Home is the place where we sleep, eat, relax, grow and play. In high-income countries we spend 70% of our time at home1, being this percentage even higher in places with higher unemployment rates and where people are employed by local industries2.
Considering these percentages, it becomes clear that any positive action that you take, like saving energy or renovating your home to make it more meaningful, will have an improving impact not just on your health and financials but also it will support on addressing one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century, the climate change3.
Due to the demographic and climate changes that we live, your home is and will become more critical every day.
The impact of homes on health.
Most people, when asked about the things that they do to stay healthy, answer about their nutrition and physical activity routines. This evidences that few people are aware of the impact that the determinants of well-being have on our health, and specifically, the role that our houses and immediate housing environment play on reaching a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being.
Along with your genetics and behaviour (in which we can classify nutrition), factors such as the indoor air quality, the light, the noise, the moisture, the temperature, the available space or the accessibility, play an essential role on your health and well-being, as well as on the people around you.
For instance, high indoor temperatures can increase cardiovascular mortality while, the indoor air pollution, can cause allergic or other reactions such as asthma. The 15% of new childhood asthma in Europe it is caused by indoor dampness4. In other terms, we know that about 65% of Europeans living in urban areas are exposed to high levels of noise5, leading to stress, hypertension or strokes6. Or that living in a dark home can worsen our health by 50%, translated into headaches, insomnia or depression7.
These are just some examples of health issues that can be reduced or potentially avoided through the creation of a Meaningful Smart Home. As a consequence, the costs for the global economy should decrease. Research affirms that in 2013 5.5 million lives were lost due to diseases associated with outdoor and household air pollution.
Our Needs Guide will support you on satisfying your needs following an informed and meaningful approach.
The impact of homes on environment.
The International Energy Agency states that the energy demand from buildings and building construction continues to rise. The buildings and buildings construction sectors combined are responsible for 36% of global final energy consumption and nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions8.
Increasing the use of daylight, preventing leaks, using proper home insulation or making efficient use of the energy are just some of the measures that can be adopted to decrease your environmental footprint.
Adopting energy-efficient solutions like smart lighting, smart thermostats, smart plugs or smart appliances can report, in a US household, up to 17% energy savings9.
1 Baker M., Keall M., Au EL, Howden-Chapman P. 2007. "Home is where the heart is - most of the time". New Zealand Medical Journal, vol. 120, nº. 1264.
2 International Labour Organization. World Employment and Social Outlook, Trends 2016. Document and Publications Production, Printing and Distribution Branch of the ILO. 2016. <http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/@publ/documents/publication/wcms_443480.pdf>.
3 World Health Organization, WHO calls for urgent action to protect health from climate change - Sign the call. Accessed April 2019. <https://www.who.int/globalchange/global-campaign/cop21/en/>.
4 World Health Organization. Environmental burden of disease associated with inadequate housing. The Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization. 2011. <http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/142077/e95004.pdf>.
5,6 Münzel, T., Gori, T., Babisch, W. and Basner, M. 2014. "Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise exposure". European Heart Journal, vol. 35, nº. 13, pp. 829-836. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3971384/>.
7 Velux. Healthy Homes Barometer 2017. Velux. 2017. <https://velcdn.azureedge.net/~/media/com/health/healthy-home-barometer/507505-01%20barometer_2017.pdf>.
8 International Energy Agency, Energy Efficiency: Buildings. Accessed April 2019. <https://www.iea.org/topics/energyefficiency/buildings/>.
9 King, J. Energy Impacts of Smart Home Technologies. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. 2018. <https://aceee.org/research-report/a1801>.