People spend up to 90% of their lives indoors, so it is perhaps not surprising that the quality of the environment created has a significant impact on their health and well-being. What is perhaps even more surprising is that the indoor air quality of some buildings, including modern low energy buildings, has been shown to be poorer than urban outdoor air quality.
Modern energy efficient buildings depend on increased insulation levels and greater air tightness to reduce heat losses or gains. Such buildings are often reliant on mechanical ventilation systems to maintain indoor environmental quality, however when these are not maintained correctly or used inappropriately by occupants, this leads to problems with indoor environmental quality. In recognition of this problem the European Commission has supported a series of research projects developing eco-materials for improved indoor environmental quality.
The ECO-SEE project has developed hygrothermal coatings to passively regulate relative humidity levels, modified bio-based insulation materials to capture VOCs, and developed photocatalytic coatings to remove indoor organic pollutants using visible light sources. In addition, the ECO-SEE project is using these materials to develop external and internal wall panels, and developing improved modelling capacity to support wider uptake of these solutions.
This booklet presents the work of the ECO-SEE project.
The project consortium brings together a multidisciplinary team of world-class researchers from universities (Bath (UK), Aveiro (Portugal), Bangor (UK), IIT Delhi (India)) and research organisations (BRE (UK), Fraunhofer IBP (Germany), Tecnalia (Spain), Wood Technology Institute (Poland)) with a number of large enterprises (Acciona (Spain), BCB (France), Environment Park (Italy), Kronospan (UK) and Skanska Group (UK)), innovative SMEs, (Claytec (Germany) and European Associations (Greenovate! Europe (Belgium)), whose combined expertise and capacity will lead to commercial development and exploitation of the products developed.