The report of 18.10.2017 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (COM (2016) 0765 – C8-0499 / 2016 – 2016/0381 (COD)), states that Brussels has tabled discussions, related to the topics of Energy, Research and Industry, on the modifications made to the new EU construction regulations, which for the first time could make indoor air quality a mandatory requirement to be maintained. It is important because it is “part of a wider consideration of future construction standards in light of the Paris Climate Accords, and intended to improve the overall energy efficiency improvements of new buildings. It comes after recent research which demonstrates the potential health and financial costs for EU citizens who live and work in poorly ventilated or damp environments.” “The proposed policy changes are aimed at guaranteeing that all EU citizens will have access to better indoor air quality and setting the minimum standards of member states, alongside ambitious renovation strategies.” That is to say, that environmentally sustainable indoor air treatment systems do not endanger human health, but rather improve it, making clear reference to what must be done to keep it that way. Below you are some initial passages from the report, while for a summary of the whole argument, you will find a link at the bottom to two pages in Italian outlining the topic and goals.

“To facilitate the cost effective achievement of the Union’s climate and energy goals as well as cost-efficient renovations in buildings, national long-term renovation strategies should integrate considerations for improvements to health and indoor climate, including by combining renovation with the removal of asbestos and other harmful substances, preventing the illegal removal of harmful substances, and facilitating compliance with existing legislative acts such as Directive 2009/148/EC1a and Directive (EU) 2016/22841b.”

“Provisions related to inspections of heating systems and air-conditioning systems were found to not sufficiently ensure, in an efficient manner, the initial and maintained performance of these technical system”

“The 2009 WHO guidelines provide that, concerning indoor air quality, better performing buildings provide higher comfort levels and well-being for their occupants and improve health. Thermal bridges, inadequate insulation and unplanned air pathways can result in surface temperatures below the dew point of the air and in dampness.”

“Member States should ensure that energy performance upgrades of existing buildings also contribute to achieving a healthy indoor environment, including by the removal of asbestos and other harmful substances and by avoiding problems such as mould, as well as safeguarding the fundamental safety structures of the buildings, in particular in relation to fire safety and seismic safety.”

European Commission Air Quality

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