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Healthy Homes Ireland Calls for Urgent Focus on Retrofit

By July 2, 2024No Comments2 min read

Report reveals a 22% increase in damp and that 275,000Irish citizens do not have sufficient daylight in their home.

We were delighted to organise the latest Healthy Homes Ireland Forum breakfast event in Dublin in June, supported by VELUX and the Irish Green Building Council. The event unveiled research showing the scale of the impact of healthy homes on people’s mental and physical well-being.

The Healthy Buildings Barometer has been published annually by the VELUX group and its research partners since 2015 to take the pulse of the EU’s housing stock. This year’s research was undertaken by BPIE (Building Performance Institute Europe) and complements Healthy Homes Ireland’s report which was published last year and made specific policy recommendations for Ireland.

Dr Caroline Düvier from BPIE delivered a thought-provoking presentation on the 2024 Barometer, zooming in on the Irish numbers from this Europe-wide publication and highlighting some concerning findings. She stated: “Ireland is far behind where we need to be, with nearly twice as many buildings requiring renovation compared to the EU overall. There are issues with an increase in damp and significant numbers of people in Ireland not getting enough daylight in their homes. This needs to be urgently addressed.”

Dr Ola Løkken Nordrum, the Irish Doctors for the Environment representative who participated in a panel discussion at the event, stated: “Our homes and where we live ought to be a source of health and well-being, but this is not the case for many people living in Ireland. Air and noise pollution, dampness, lack of nature and sunlight are just some of the issues we face. We cannot overstate the benefits of improved IEQ in renovated buildings. The knock-on effects are notable.”

Kevin O’Rourke, Chair of Healthy Homes Ireland, concluded, “The Healthy Homes Ireland recommendations are clear:

  • There is a need for collaboration across the housing, construction, energy efficiency and public health sectors.
  • We need a central leadership body to advocate for change and set joint goals.
  • We must improve IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality) skills of professionals entering the housing industry by including relevant modules in apprenticeships and third-level education.
  • And there is a need to train AHBs (Approved Housing Bodies) and local authorities to maintain homes for better occupant health outcomes and communicate with tenants on how to improve IEQ in homes.”

For more information about Healthy Homes Ireland and to read the full report Towards Healthier Greener Homes, access the full report here.