Influencing framework conditions

We seek sustainable solutions that maximise benefits for people and planet. We engage with local, regional and global legislators, authorities and interest groups to influence the framework conditions that govern the building sector. 

 

Strategy and goals

The VELUX Group was founded on a vision to bring daylight and fresh air through the roof and into people’s lives and homes.

We actively promote political action to ensure better living environments for all, ensuring that building performance directives, legislation and buildings codes address the need to design and build for people’s health, yet, at the same time, minimise the environmental impact of buildings.

Our advocacy is guided by our Public Affairs Policy, which applies to all employees, consultants and advisors.

Activities, performance and next steps

Advocating daylight and fresh air in new builds and renovation

We wish to engage in dialogue with the civil society, governments and politicians to share our knowledge and experience about daylight, fresh air and energy efficiency as key enablers of better living environments at affordable prices. On international, EU and national levels, the VELUX Group advocates:

  • The Active House vision and principles to achieve nZEB (nearly Zero Energy Buildings).
  • Daylight in buildings as a key enabler of human health and well-being.
  • Natural ventilation and ventilative cooling as key enablers of good indoor air quality.
  • Affordable solutions for healthy and energy-efficient homes (new builds and renovations).
  • Use of the energy balance approach that includes the effect of solar gain and dynamic building envelope in energy performance calculations of buildings. In 2017, we gained support for the energy balance approach by three key trade associations (windows, glass, solar shading) in Germany.

Specific activities in 2017 included the Clean Energy for All package, which aims to set and renew EU energy policy to reach the Paris 2015 Climate Agreement commitments. Here, buildings play a key role as they account for about 40% of the energy consumption in Europe. We have worked with partners in Brussels in order to make sure that the future Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which has been negotiated in 2017, includes indoor climate aspects in order to ensure healthy buildings for all Europeans

Through our membership of EuroACE (European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings), we support the work to move Europe towards efficient use of energy in buildings, thereby contributing to the EU’s commitments on job creation, energy security and sustainability.

Healthy Buildings Day 2017 in Brussels 

On the annual Healthy Buildings Day in Brussels, the VELUX Group brings together political decision-makers, stakeholders from the health sector, residential housing specialists, NGOs and officials from the European Commission to discuss topics related to framework conditions and specific solutions for better living environments in Europe.

In 2017, the Healthy Buildings Day was held for the third time and gathered 120 European politicians, interest organisations and building experts to discuss how to improve the quality of European housing.

The Healthy Buildings Day 2018 in Brussels is scheduled to take place in September.

Creating and sharing know-how on smart and healthy homes

VELUX Group collaborates closely with external researchers to create and share knowledge about daylight and ventilation and how these parameters affect people and architecture. Among others:

  • VELUX engineers, researchers and architects presented 11 research papers at the Healthy Buildings Europe 2017 conference in Lublin, Poland, and at the Passive Low Energy Architecture 2017 conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. Among other things, we presented:
    • Key findings of the Healthy Homes Barometer 2017.
    • A new vision for Circadian House building principles.
    • Affordable and sustainable renovation concepts.
    • Key findings of Active House demonstration buildings.
  • VELUX also co-sponsored conferences and courses such as AIVC 2017, Lux Europe 2017 and ECEE Summer Study 2017.


COP23: Global Building Alliance Day

The VELUX Group participated in the Global Building Alliance Day at COP23 in Bonn, Germany, highlighting the possibilities of Active Houses and presenting affordable renovation concepts.

We also participated in the ‘Health in all EU Policies’ event held in Brussels, demonstrating how tomorrow’s sustainable and people-centric buildings can be built today by using existing solutions.

Building experiments pave the way for new standards and practices

How can the Active House Alliance, co-founded by the VELUX Group, experiment with demonstration houses to develop a sustainable building standard? That was the topic of a PhD project completed in 2017 by researcher Lara Hale at the Copenhagen Business School.

Taking her starting point in three VELUX Model Home2020 projects (Sunlight House in Vienna, LichtActive House in Hamburg and RenovActive in Brussels), Lara Hale’s research concluded that building practices and norms are fluid and constantly under development. In the case of sustainable building, projects and experiments must tackle challenges of measurement, people’s behaviour and rapidly evolving technologies. In this environment of uncertainty, the only way forward is to experiment, share know-how and collaborate and learn for the next steps towards sustainable buildings. 

Lara Hale will continue the cooperation with the VELUX Group in a post doc project entitled ‘Smart Buildings and Cities Business Model Innovation’ that will run for three years. The project is co-financed by Realdania and Innovation Fund Denmark and aims to research and contribute to our expansion into healthy indoor climate experiences by use of smart home technologies. The project also aims to set up an ‘Active Living Lab’ at the Science Forum Bloxhub in Copenhagen, where we can learn more about how people experience technology-driven and healthy indoor environments.