Towards more ecological, safer and more comfortable built environments

25/04/2019

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Construction is always a current issue in the society. Irrespective of economic cycles, built environments significantly influence people's daily lives. Homes and public buildings have a direct impact on our quality of life, for example, through indoor air quality and noise and, in the long term, on the wellbeing of our entire planet when examined from the point of view of energy and resource efficiency.

Home acousticsFactors connected to construction and housing are significant for the prevention of climate change. Energy-efficient buildings, which are made with sustainable materials, significantly reduce greenhouse emissions. According to research, approximately 40 per cent of greenhouse emissions resulting from human activities come from poorly insulated buildings and the energy needed for heating them. Proper insulation is the most important factor for the energy efficiency of a building. It is seldom discussed that up to 75 per cent of the potential for reducing the energy consumption of a building could come from insulation. 

In addition to energy efficiency, resource efficiency and circular economy should also be more carefully observed in construction. By using natural resources and raw materials wisely, we will reduce harmful environmental impacts and boost our competitive advantage. The most important aspects for construction are material use and reducing and recycling waste. It is vital to establish means for recycling more waste and developing the market for recycled goods, thus promoting the reuse of waste as a building material. This requires good cooperation with decision-makers, developers and suppliers.

Construction must be safe for the environment but also for people. Everyone has the right for fire safety and healthy indoor air, both at home and in public buildings. Fresh and healthy indoor air is a combination of the building technique, meaningful choice and use of materials as well as the correct operation of the building, such as its ventilation system. In this equation, the appropriate choice of correctly applied insulation is one solution for better indoor air. 

Safety is the most important aspect of construction, but the importance of comfortable living conditions must not be downplayed either. One of the comfort factors particularly in densely populated cities is sound proofing. As cities grow and residential areas become denser, noise levels go up which in turn increases stress and reduces the quality of sleep. Thus, successful soundproofing becomes very valuable and can improve our wellbeing and productivity. The choice of insulation is one thing which can have a significant impact on housing comfort. 

Anders Dahlblom

Anders Dahlblom
Managing Director, Insulation Europe

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