While travelling in Europe to the Indoor Air 2016 conference in Belgium, I had the opportunity to discuss a largely unspoken shift in the management of IAQ with a like-minded colleague, Dr. Walter Hugentobler from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Also a phy-sician, he is very concerned about the impact of IAQ on occupant health. Despite the fact that most of us spend the vast majority of our time indoors, I have found few physicians focusing on this crucial relationship.
Nowadays, building codes are written to preserve building materials and control energy consumption. Thus, “healthy buildings” are defined by metrics on the structure and equipment with alarmingly few clauses addressing everyday IAQ and occupant health. In fact, in this century, little new data on our physiological response to indoor air parameters has been collected. We need to ask why this is so, but more importantly, we need to change this knowledge deficit.