Innovation: Performance indicators for health, comfort and safety of the indoor environment

Last update: 29.06.2013
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The aim of PERFECTION is to help enable the application of new building design and technologies that improve the impact of the indoor built environment on health, comfort, feeling of safety and positive stimulation.

The project concept consists of the following components:
- the inventory of current standards, regulations, technologies and ongoing and recent research activities and policies related with optimal indoor environment
- analysis of current indoor performance indicators and their applicability positioned within a generic framework, and identifying areas where new indicators for health and safety should be developed
- experiences from use cases of building design and technologies exploiting the indicators in different building types
- development of a decision support tool to guide the use of correct indicators for a given context
- identification of incentives and barriers for the wide use of performance indicators
- a roadmap and recommendations for building design and technologies, and support for policies
- a wide dissemination of findings through an extensive expert network.

The project is carried out at an EU scale and the project results will reach every EU country. More than 40 experts from over 30 countries and representing industry, academia and research were carefully selected to the PERFECTION team to ensure the needed depth and width. The network consists of experts from various domains that are in the focus of the call, such as indoor health issues, acoustics, universal design, performance metrics and tools, sustainable design and construction, etc. The PERFECTION project will organize 5 events all across Europe and will produce a quality publication - showcase of a number of case studies across all EU-27 countries, whereby the impact of innovative and well defined technologies as well as policies on specific buildings will be presented in a user friendly way.

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PERFECTION was a European Seventh Framework Programme Coordination Action for Comfort, Health and Safety of the Indoor Environment which started in the beginning of 2009 and lasted for three years until the end of December 2011. The project was introduced in the FP7-ENV 2007-1 and was coordinated by the Belgian Building Research Institute. It involved 10 other participants, namely VTT, Apintech, CTU, Armines, Kornadt, ICTAF, SiTI, TUE, ASM and BRE.

The goal of this Seventh Framework Programme coordination action was to help enable the application of new designs and technologies that improved the impact of the indoor built environment on health, comfort, feeling of safety and positive stimulation. To reach this objective an indicator framework as well as assessment tools based upon the framework had to be developed.

At the start of the project a European-wide network of experts and stakeholders was set up, enabling an extensive knowledge of European and national practices related to the indoor environment. With their help a database holding standards, regulations, policies and research activities from 27 countries was created. This inventory served as a solid basis:

1. for structuring the making of a compendium for health and comfort, and accessibility and safety indicators
2. to make the analysis for indoor performance indicators still to be developed

Collection of the information inputs was performed by an extensive survey among all the PERFECTION partners and the whole expert network associated to PERFECTION.

Two separate and extensive review reports on indicators were prepared. The first one focussed on health and comfort related issues, the second on feeling of safety, security, positive stimulation and accessibility indicators. The reports offered a detailed overview and state of the art with regard to these important societal properties.

Both reviews served as a basis for the development of a generic framework for core building performance indicators and an indicator toolbox. The developed indicator framework, which was called the PERFECTION key indoor performance indicators (KIPI) framework, was structured in a hierarchical way. The KIPI indicators were divided into four main categories and eight sub-categories:

1. health and comfort
2. safety and security
3. usability and positive stimulation
4. adaptability and serviceability.

Each sub-category was composed by performance indicators that were further characterised by specific technical indicators. The PERFECTION KIPI framework might be used for the assessment of the indoor performance of buildings. For each indicator simple and detailed assessment methods were defined, both for the design phase and for the operational one.

In order to validate and test the framework, an Excel-based toolbox was developed in parallel with the generic framework. The framework and toolbox were essential preparatory steps towards the building decision support tool developed by PERFECTION. The aim of this tool was to be able to characterise indoor performances, with regard to health, comfort, security, safety and other issues that could improve the well-being of people living, working or visiting a building. The PERFECTION building evaluation tool could be accessed on It offered users the possibility to evaluate projects and demonstrate them as showcases. Together with the Building decision support system (DSS) a promotional tool on indoor environment products and technologies to be evaluated against a subset of PERFECTION indicators was developed. The promotional tool allowed producers to communicate about their products and allowed users to search for them. It was accessible at

Finally, PERFECTION prepared policy recommendations, in the form of two detailed preparatory deliverables, a PERFECTION policy support paper and a PERFECTION indicator performance (IP) indicator roadmap. The policy work was summarised in a concise policy brief and would be published on the official perfection website, on

Project Context and Objectives:


In the former years, several approaches have been developed in the European Union (EU) as regards the assessment of the indoor environment and building sustainability and the establishment of respective indicators. It is exactly because of the many activities and elaborations in the area of indoor environment and building sustainability that the potential of a coordinated activity is maximised. Learning from each other and setting a common agenda and a common roadmap constitute the obvious reasoning for this.

