Certification for ageing in place: the new European project “Homes4Life” kicks off.
Our living environments have a tremendous impact on our health and wellbeing. Ensuring their suitability and adaptability to people’s needs and preferences – including when these needs and preferences evolve over time – is one of the most effective approaches to respond to challenges brought to us by Europe’s ageing demographics.
However, a huge share of the building stock is not adapted to permit to older persons to age in place. Even today’s new constructions are often not prepared to support health and wellbeing over the life course. As a matter of fact, one in eight of Europeans over 65 declare that their house is not comfortably warm during winter. Demand for age-friendly homes exceeds supply by far: a European study estimates to 10 million the demand for age-friendly homes in the upcoming years across the continent.
Homes4Life addresses this challenge by contributing to the development of a new European certification scheme. The scheme will be based on an inspirational and realistic long-term vision of people’s needs and requirements in a holistic life-course approach and help develop better living environments integrating construction and digital solutions where this is beneficial.
The different socio-economic conditions (housing ownership, family structure, health system, etc.) and building typologies across the European Union will be analyzed to provide the required flexibility to address the specificities of each country in a user-centric approach. The Homes4Life certification scheme will apply to both new and existing buildings.
Homes4Life started in December 2018 and will last for 24 months. The project is run by a multidisciplinary group of nine partners from five EU countries under the coordination of TECNALIA (Spain).
The consortium grasps expertise from:
-Four research centers and universities: TECNALIA (Spain), TNO (Netherlands), Utrecht University (Netherlands), Universita Politecnica Delle Marche (Italy)
-A certification body: Certivéa (France) and its subsidiary Cerway, operator of the HQE (High Quality Environmental standard) certification in Europe
-An SME focused on innovation and technology transfer: R2M Solution (France)
-Three European associations representative of key stakeholders (Belgium): ECTP– the European Construction, built environment and energy efficient buildings Technology Platform, AGE Platform Europe – the voice of older persons in Europe, EUROCARERS – the European Association working for informal carers