This is the 17th in the series of Healthy Buildings conferences. The first one was held in Stockholm in 1988, under the patronage of CIB, and co-sponsored by ASHRAE and WHO. The scientific community who founded ISIAQ (International Society for Indoor Air Quality) in 1992, continues to arrange Healthy Buildings as regional conferences to complement the global Indoor Air conference series. ISIAQ's Healthy Buildings conferences are now arranged every other year, in years when Indoor Air conferences are not held. Other 'Healthy Buildings' franchize conferences have since appeared, but ISIAQ's conferences continue the original series.
While Indoor Air conferences are global and focus on science, Healthy Buildings conferences bridge the gap between science and practice, and can focus on issues specific to a geographical region. Healthy Buildings conferences attract not only researcers but also 'practitioners' from a number of professions, including engineers, authorities, property developers, real-estate owners, facilities management, architects, occupational hygienists, medical practitioners, manufacturers and suppliers of building products.
The building trade in Northern Europe has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. Taking Norway as an example, the building regulations now require Passive House solutions, and indoor environment requirements (e.g. air flow rates) are among the stictest in Europe. Indoor climate solutions such as air filtration, heat recovery, and demand-controlled ventilation are now the norm. The European Union selected Oslo as European Green Capital 2019. Hosting a conference in Oslo would give participants an opportunity to see sustainable solutions at first hand.
European countries share many common challenges. Increased urbanization changes our living and working environment, and increases exposure to outdoor pollutants in urban canyons, and the heat-island effect. All countries are also implementing the EPB-directives with related CEN-standards.
The climate in Europe ranges greatly, from polar tundra, though mild and wet, to dry mediterranean. Climate change is slowly increasing the burden on our buildings. This necessitates robust building solutions that can cope with extremes of cold, heat and moisture. Similar climates, and associated challenges, are found throughout Europe; thus this conference is not a cold-climate conference but a pan-European one.