There are numerous published indicators within the PERFECTION scope available. The standardisation work by e.g. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), European Community for Standardisation (CEN) technical committees (TC156W1, TC264WG7, TC350, TC351), European Community (EC) Construction Products Directive (CPD 89/106), European Organisation for Technical Approvals (EOTA) (PT9), International Standards Organisation (ISO) (16000/TC146SC6, 16814/TC205) and World Health Organisation (WHO), without even mentioning all, gives extensive references on indoor health related indicators. In addition, the International Council for Buildings (CIB) has produced an internationally accepted compendium of building performance framework including the categories of safety, comfort, health and hygiene, service life and usability and maintainability. CIB has also an active working commission W077 on indoor
climate and its large European Community (EC) funded performance based building thematic network (2001-2005) included a domain for indoor environment, led by the respective task leader in PERFECTION.

A number of the PERFECTION partners were involved in the compilation of different performance and sustainability indicator systems in the immediate past (e.g. CRISP, Ecoserve, Hope). However, the lack of a strong contextual element was what the PERFECTION consortium saw as one of the drawbacks in assessment methodologies and related metrics and indicators.

The indicator framework developed by PERFECTION positioned not only health, comfort, safety and accessibility indicators. It also included other important indoor performance indicators that touched on sustainability aspects, such as adaptability or usability in a form that designers could communicate to clients. In this perspective, the goal of PERFECTIOM was to take into account the results of the Lense, Manubuild, Pebbu and Tissue projects to further detail or reformulate the core performance indicators and actively engage the end user considerations.

In addition, the project sought to emphasise the end user role, making the approaches more user oriented. At the end, the uptake of any technology or policy would indeed depend primarily on providing the European user with a clear metric of its impact on the indoor performance. The less ambiguous the impact of a new technology, the faster the awareness creation and the higher the penetration of the technology in the building domain would be. Along the same line of thought, policies might also be considered. A fast evaluation of the impact of any (voluntary) policy would support its social basis and fast adoption.


The aim of the PERFECTION coordination action was to help enable the application of new building design and technologies that would improve the impact of the indoor built environment on health, comfort, feeling of safety and positive stimulation. In order to reach this objective, the project objectives were defined as follows:

1. a repository of good indoor performance indicators for health, comfort and safety
2. a repository of state of the art environmental technologies that appeared to have the potential for an important impact on the indoor performance and sustainability of the built domain
3. an interoperable framework for performance indicators qualifying the indoor environment, allowing the successful life cycle management of sustainable buildings and stimulating the exploitation of appropriate technologies
4. a decision support tool for different user groups applicable to different building types findings from selected pilot cases of the use of the indicators framework and the relevant indoor performance indicators
5. recommendations on policies and the future research agenda, i.e. a roadmap including incentives and barriers for the application of building design and technologies to improve the quality of indoor environments knowledge and good practices on performance indicators for health, comfort and safety in the indoor environment
6. a wide dissemination of findings through an extensive expert network and the organisation of a series of events.

Creating an indicator framework was merely seen as the first building step of the PERFECTION coordination action. An important work package focussed on the use of indicators and the way they could stimulate the development and the uptake of new designs and technologies. In that regard the above mentioned objective of developing a PERFECTION user decision support tool should be seen. In the end this tool comprised two modules:

1. an evaluation and assessment module on the level of buildings with metrics and benchmarks defined in the indicator framework
2. a promotional module where product and technology solutions related to the PERFECTION scope and allowing to achieve an improved building enhancement mark could be publicised against a defined template.

Finally PERFECTION had also a series of policy related objectives. As a matter of fact, PERFECTION aimed:

1. to formulate a set of recommendations to the EC and the member states with regard to incentives and barriers to new designs and technologies
2. to formulate a set of recommendations to the EC, the member states and industry with regard to the needs and priorities of the future
3. to deliver a policy support paper with regard to the CPD, Energy Performance Buildings Directive (EPBD) and European Environment and Health Action Plan (EEHAP) standards and regulations
4. to describe an indoor core performance indicator roadmap that described various development paths towards the desired future state taken cognisance of different time frames, technology maturity and relevant policy action plans barriers and incentives.

