The research behind the Healthy Homes Barometer

The Healthy Homes Barometer is a series of Pan-European surveys designed to investigate the link between homes and health. The third edition of the Healthy Homes Barometer was published for this year’s Healthy Buildings Day by the VELUX Group. The first was presented in 2015. The first two editions looked into how Europeans experience the difference a healthy home makes.  

This year’s Healthy Homes Barometer includes data from different sources; the consulting agency Ecofys based in Berlin, the German research institute Fraunhofer IBP, the Danish economic consultancy Copenhagen Economics and the two previous years’ Healthy Homes Barometer. 

Researchers from Ecofys have analysed the correlation between health and buildings in 27 EU Member States (except Germany) using the Eurostat database EU-SILC (Survey on Income and Living Conditions, a survey conducted to assess the status and development of income and living conditions in Europe). EU-SILC data is collected by Member States’ statistical offices. The research presented here is based on so-called EU-SILC raw data, i.e. a survey based on self-reported observations. Eurostat provides these data for approved research proposals handed in by accredited research institutions. This research used anonymised results for each EU-SILC variable for more than 100,000 individual households and more than 250,000 adults (16+) across all EU Member States except Germany. 

Fraunhofer IBP analysed more than 200 scientific publications covering the impact of damp and mould on respiratory illnesses. The publications were analysed in a meta-analysis to determine the odds ratio of having asthma when living in a damp or mouldy home. Fraunhofer IBP combined results from the meta-analysis with data from Eurostat and other research to determine the number of Europeans affected by dampness and mould and the effects on society in economic terms. 

Copenhagen Economics analysed households’ available capital for renovation based on data from OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). The analysis included savings and non-financial capital. To estimate the available non-financial capital, Copenhagen Economics used households’ net wealth as a starting point. Household net wealth is defined as the sum of financial assets and the value of dwellings, minus any outstanding liabilities. 

Results and numbers in this Healthy Homes Barometer are based on the analyses by Ecofys, Fraunhofer IBP and Copenhagen Economics unless otherwise stated.

All the reports are available for download following the links below.

The 2017 Healthy Homes Barometer takes the 2016 findings one step further by analyzing the impact buildings have on the health of European citizens. 

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