Indoor environmental quality and healthy buildings

Indoor environmental quality and healthy buildings

Indoor environment quality (IEQ) in buildings has a major impact on occupant health, comfort and work performance. Serious health problems may result from poor indoor air quality (IAQ), such as legionnaires’ disease, lung cancer from radon exposure, airborne infections and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or even lethal carbon monoxide poisoning. Building occupants frequently report discomfort and building-related health symptoms, and sometimes develop building-related illnesses. Excessive dampness or moisture in buildings is responsible for a range of problems including mould, dust mites and bacteria; and exposure to damp environments is associated with respiratory problems including asthma attacks. Buildings with good indoor environment quality on the other hand contribute to the health and productivity of building users and increase their work or learning performance. The importance and the non-energy related benefits of high IEQ and comfort in buildings are analysed by several studies and advocated by many EU level stakeholders.

REHVA has been advocating the improvement of health, comfort, safety and energy efficiency in all buildings and communities since it’s foundation in 1963 and has been focusing its activities on this field. REHVA, along with several EU level professional called for integrating IEQ related requirements in the latest review of the EPBD and warning about the reported cases when simple energy efficiency measures, without considering indoor comfort, resulted in sick buildings that harm the health of building occupants.

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