PERFECTION and dissemination activities

The project was carried out at an EU scale and the project results reached nearly all EU countries. More than 30 experts from over 27 countries were carefully selected to be part of the PERFECTION committee of experts and stakeholders (CES) team to ensure the necessary depth and width. The CES network consisted of experts from various domains linked to the ENV. call, such as indoor health issues, acoustics, universal design, performance metrics and tools, sustainable design and construction, etc. Clear project yardsticks were the following:

1. Engaging in the project roll-out partners or subcontractors from all EU-27 countries and securing a networking effect, extending well beyond the project lifetime. Next to 11 key partners, a great number of so called network partners representing industry from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to LSEs, academia and research, from all over the EU and the accession countries, should actively contribute to the common goal.
2. Organising five events all across Europe (north, east, south-east, south-west and central), two with a policy focus, two with a research focus and one business focused. A sixth smaller-scale event had to be organized for EC officers and should focus on EC policies in the areas of environment, enterprise, transport and energy, employment, social affairs and equal opportunities.

In the context of dissemination a series of publications and communications were prepared, including two newsletters, a flyer, videos, user manuals and deliverable reports.

Project Results:

Work package one (WP1): Indoor indicators and framework

Inventory of standards, regulations, technologies, research activities and policies (D1.1 & D1.2)

A summary of existing standards, regulations, technologies, recent research efforts and policies related to the indoor environment of buildings was the objective of the two first tasks of the project. In order to reach this goal an EU-wide survey was organised. Through this survey, a total of 313 complete inputs were collected, consisting in 114 standards, 95 regulations, 21 technologies, 55 research activities and 28 policies. The survey inputs were directly linked to 91 relevant indicators of the indoor environment and the database enabled a search of the items by these indicators. The technologies listed in this deliverable served as a basis to the product database which was later enriched by other products.

Health, comfort, safety, accessibility and positive stimulation indicators (D1.3 &D1.4)

In order to build a generic framework for the indoor environment, the project team started by producing an extensive list of indicators concerning health, comfort, safety, accessibility and positive stimulation.

In PERFECTIONs Task 1.3 current performance indicators, standards, regulations, guidelines, research activities and policies used in design and construction of the built environment, focussing on performance indicators for health and comfort, i.e. indoor environmental quality, were investigated. The objective was to present a review of health and comfort indicators for indoor environment in buildings. The outcome of Task 1.3 was presented in the associated deliverable report. It comprised the following results:

1. First of all, the earlier work, mainly within EU projects, on performance based building and performance indicators for the indoor environment was analysed. The performance based building (PBB) concept and definitions of terms applied within the context were evaluated.
2. Secondly, a general definition of a (core) performance indicator was defined. It was demonstrated that a core performance indicator could be described by a set of indicators or parameters. Each indicator or parameter could be assessed qualitatively or quantitatively.
3. Thirdly, specific health and comfort performance indicators related to the indoor environment were reviewed. An analysis of existing indicators was performed. Performance indicators for the five key indoor performance indicators, namely acoustic comfort, visual comfort, indoor air quality, quality of drinking water and water reuse and thermal comfort, were presented. For each performance indicator, specific indicators, parameters and informative target values were documented.

From this list of available performance indicators a selection was recommended for the application in an indicator framework for the assessment and evaluation of sustainable buildings. The following indicators were recommended:

1. Indoor air quality: effective temperature, effective ventilation, combustion sources and infiltration, odour acceptance and particulate matter
2. Water quality: drinking water quality, rain and reuse water quality
3. Thermal comfort: operative temperature
4. Visual comfort: illuminance, daylight factor
5. Acoustic comfort: background noise level, reverberation time.

Task 1.3 demonstrated that the level of detail on which the information for the assessment of a building was available was the main issue that influenced the complexity of the indicator framework. Often, a specific indicator could be assessed on a global level, based on a qualitative and more subjective evaluation of the performance indicators, or a more detailed level, based on a quantitative and objective evaluation. While questionnaires and checklists might be suitable assessment methods for the first approach, detailed measurement of the performance indicators and corresponding parameters was recommended for a second more thorough approach. Focussing on the development of an indicator framework it was recommended to apply such a distinction (global versus detailed) within the project.

Task 1.4 covered an area which was less studied than the health and comfort one, but which was nevertheless important from an economic, social and even environmental point of view. Interesting to note was that the study demonstrated that this area clearly offered opportunities for innovation and technological development. The review of task 1.4 listed indicators for two levels of evaluation, i.e. high level indicators (abstract) and basic detailed indicators. It covered four main topics, namely accessibility, safety, security and positive stimulation.

For the first topic, the indicators related to accessibility were split into five sections:

1. approach to the building
2. entrance to the building
3. movement inside the building
4. facilities in the building
5. communication in buildings.

For each of these sections, a list of basic design indicators were described, such as ramp slope, door width etc.

For the second and the third topics, the review covered a wide range of topics and related indicators. The following safety and security domains were covered by the report: structural safety, mechanical safety (glazing, slips trips and falls, collision or entrapment, falling objects), fire safety, food safety, flood safety, electromagnetic safety, cyber security, privacy and security of users and goods.

Finally, the deliverable introduced the concept of positive stimulation and proposed a list of indicators related to positive stimulation in different kind of buildings, e.g. offices, stores, hospitals and dwellings.

The PERFECTION KIPI framework (D1.5 & 1.6)

The KIPI framework of PERFECTION was the common result of Task 1.5 which produced the first version of the framework and of Task 1.6 where the first version was improved.

The final KIPI framework contained four main categories, each composed of two subcategories and 31 performance indicators. The four main categories of the KIPI Framework were:

1. health and comfort, dealing with items such as mould growth risk, ventilation and carbon dioxide (CO2), combustion sources and infiltration, particulate matter, drinking water quality, operative temperature and PPD, illuminance, daylight factor, background noise level and reverberation time
2. safety and security, covering safety in use, feeling of safety, meeting current regulation, building type specific safety issues, personal and material security, security of information and reliability in exceptional cases
3. usability and positive stimulation, with as indicators access to and in the building, wayfinding, adjustability, view to outside, privacy, feelings and sensations and availability and quality of recreational spaces
4. adaptability and serviceability, in which versatility and protection, technical service life, adaptability to climate change, branding and cultural heritage, availability of services in the building, cleanliness and maintainability were considered.

From the four categories, health and comfort was clearly the one which was most covered by research, technological development and indicators. From the European point of view, health and safety were areas which were well subjected to regulations and standards, both existing and under development. Comfort seemed to be less covered by regulations, but was clearly well addressed in standards. The other five sub-categories seemed to draw in general less attention from policy makers, industry or the public. In the future this might however change, certainly if the indoor performance became a well-known concept for which business opportunities were demonstrated.

WP2: Use of indicators

The PERFECTION toolbox and case studies (D2.1 and D2.4)

The PERFECTION case studies and excel-based toolbox formed a significant element of the project and were used in the first phase of the project to provide input to the development and understanding of the KIPI indicators and how they could be used in practice.

The PERFECTION Excel-based toolbox

The first step consisted in the development of a model and an experimental testing toolbox. The tool served for the evaluation of the case studies based upon the performance indicators listed in the KIPI framework. The indicators list that was initially included in the toolbox was derived from the first version of the indicator framework but, during the project, the toolbox followed the evolution of the KIPI framework and was thus updated along the way.

The indicators used in the toolbox could be assessed into two different phases of the building life. They could be assessed during normal operations that were performed inside the building (assessment in operation), or they could be assessed during the design phase (assessment in design), when a new building was being built or was undergoing a renovation process.
% The indicators could be assessed in a simple way, by means of site visits, user surveys or reviews of design plans (simple assessment). However, for some indicators it could also be useful to perform a more detailed assessment (detailed assessment), provided that additional information was available. Whatever assessment method was selected, the indicators are evaluated against five performance level (from A to E, where A was the highest and E the lowest).

Some indicators defined in the framework could not be applied or were simply not relevant to all the building types. In order to deal with this a first estimation of the indicator impact on different building types was provided.

The first version of the toolbox that was created was based on an Excel sheet. It was composed of two main sections:

1. general Information, containing some general information in order to provide a synthetic description of the building under analysis
2. indicator evaluation, with a separation regarding the assessment during the design phase and the assessment in operation.

The Excel sheet also contained a column for comments related to each indicator and a weighting cell. However, with the evolution of the project, it was decided to include in the last version of the Excel, a new section with a weighting system. The user had therefore the choice to select the default weighting system applicable to the kind of studied building and proposed by the PERFECTION consortium, or to use a personal or organisational weighting system according to his own agenda and priorities.

The case studies (D2.4)

The case studies were set up in two phases. In the first phase a number of buildings, five in total, were evaluated in a kind of iterative process during the development work associated with the framework and toolbox, namely:

1. a housing renovation project in Belgium
2. a new build hospital and an existing hospital in Finland
3. an office building in France
4. a redeveloped historic building in Italy
5. a university office and teaching building in the Netherlands.

Ten case studies were added to this in the second phase. This second phase was undertaken over the period June 2010 to May 2011. The case studies included shopping centres, further offices and domestic premises. The phase two case studies were analysed using the toolbox described before.

Once the PERFECTION DSS software was available, both phase one and phase two case studies were submitted to it. The full findings from phases one and two were then taken together in order to produce the final summary report on case studies.

The PERFECTION products and technologies database

The PERFECTION (products and technologies) service aimed to provide a commercial platform, in the form of a search engine for locating all sorts of manufacturers, distributors, resellers of products that were, in some way, affecting positively a subset of the PERFECTION KIPI Framework and are, in this way, contributing to a better indoor environmental quality. The PERFECTION products platform directly brought into contact indoor environmental quality product providers and potential product buyers.

The website dedicated to the promotional tool was available since September 2010. It is on line at

The tool was publicly available since June 2011. Indeed, the consortium was filling the database of this tool with technologies and products identified by the consortium and the CES members. A letter was prepared addressed to manufacturers and companies involved requesting editing and approval of information. This same request was placed on the website.

The aim was to develop based upon the feedback a business case for this promotional service for indoor environment products, tools and technologies. If considered useful, the tool would be adapted in order to allow developing a transparent, long-term relationship with its users, which were on the one hand product and technology providers and on the other hand users and potential clients.

Indoor environmental quality product and technology providers were able to access the service in order to add information about their products and their contact data while potential buyers can search or express their interest for a related product. Visitors to the service were able:

1. to freely browse through all the service content; this included all the product information published as well as all its provider related information search and find products that were impacting upon a given KIPI indicator, that the visitor could select upon his interests.

The PERFECTION DSS for buildings

The PERFECTION buildings tool at ; was designed as easy-to-use and free of charge service, accessible from real estate and construction industry experts to citizens. The service supported building owners, managers and designers in decision-making by showing indoor environment quality ratings for building projects.

Registered users were able to add projects, with the permission of the building owner. The added value of the service was indoor environment performance calculations, for which a methodology was developed in the PERFECTION project. The following KIPI scores were calculated for buildings of various types, during their design or operation stages:

1. Total KIPI score
2. Category KIPI scores, including health and comfort, safety and security, usability and positive stimulation and adjustability and serviceability.

The official PERFECTION calculation module integrated PERFECTION developed European-level weights for offices, schools, housing, hospitals, exhibition and other building types.

The site map contained public (unregistered users, accessible for everyone) and private (registered users) interfaces. Registered users were able to add a new building project and optionally publish results to the public SHOWCASE. Published projects were visible to everyone. Citizens are able to see web report of the building projects in the SHOWCASE, but only the registered user who added the project had the related Excel/PDF exports.

The website hosted a second so-called adapted version of the KIPI based building evaluation tool. This second offered more freedom to the user, in terms of selection of indicators, setting personal or organisational weights, adding specific indicators, etc. Whereas the official version of the tool allowed benchmarking across Europe, the second was more oriented to commercial use within organisations who wanted to set and respect a limited number of IP objectives.

WP3, Policy recommendations

The context

One of the WPs defined in the PERFECTION work programme was devoted to the formulation of policy recommendations. As the PERFECTION project was a EU-funded project, the aim was to make reference to European regulations and initiatives such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (or EPBD Recast), the Construction Products Directive (in the near future Construction Products Regulation, CPD or CPR), the European Environment and Health Action Plan (EEHAP) and the Green Public Procurement Policy.

The policy recommendation work of the project was organised based upon four logical and consecutive deliverables:

1. a report on indicators, design and technologies including the barrier and incentives (D3.1)
2. a report on design and technology needs and priorities (D3.2)
3. a PERFECTION Policy Support paper (D3.3)
4. a PERFECTION Indicator Roadmap summarising the work the work package (D3.4).

