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Industry calls for IEQ to spearhead renovation push

EUROPE: Eight of Europe’s leading industry associations are calling for improved indoor environmental quality (IEQ) to be placed at the forefront of the EU’s drive to renovate existing building stock.

The associations, which include European refrigeration and air-conditioning contractors’ group AREA, the European Heat Pump Association, the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) and Eurovent, insist that IEQ is a major determinant of the health and well-being of EU citizens. 

The group’s Healthy Buildings for All Manifesto is a reaction to the European Commission’s recently announced Renovation Wave Initiative to increase the renovation rate of the EU’s existing building stock from under 1% per year to 3%. The manifesto insists that this is a golden opportunity to deliver improvements in IEQ, benefitting the health, comfort and productivity of EU citizens.

With the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimating that 26 million European children are living in unhealthy homes, IEQ is seen as 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. 

“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,” the group says. “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,” it adds.

The manifesto addresses a number of factors seen as essential 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 (LTRS).

The manifesto can be viewed and downloaded here.

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