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HVAC groups urge EU to seize 'once in decade opportunity' on IAQ

European bodies urge EU to include IAQ and thermal comfort as priority in EPBD review

A coalition of nine European HVAC and buildings bodies has urged the EU to pay due consideration to Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) in its review of the Energy Peformance in Buildings Directive, for the sake of its citizens’ ’health, comfort and productivity. IEQ is the collective name given to indoor air quality, thermal comfort, lighting and acoustic environment.

With the European Parliament due to adopt a report on the revised EPBD legislation on October 11, the bodies, EVIA, AREA, EHPA, EPEE, eu.bac, EUHA, Eurovent, GCP Europe and REHVA, called for four key actions to be included in the revised EPBD legislation. Key amongst these is a requirement for regular inspection and continuous monitoring for healthier buildings.

The four actions are:

1. Ensure compliance with the provisions of the existing and revised EPBD to promote refurbishment and create the regulatory conditions for improved Indoor Environment Quality.

2. Set regular inspections and continuous commissioning, monitoring and control functionalities of technical building systems to achieve healthier buildings.

3. Enhance the ability of occupants and of the building itself to maintain a higher Indoor Environment Quality in actual building usage conditions, and to optimise energy costs.

4. Set up requirements to ensure the deployment of smart technologies such as building automation and controls which, by improving indoor environment quality, have positive impact on health and well-being of its occupants.

The groups said in their joint position paper: “As buildings are getting more air-tight and better insulated, it is essential to ensure that sufficient fresh air is introduced to keep occupants healthy and to protect the building condition. Indoor Environment Quality can be enhanced through use of mechanical ventilation and technical building systems which, when properly maintained, inspected and controlled (including the leakage of ventilation ducts at regular intervals) will deliver positive outcomes on health, productivity and comfort.”

”Despite significant scientific evidence on the health benefits of improved Indoor Environment Quality in residential and non-residential buildings, the EPBD has so far been implemented with insufficient consideration to IEQ. Solutions are readily available and include source control, dedicated mechanical ventilation technology, air conditioning, building automation and control, adequate filtration of incoming air as well as room temperature, humidity, CO2 level, and lighting controls.”




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