HB 2006 is the 8th in a series of Healthy Buildings Conferences that started in 1988 at Stockholm and since then have taken place in Washington DC (1991), Budapest (1994), Milan (1995), Washington DC (1997), Helsinki (2000) and Singapore (2003). The issues addressed relate to indoor air quality and its impact on health. The main focus is on buildings as confined spaces where we spend around 90% of our life.
As it is well known, problems with the quality of indoor environment, and in particular with the indoor air, are having an increasing impact on health, mainly on respiratory and skin illnesses, allergies and chronic diseases, including cancer. They also impact on the psychological and behavioural patterns with significant reflexes upon the well-being and the productivity of building occupants.
HB 2006, aims primarily at establishing the state-of-the-art of these health related topics in scientific and technical terms, mainly at the level of the causes and their prevention by means of adequate technological intervention. But it also aims to contribute for results of social character, in the form of legislation and normative methods and processes, for a better public health and, therefore, for a better quality of life through an adequate intervention along the several phases of building life: design, construction and maintenance. Both the buildings themselves, according to the needs of their users, and their mechanical systems will be addressed, through a better characterization of the situation in the field and the criteria to adopt in the evaluations.
As the indoor environment is receiving increased attention by policy makers it seems that we are going through a clear turning point regarding new policies and regulatory legislation for protection of public health and increased productivity. That is why I feel particularly honoured and highly motivated to chair this event in such a challenging context.
Healthy Buildings 2006: paginas.fe.up.pt/hb2006