Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Striking a balance between energy efficiency and indoor air quality

Technologies guaranteeing acceptable indoor air quality in EU buildings will be key to the market success of energy efficient solutions. This Results Pack sheds light on some of the latest breakthroughs in this sector.
Striking a balance between energy efficiency and indoor air quality
If there is one thing building and construction stakeholders have learned from the likes of the Asbestos crisis, it’s that the benefits of specific building materials and technologies should always be put in balance with their impact on human health. It therefore comes as no surprise that this question is high on the agenda of researchers and decision markers looking into energy efficient solutions.
Besides, various research efforts have shown that EU citizens, who generally spend 60 to 90 % of their life in buildings, are increasingly wary of air quality issues. This also means that market success can only be achieved by maintaining a subtle balance between insulation and indoor air quality (IAQ).
In 1996 the European Collaborative Action on ‘Indoor air quality and its impact on man’ already pointed at the potential conflicts between increasing air exchange rates and saving energy. It notably stressed that, in addition to using suitable materials and technologies, stakeholders should focus on developing control, maintenance and management procedures and tools.
This CORDIS Results Pack takes a look at recent, EU-funded technological developments that are already or will soon be helping the value chain to achieve both of the above-mentioned objectives. It covers materials – with breakthroughs in nanotechnology or fibres that enable the production of more efficient building parts – but also smart monitoring solutions which see sensors providing tenants or owners with real time information on the molecules present in the air they breathe.
Comfort and lower carbon footprint combined
New materials and building components offer improved indoor comfort and health while reducing buildings’ embodied energy and carbon footprint.
Highly insulated wall panels offer a breath of fresh air
Innovative new building materials designed to address poor air quality – while radically improving energy efficiency – are currently being trialled.
Nanostructured materials for cost effective insulation
An EU project has developed a nanostructured material that offers incredible insulation and improved indoor air quality. It is now being tested as a readily usable building product.
Forest-based composites for higher indoor air quality
At the crossroads of indoor air quality and environmental concerns lies OSIRYS, a concept of forest-based composites for façades and interior partitions. Composed of biopolymers and...
Monitoring indoor air quality for a healthier environment
An EU-funded project has made strides to ensure that the energy efficiency of a building’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning need not compromise the health and well-being of...
Improving indoor climates in retrofitted buildings
Whether working, relaxing or travelling, Europeans spend over 90 % of their time indoors. For both health and comfort reasons, it is important that these environments are monitored...
Sensing Air Quality the Easy Way
In order to improve the air quality of our indoor environments, one important step is to establish the means to easily measure and monitor it. IAQSENSE (Nanotechnology based gas...
Perfecting a Gaseous Air Sensor
Whilst improved insulation and reduced air exchange are key to decreasing buildings’ energy consumption, this will also increase the concentration of hazardous VOCs inside the...
Nanomaterials for healthier indoor environments
Establishing more efficient control of the indoor environment can have beneficial impact on not just energy consumption but also on the health of the users. One EU-funded project...
More about research and innovation in the field of Energy-efficient Buildings:
Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) - Research & Innovation - Key Enabling Technologies - European Commission

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