Health-Based Ventilation Guidelines for Europe (HealthVent)

Objective: The aim of the HealthVent project is to develop health-based ventilation guidelines.  They will protect people in places like schools, nurseries, offices and homes against health problems caused by poor indoor air quality, and at the same time will ensure that energy is utilized efficiently.

Background: People in developed parts of the world spend up to 90-95% of their time indoors, whether in homes, offices, shops, schools, kindergartens or other buildings. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is therefore important for our health. Good indoor air quality is our basic right. Buildings function as a source of shelter and protection.  However, the air we breathe in them has a direct impact on our health. Well functioning and sufficient ventilation in buildings is necessary to ensure that indoor air is free from pollutants, and that indoor temperatures and moisture levels are sufficiently regulated. Problems in indoor air quality caused by insufficient ventilation, moisture, moulds and indoor air pollutants are linked to the loss of millions of healthy life years. In particular, people with allergies and respiratory diseases are affected by air quality problems. Introduction

Methods: The HealthVent project is an EU funded project which will draw on the expertise of specialists in medical and public health sciences, engineering, physics, energy, ventilation and other areas, as well as the experiences of people with respiratory diseases, to collect, analyse and critically asses the information necessary to develop effective guidelines to improve the quality of ventilation in European buildings. The experts will analyse the effect of ventilation and air quality on citizens’ health, and the different ways in which buildings are ventilated in Europe. The performance of different types of ventilation systems will be reviewed, and the improvements necessary to ensure better, healthier and more energy efficient buildings will be identified.

Expected outcomes: The guidelines to be developed by the HealthVent Project can be used to improve the quality of life of European citizens. Comfort and productivity in office spaces, workplaces and schools can be increased, and direct safety hazards in indoor environments reduced. Equality of access to safe environments can grow, and long-term costs relating to health can be lowered. Awareness of the benefits of improved ventilation and its impact on health can be increased amongst citizens, and the guidelines can influence policy, regulation, and practice related to buildings. Gaps in knowledge can be identified, and ideas on how progress can continue over time developed, so that indoor air quality can be improved for all European citizens.

This home page: Through this website you will be able to follow the work of HealthVent.

Sponsored by the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC