EU names 2013 as 'Year of Air'

2013 named the Year of Air by the European Union

The HealthVent consortium recently met to discuss the harmonisation of health-based ventilation guidelines for Europe on February 20, 2013. At the event, which took place in the European Parliament, participants discussed the significance of ventilation guidelines for EU policies on health, air quality, energy, eco-design and buildings and consumers’ products.

The event, hosted by MEP Catherine Stihler, focused on a presentation of the health-based ventilation guidelines and their impact on ambient and indoor air quality policies as well as energy policies.  The aim of the HealthVent project is to protect people in places such as schools, nurseries, offices and homes against health problems caused by poor indoor air quality, and at the same time ensuring that energy is utilised efficiently.

With cleaner air being the focus of EU environmental policy discussion throughout 2013, the Year of Air, the revision of the ambient air legislation marks an appropriate moment to stress the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) and place it at the heart of the energy efficiency strategy. Europeans spend most of their time in indoor environments and poor indoor air quality is responsible for 2 million ‘disability adjusted life years’ (DALYs) in the 27 EU Member States conjointly every year.

The final report from this consortium event is still being finalised, and the ventilation guidelines will be published soon.  However, the preliminary conclusions from the report are likely to focus on the development of an EU harmonised legislation on ventilation, as well as guidelines on the scope, design, construction, maintenance and inspection of ventilation systems.

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