Joint Statement – Healthy Buildings for All

28 / 10 / 2021

Put people’s health and well-being at the center of EU built environment

28/10/2021 – The informal Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Gathering brings together European industry associations, which represent companies involved in technical building systems and their maintenance. Our objective is to collectively promote healthy buildings through an adequate level of indoor environmental quality.

Healthy Buildings are buildings in which the indoor environment is healthy for people to live in and carry out their activities. An appropriate indoor air quality, a lighting design adapted to the needs of the occupants, sufficient access to daylight and views and an adequate mechanical or hybrid (natural ventilation assisted mechanically) ventilation are important for creating a healthy indoor environment. Thermal comfort, moisture, dust and pests, water quality, noise, as well as safety and security are aspects that must also be considered in the context of any healthy building.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors in residential and non-residential buildings and that 26 million European children are living in unhealthy homes[1]. Moreover, Copenhagen Economics[2] evaluated the health co-benefit of energy efficient renovations in the EU to amount to 42 billion euros annually in a low energy efficiency scenario and as much as 88 billion euros in the case of a high energy efficiency one. It is also to be noted that, due to a poor indoor air quality alone, 120 000 Europeans die prematurely every year incurring an annual cost of 260 billion Euro[3].

With 97%[4] of EU buildings in need of renovation, the EU Renovation Wave Initiative and the upcoming targeted revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) represent a true opportunity to boost both energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality that cannot be missed: by making the most of an appropriate indoor air quality, human-centric lighting, acoustic, thermal comfort and control and automation systems, the health and well-being of the occupants will be improved and productivity gains delivered.

We call upon EU policymakers to:

Joint Position Paper – Healthy buildings for all