Healthy Homes Barometer 

The Healthy Homes Barometer is an annual research-based report that takes the pulse of Europe's building stock. Since 2015, the reports have highlighted the importance of improving buildings to address health and climate concerns across populations.

Individuals, societies and the planet can all benefit from better buildings. UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 focuses on Sustainable Cities and Communities, and the Healthy Homes Barometers demonstrate how such buildings can help in achieving this goal.

The majority of the world’s population lives in buildings in cities and their suburbs, and Europe is no exception. Europe’s buildings are, on average, old, inefficient, and not particularly healthy. The Healthy Homes Barometers examine different types of buildings and their deficiencies in a range of settings to establish how to best target renovation efforts and improve building legislation. The ultimate goal is to boost the renovation rate and reap the rewards of a healthy, efficient building stock. The payoff is better indoor climates that safeguard the health of individuals exposed to them, plus improved energy efficiency and thereby a minimal impact on the climate.

Healthy Homes Barometer 2019

Growing up in (un)healthy buildings

Since our first Barometer in 2015, our ambition has been to work with accredited research partners to examine how the European building stock can be improved to the benefit of people, society and the planet. This fifth edition of the Barometer takes these findings a step further and turns its attention to some of the most vulnerable members of our society – our children. An alarming 26 million – or 1 out of 3 - children in Europe live in unhealthy homes, with deficiencies like dampness or mould, darkness, excess noise and cold. If exposed to all four factors, children are four times more likely to suffer from poor health and their learning is negatively impacted.

Key findings

  • 1 out of 3 European children, or 26 million, live in unhealthy buildings
  • Children living with four risk factors (dampness or mould, darkness, noise and cold) are 4.2 times more likely to report poor health
  • European children could miss up to two million days in school each year because of health problems related to buildings with deficiencies
  • Improved air quality can boost student performance (task solving) by up to 15% 
Previous Healthy Homes Barometers