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Creating better living
environments for all

At the VELUX Group, we have made it our core business to create healthy and sustainable buildings. Our endeavour to create better living environments supports UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 11 – to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

We put people first in developing new building concepts. With our products and solutions, we want to create bright, healthy and efficient buildings for people to live, work, learn and play in.

Buildings are key elements in solving the global challenges of health, resource scarcity and climate change. People in the developed world typically spend 90% of their time inside buildings. In Europe alone, 84 million people live in damp and unhealthy buildings, while 30 million people suffer from lack of daylight.

At the same time, buildings consume huge amounts of valuable resources during construction and in the use phase. In fact, buildings account for 40% of the total energy consumption and 50% of the total material use in Europe.

That is why we are committed to pioneering innovative building solutions that balance care for people and care for the planet. Through several full-scale experiments based on the Active House principles, the VELUX Group has demonstrated that we can develop carbon-neutral buildings with a comfortable indoor climate offering plenty of daylight and fresh air. In 2016, five of the VELUX Active Houses achieved the Active House Label to confirm that they live up to the criteria set up by the Active House Alliance:

  • Comfort: the building should provide an indoor living environment that supports the health and comfort of its occupants
  • Energy: the building achieves high levels of energy efficiency
  • Environment: the building has a minimal impact on the environment

RenovActive – a showcase of affordable, sustainable renovation

To discover healthy, energy-efficient and affordable building concepts, we have invested in a series of demonstration projects in Europe. All in all, 27 Active Houses have seen the light of day in the last decade.

27 Active Houses so far

Most of the projects have been new-built, one-family homes. However, the most recent project, concluded in 2016, shows new ways of renovating social housing to make individual dwellings healthier, more spacious and energy efficient within an affordable budget framework.

The project, which is called ‘RenovActive’ – ‘Renov’ for Renovation and ‘Active’ for Active House, was carried out according to the Active House principles. The following targets were laid down to make the RenovActive House in Belgium a valid success. All targets were met by the completion of the project:

  • Indoor climate: the house should offer high daylight levels, protection against overheating and good indoor air quality via a direct demand-control operation
  • Affordability: the renovation (incl. all technical equipment) should be executed within a budget in line with that of the social housing association – Le Foyer Anderlechtois
  • Reproducibility: the concept should be based on existing technologies and materials
  • Energy performance: the primary energy use should comply with the strict Brussels EPB (Energy Performance of Buildings) legislation

In May 2017, the first renters move into the home located in Anderlecht, Belgium. In the coming years, the social housing association, Le Foyer Anderlechtois, that owns the home plans to carry out 86 similar renovation projects.Read more about RenovActive

Read more about RenovActive:

What is a healthy home? – We have asked homeowners

What do Europeans consider a healthy home, how do they want to live, and what are their primary priorities in creating a comfortable home? To shed more light on the quality of life inside buildings, the VELUX Group carries out the Healthy Home Barometer survey among 14,000 Europeans in 14 countries.

We are excited to be able to share this knowledge. The report tells us what Europeans want from their homes and what motivates home investments. As societies, we need to protect our common future by reducing energy consumption – but also by making people’s homes comfortable and healthy. We need to realise that crucial decisions are not always made by EU institutions or national governments, but that all Europeans can make a difference through the choices they make in everyday life.

Michael K. Rasmussen, Senior Vice President, Brand, Communication and Marketing

The results of the survey are shared with external stakeholders and used to guide further development of healthy and sustainable buildings. The next Healthy Home Barometer will be carried out in spring 2017.

Get more insights from the Healthy Home Barometer 2016

Did you know that...

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), buildings currently account for 40% of primary energy consumption in Europe and North America. At the same time, IEA has identified the building sector as one of the most cost-effective sectors in terms of reducing carbon emissions.

By designing Active Houses that combine excellent thermal insulation, smart design and exploitation of solar heat gain the 40%, can be changed and the EU energy saving targets of 80% by 2050 through domestic reductions alone can be achieved

In 2050, 90% of the current building stock will still be in use. How to plan, build and renovate sustainably is therefore a key challenge. Energy renovation of the building stock offers great potential to combat climate change. By increasing the renovation rate in Europe from 1.2% to 3%, the EU energy saving targets of 80-90% in 2050 can be achieved according to the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE).

1 Source: “A roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050”, EU Commission, 2011

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