This is a special year for REHVA. The organisation celebrates its 50th anniversary, and holds its 11th World Conference Clima 2013. When founded, REHVA was more like a club where representatives of national member associations were able to meet and exchange news and learn from the experiences of each other. But the world is changing. Particularly during the last 10 years REHVA has changed its strategy and developed activities towards a strong influential technical organisation with close connections to the industry and European bodies and authorities. REHVA is now more than ever dedicated to the improvement of health, comfort and energy efficiency in all buildings and communities.
Clima 2013 is not any more European but more and more an international conference with hundreds of papers presented from all over the world. International exchange of information is important. The problems related to sustainable buildings are global, but though the solutions are local, there is a lot to be learnt from other continents.
The REHVA Word Conference offers a platform for industry and academicians for fruitful communication. REHVA has organised special workshops for this communication at Clima Conferences since Clima 2001 in Naples, Italy. The workshops have been successful and the participants have found them useful. The work in these workshops has resulted in many good ideas and topics for future development. The results of the workshop will be available soon after the conference from REHVA.
The REHVA journal has found its role as a publication with technical articles with scientific background but focusing on practical applications. The readers are practitioners from the building and manufacturing industries, as well as academicians from education and research. A recent survey shows that 80 % of our readers rated the REHVA Journal and its technical coverage as excellent or good, and found the technical articles and case studies as the most interesting contents of the journal. Last year, the journal published articles from academicians and practitioners from more than 20 countries. The journal also follows up what is going on in the area of the European legislation. The articles in this issue deal with the new boiler regulations based on eco-design directive, guidelines for cost-optimal methodology for building regulations and definition of nearly zero energy buildings.
The journal is also available for readers at the REHVA website. All articles are available for download in html and pdf formats. The journal website is getting more and more visitors. The number of visitors doubled from 2011 to 2012. Over 50 000 articles were downloaded in 2012. The survey also shows that subscribers use both the paper copy and the web version.
This issue focuses on an international network “Active House Alliance”, which is a group of international companies who supports the development of buildings that create healthier and more comfortable lives for their residents without impacting negatively on the climate and environment. It is their ambition that Active House becomes the future principle for new buildings and renovation. The articles summarise the vision behind Active House and the specifications for Active House, and suggest them as one solution to nearly zero-energy buildings. Other articles reports some results of the Alliance members in developing buildings, systems and products to meet the established goals.
Cooperation is needed between research and practice. It is important that scientists focus on solutions to real problems so that the limited resources are used optimally. For the industry, it is important to base future development and investments on reliable research results. Articles in this issue show how fruitful the cooperation between industry and research organisations can be, especially when installing and monitoring buildings with innovative design and technical systems. The Active House Alliance has been successful in this cooperation between developers, industry and research.