Banner for the Healthy Buildings 2021 - Europe conference

Rationale for the conference

History and purpose of HEALTHY BUILDINGS

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.

Rationale for HB2021-Europe

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.

Conference highlights

  • The conference programme is being planned as an online event with the possibility for being held as a hybrid conference. Thus the conference will therefore not be effected by potential worsening of the CoViD-19 pandemic.
  • Complementary scientific and practice tracks:
    • The Practice track will take the form of specialized vocational seminars or training courses, where attendants can learn first-hand, from experts, new methods that they can apply to their own vocation. These sessions will have the same status as traditional workshops in earlier conferences, where presentations need not necessarily be connected to submitted papers. The parallel sessions will be scheduled so as not to collide with parallel scientific sessions on the same topic. These sessions will be complemented by Technical tours to landmark passive-house buildings in Oslo.
    • The Scientific track will present the submitted peer-reviewed papers, with oral presentations. In the spirit of less is more we intend to limit the length of oral presentations, that they focus on the message, so as to make room on the programme for the practice sessions, workshops, optional technical tours, and not least ample mingling in breaks!
  • We will provide Q&A-functionality in the conference's digital platform, to give ample time for deep questions and discussions with authors, without delaying the conference. This also allows attendees to ask questions when they cannot be present at parallel sessions. These will be included in the proceedings.
  • It will be an attractive conference for young people (university students, PhD, and young professionals) with student events, networking, travel bursary, and the flexible publication channels (short or full papers).
  • The conference will have a Book-of-Abstracts, and Scientific Proceedings with guaranteed publishing points in all countries that use the increasingly popular Nordic list of publishing channels. Both are indexed on Google Scholar
  • Social programme includes civic reception, zero-emission Oslo Fjord cruise with dinner, ample mingling. The webinar contingency-plan also includes after-hours mingling alternatives. We hope these will help to make it a fun and memorable conference!
  • Sustainable conference: paperless, catering, low-emission travel options or web-participation.

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