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The impact of the quality of homes on indoor climate and health: an analysis of data from the EU-SILC database

Ashok John, Nicolas Galiotto, Peter Foldbjerg, Katrine Bjerre Milling Eriksen, Jens Christoffersen, Andreas Hermelink, 2017
health | building | indoor climate | EU-SILC | European Union
Bibliographic info: 38th AIVC Conference "Ventilating healthy low-energy buildings", Nottingham, UK, 13-14 September 2017
Languages: English Pages (count): 7

Today one out of six Europeans (84 million Europeans, or the equivalent of Germany’s population), report deficiencies regarding the building status. In some countries, that number is as high as one out of three. This puts these buildings in the ‘Unhealthy Buildings’ category, which is defined as buildings that have damp (leaking roof or damp floor, walls or foundation), a lack of daylight, inadequate heating during the winter or overheating problems.

10% of Europeans report having poor perceived general health. And the probability that a person reports poor health increase up to 70% if that person also lives in an unhealthy building vs. a healthy one. The results of this study show a correlation between poor health and the specific unhealthy building factors:



  • 1.7 times report poor health in a damp building

  • 1.5 times report poor health when living in a building with insufficient daylight

  • 1.3 times report poor health when perceiving overheating

  • 1.7 times report poor health when living in uncomfortably cold temperatures


The paper is based on an analysis of the correlation between health and buildings in 27 EU member states using the Eurostat database EU-SILC (Survey on Income and Living Conditions). The presented research is based on EU-SILC raw data. For the purpose of the study, Eurostat approved the research proposal behind the analysis and gave access to the data to Ecofys Germany GmbH.


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