This poses a challenge: How do we develop innovative, sustainable and affordable housing solutions that also provide healthy and comfortable places to live.
On 20th April 2016, VELUX hosted the 2nd Healthy Buildings Day in Brussels, where 240 invited guests including policy-makers, house builders, housing association representatives, building owners, thought leaders, and media, addressed some of these challenges, with a focus on how buildings impact our health and wellbeing.
The history of healthy buildings
The modern history healthy buildings can be traced back more than 200 years. A historical timeline was presented at the conference, giving a brief overview of key milestones in this development.
The impact of healthy buildings
We spend about 90% of our time indoors, which means that indoor climate and levels of daylight are key factors affecting our quality of life, physical health and mental wellbeing. Many of the discussions at Healthy Buildings Day 2016 focussed on the direct impact our homes have on our health.
Renovating buildings in Europe
The need for renovation of existing building stock was also central to presentations and discussions. Unless renovation rates are substantially increased over the coming years, we will continue to suffer unhealthy buildings long into the future. Here, affordability and replicability were shown to be key.
Healthy Homes Barometer 2016
The Healthy Homes Barometer 2016
was also unveiled at the conference. This pan-European study offers a host of findings, including the fact that wellbeing and energy costs are main drivers for home renovation in Europe. This notion was expounded by a variety of key stakeholders at the conference, including EU Energy Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič, who said in a video address that officials would factor in health and wellbeing requirements into research feeding into the revised Energy Performance in Buildings Directive.