Homes and Inhabitants’ Health
The Healthy Homes Barometer is a series of Pan-European surveys published annually by the Velux Group. The 2017 edition also includes the analysis of the impact buildings have on health. This is the first report that shows the correlation between the building’s state and the health of its inhabitants.
Researchers from Ecofys analysed results for more than 100,000 individual households and more than 250,000 adults in twenty-seven EU member states and combined those with data from Survey on Income and Living Conditions, together with more than 200 scientific publications covering the impact of damp and mould on respiratory illnesses.
According to the publication, one in six Europeans report living in an unhealthy building, one that is damp, does not have enough daylight or is uncomfortably hot or cold. With 90% of our time spent indoors, two-thirds of it within the home, the likelihood of experiencing poor health increases substantially if we live in an unhealthy building.
Poor health is also linked to energy poverty. Eat or heat, the dilemma is faced by 49 million Europeans and means that one in three has difficulties making ends meet and over half of those live in a cold dwelling. This is due to rising energy prices, low income and energy-inefficient buildings.
Energy Inefficient Homes
There are 110 million detached and semi-detached single-family homes throughout Europe, however up to three out of four are not energy efficient. The majority of these (84%) are owned by private homeowners and renovations depend on their individual finances.
Staged Renovations and Their Benefits
The survey revealed that around 70% of European households would be able to afford a staged renovation that would transform a house into an energy-efficient and healthy home. With 40% of Europe’s energy being consumed by homes and buildings and 36% of CO2 emissions emitted by them, private homeowners are key to achieving a more energy-efficient building stock. Renovations would not only deliver long-term savings through improved energy efficiency but also offer improved living conditions and contribute to the future value of their property.
However, the current renovation rate of the existing buildings is low, with only 1-2% of the building stock renovated each year. Almost three out of four homeowners would renovate if it increased the comfort and well-being of their family and 75% in order to save energy costs. Addressing both will help encourage a higher renovation rate and bring large scale benefits to the society.
You can download a copy of the report here.
How Can Solar Shading Help?
Solar shading can improve living conditions in homes and help save money on energy bills. Blinds and shutters help keep heat indoors during colder months and helps us to reduce excessive heat gains during the warmer months.