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Energy efficiency should not impact IAQ

6070060_s-pageBELGIUM: A group of influential industry associations has warned the EC not to neglect indoor air quality in the drive to more energy efficient buildings.

In a joint industry paper, the associations call for the promotion of systems and solutions that result in both high quality indoor environment and low energy consumption in new and existing buildings.

In particular, they call for the use of demand-control ventilation and air conditioning options to be promoted in the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

The paper highlights the need for heating and air conditioning systems to be regularly inspected and the need for continuous commissioning of technical building systems. It is signed by the European Heat Pump Association, European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE), the European Building Automation and Controls Association (eu.bac), Eurovent, the European Ventilation Industry Association, and the Federation of European HVAC Associations (REHVA).

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The organisations stress their support for the objectives of the EPBD to reduce the energy consumption of buildings but point out that as buildings are getting tighter and better insulated, the air exchange by infiltration goes down to zero. “Such lack of a dedicated ventilation system may deteriorate the indoor environment quality with adverse effects on health, productivity and comfort,” the paper says.

The groups have called on the European Commission to consider better enforcement and refurbishment in the revised EPBD to create regulatory conditions to ensure better indoor environment quality. They also ask for regular inspections and continuous commissioning of technical building systems to maintain the envisaged indoor environment quality parameters.

The document can be viewed here.

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