HOPE: Health Optimisation Protocol for Energy-efficient Buildings
Pre-normative and socio-economic research to create healthy and energy efficient buildings

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Guidelines: introduction

Please find in this section some small extracts from the guidelines published in the Hope project.

The salient features of high quality buildings include indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal comfort, visual and acoustic characteristics, as well as low impact on the environment. Within the HOPE research project, the following definition has been adopted:

A healthy and energy-efficient building does not cause or aggravate illnesses in the building occupants, assures a high level of comfort to the building's occupants in the performance of the designated activities for which the building has been intended and designed, and minimises the use of non-renewable energy, taking into account available technology including life cycle energy costs.

According to the Rio agreement, sustainable buildings should take account of environmental, economical, and social stakes. This includes, among others, low energy use, good indoor environment quality (IEQ) and health. The three stakes have a similar importance: a building cannot be good if it fails in one of them.

Healthy, comfortable and energy efficient buildings are the result of a conscious design keeping constantly these three objectives in mind. It is not by chance that most of the 16 apartment buildings and 7 office buildings fulfilling at best the HOPE criteria for these objectives were designed that way. Some of these buildings are shown as examples to illustrate the guidelines.

Basic recommendation that could be given to reach these objectives are:

  • Prefer passive methods to active ones wherever possible
  • Think about the user comfort, needs and behaviour
  • Adapt the building to its environment