2015 - Articles
An Analysis of Residential Building Regulation in Eight EU Member States
posted by Alexandra Maier
“Better regulation is needed to guarantee efficient and healthy buildings”
This report about IAQ, thermal comfort and daylight requirements in selected countries addresses a range of topics increasingly important for European buildings and their inhabitants. The overall aim of the report is to provide an overview of the regulatory framework for IAQ, thermal comfort and daylight, and to highlight the importance of having appropriate requirements for thermal comfort, ventilation and daylight conditions. The report provides concluding recommendations for further policy development relevant for indoor climate. The assessment focuses on the respective building codes for new and existing residential buildings in selected countries: Belgium (Brussels Region), Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK (England and Wales). A critical and comparative evaluation is provided whilst best practice approaches are highlighted.
All surveyed countries include at least a basic reference to daylight (an important element to achieving a good indoor environment with a major impact on the inhabitants’ health) in their building codes, but only France, Italy and Poland have integrated it into their legislation for new buildings. Only some building codes (Brussels, Denmark, Germany) mention the view to outside as an important part of visual comfort. No requirements have been identified across the surveyed codes stipulating minimum daylight preservation when renovating a building, except in the UK where the regulation “Right to Light” is in place. This regulation secures that changes to neighbouring buildings must not reduce daylight availability in existing buildings.
At the EU level, while indoor climate is mentioned in the EPBD, the importance of indoor air quality, thermal comfort and daylight has to be strengthened in a future recast.
See the full report here.