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. With the objective of safeguarding the wellbeing of EU citizens by delivering improvements in Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), the Informal IEQ Gathering of eight European industry associations is proud to present its Healthy Buildings for All Manifesto.
IEQ is a major determinant of the health and well-being of EU citizens, whilst also being a strong factor in enhancing economic productivity and reducing public health expenditure. The European Commission’s plan to launch a Renovation Wave Initiative in Q3 2020 designed to increase the renovation rate of the EU’s existing building stock from under 1% per year to 3%, is a golden opportunity to deliver improvements in IEQ, benefitting the health, comfort and productivity of EU citizens.
Healthy buildings must be a principle pillar of the Renovation Wave. Failing to provide for good IEQ now, via ensuring good air quality, a lighting design adapted to the needs of the occupants, sufficient access to daylight and views, and an adequate ventilation and cooling, is locking in poor IEQ for another generation of EU citizens. Promoting the best thermal comfort, indoor air quality, moisture, dust and pests, water quality, noise, as well as safety and security must also be considered in the context of this once in a generation opportunity to holistically improve the built environment.
In ensuring that the promise of the Renovation Wave, combined with the green recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak are fully harnessed, eight European industry associations strongly encourage policymakers to deliver on the recommendations outlined in the Healthy Buildings for All Manifesto, addressing essential factors for IEQ such as heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, and their installation and maintenance. These recommendations focus on: mandatory minimum requirements for IEQ, requirements to ensure the deployment of IEQ smart technologies, the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI), conditional access to public financing, requirements in Green Public Procurement, indicators in the EU Building Stock Observatory, requirements for inspections and monitoring, training and certification schemes for building professionals and enforcement of EU Member States’ Long-term Renovation Strategies (LTRSs).