when it is -20°С on the 1st floor, -17°С on the 16th floor. However, those who do not have a real winter will not understand this.


Night light or day darkness

The 1st-4th floors of old houses are usually covered with tree crowns. Lack of daylight is a significant disadvantage only for older people who do not leave the house. Active and healthy is not a hindrance. 

Experts generally sound the alarm: there is too much ... light in our apartments, meaning that even at night the rooms are poorly darkened. The light of advertising, street lamps, headlights of cars penetrates through the curtains. In medicine, even a term appeared: light smog. It shortens life by several years, increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease and metabolic syndrome by 40-60%. 

We need darkness. The fact is that only at night, in complete darkness, from midnight to 4 in the morning, 70% of the important hormone melatonin is synthesized, which regulates circadian rhythms, is responsible for immunity, reduces stress and anxiety, and protects against cancer. How to solve a problem? Hang thick dark curtains on the windows, under which it would be nice to add blinds.

On a note. 50% of the population in developed countries lives with light smog. Every year it increases in different cities by 6-12%. It's not just people who suffer: light smog leads migratory birds astray and interferes with the orientation of insects. One street lamp kills 150 moths and similar nocturnal insects every day.

Noise curtain

Street noise is one of the main enemies of the city dweller. Evolution created our body, including the organs of hearing , in the expectation that we will live in an environment of quiet sounds of medium frequency: the noise of the forest, water, wind in the field ... And instead, car horns, crowd noise, loud music. From the constant urban hum, there is a sound overload, or the so-called noise pollution. 

According to the WHO, over 120 million people in the world suffer from hearing loss because of it. According to some studies, noise pollution increases the risk of myocardial infarction to about the same extent as passive smoking. And if you can close your eyes, then there is often no escape from noise even in your own bedroom! 

How to be? Noise maps compiled by environmentalists show that some noises take the shortest path, while others take the reflected path. Start from real conditions. 

In the courtyard, the noisiest floors are from the 1st to the 3rd, whose residents are especially affected by car alarms that went off at night and too noisy passers-by. If the windows overlook a busy street or construction site, then the hum is heard even by those who live on the 5th-8th floors.

Most of the noise enters the apartment through the windows. Even if you just close them tightly, the sounds immediately become noticeably smaller. Modern double-glazed windows block up to 80% of street noise. For safety net, you can put special anti-noise windows (frames). They have a special lattice design that reflects the sound wave back and forth and thereby dampens it.

You can also try to protect yourself and loved ones with soundproofing. On the facade wall, it will save you from street noise, and on the floor, ceiling and inter-wall partitions, it will isolate you from sounds from neighboring apartments. Various mineral materials are used for this (for example, basalt wool and cork).

On a note. Noise is a major environmental problem for many Europeans. 80 million people live in traffic noise levels exceeding 65 dB daily. Noise of 60 dB or less is recognized as safe for hearing. Today they are trying to protect us from the rumble of the motorway with special noise-insulating screens (there are such screens on the ring road).

Given the walls

There is evidence that concrete walls direct electromagnetic radiation upwards, that is, the higher the floor, the higher the total background. In brick or brick-monolithic houses, this effect is not observed. As for the radiation from cell towers and power lines, it spreads quite evenly, slightly weakening on the 1st-2nd floors. However, we must not forget that it is not the signal from the cell tower that is dangerous for a person, but the radiation of the phone itself at the time of the conversation.

Increased radiation can occur on the first floors if the ceiling with the basement is broken in them. Radon, a radioactive gas that is naturally released from the ground, can rise through microcracks. In the open air, it is not dangerous, but in the basement it is concentrated. In Moscow houses, this problem has been practically solved, but on the periphery it is unlikely. Therefore, it would be good to get the local authorities to securely fill all the cracks in the basement with cement. 

Another common problem in urban apartments is air pollution associated with the release of harmful substances from furniture and finishing materials.Particularly dangerous to humans are phenol and formaldehyde , which can be emitted by newly purchased chipboard furniture and laminated parquet (laminate). Such products are most toxic during the first six months. However, according to research, all these hazards practically do not penetrate through inter-apartment walls and ceilings if there are no cracks in them. And from this point of view, the floor does not solve anything.

On a note. The ideal floors are from the 3rd to the 6th in a house surrounded on one side by a park and on the other by a pond. The distance from power lines should be 20–50 m, depending on the voltage, from the road - 200 m, from a nightclub - at least 50 m.