The works started of course from the PERFECTION KIPI Framework itself. Having a look to the eight sub-categories of the PERFECTION KIPI Framework, it seemed logic to make a distinction between those categories which have to be addressed by regulations and/or policies because they refered to the physical integrity of the users and occupants of the building, and those categories which had more to do with the quality of the building in terms of well-being, impact on sustainability and design. Health and safety clearly belonged to the first group, while the other sub-categories were part of the second group. The comfort topic was situated somewhere in between. The difference between the two groups was that they were treated differently in policy matters. Chances were big that this would remain so in the future.

The PERFECTION KIPI sub-categories in policy and regulations

The health category refers clearly to two regulatory frameworks, the first one linked to the CPD, and more specifically the third essential requirement hygiene, health and the environment, the second one being the Drinking Water Directive (98/83/EC). As the protection of the consumer or user stands central in these directives, it seemed logic that most indicators falling under this sub-category were regulated, either on the European or at the member state level.

The safety sub-category had a similar aim. Demanding safety in indoor environments had everything to do with the protection of the user of the building (and the objects which are present in the building). As such, it is logic that regulations and standards addressed safety of buildings and indoor environments in all its aspects. The CPD, now becoming the CPR, addressed safety through at least three of the essential requirements, i.e. mechanical resistance and stability, safety in case of fire and safety (and accessibility) in use. The safety of the indoor environment was also addressed by other regulatory frameworks, such as those addressing the single markets for goods and the safety of consumer products (such as the Machinery directive for instance).

Security seemed to be different as a sub-category compared to health and safety. Indeed, whereas health and safety clearly focussed on the physical integrity of the users themselves, the security sub-category referred to a series of other aspects. Personal security was for instance only in a number of buildings (such as public or defence related buildings) really relevant. The importance given to material security and security of information would highly depend on the type of building. As such, it seemed logic that the security sub-category was less covered by regulatory requirements. The initiative to put requirements for a particular building and/or indoor environment was left to the market.

The comfort sub-category was from the viewpoint of the user a very relevant one as it directly affected well-being. As such, the relevance of the performance indicators addressed in this sub-category would be quite apparent to most users. From the regulatory point of view, comfort-related issues might be addressed, but much will depend on the type of building or the comfort issue under consideration. Lighting requirements were for instance to be found in regulations affecting the quality of the working environment. On the other hand, acoustical requirements were considered in the CPD through the essential requirement protection against noise, and are sometimes integrated in member states building regulations. The EPBD itself dealt partly with the comfort issue through its article one, in which it was stated that the directive was promoting the improvement of the energy performance of buildings while taking into account indoor climate requirements. As the term requirements was used,
the focus was probably more on health-related issues than on comfort. Indeed, for the regulator protecting health was a major and priority issue whereas comfort was more situated in the market play: comfortable buildings would have a higher market value.

With regard to the usability sub-category most of the elements covered were not integrated in regulations, but were considered in voluntary initiatives and standards. The topic of adjustability was for instance quite interesting when you were discussing sustainability aspects of indoor environments and buildings. The exception was of course the access performance indicator, which addressed amongst others the level of accessibility towards people with disabilities or ageing. This particular indicator was covered by regulation, as both the CPR and the EPBD addressed accessibility as an important topic and most member states defined specific regulations addressing the built environment and the buildings accessible to the public. From the societal point of view usability seemed to be an important topic for future policy work. First of all, the general objectives defined in European directives and regulations needed to be translated in practical requirements and standards. Secondly, as
buildings and built environments had a long life and a slow replacement frequency, addressing usability in regulatory frameworks and initiatives might have important consequences in the long run on all dimensions of sustainability.

Together with adjustability, adaptability of indoor environments was clearly an important performance indicator category if you thought about the long term existence and use of buildings. Buildings and indoor environments (could) become part of the cultural heritage of the future, and needed to be designed and built with an adequate technical service life. Moreover, they had to be robust enough in order to be resistant and adapted to the effects of climate change. Most of these concerns were not dealt with in current regulatory frameworks.

The same held for the sub-categories positive stimulation and serviceability. Both aspects offered clear advantages for owners and/or users of buildings and indoor environments, but are not addressed in regulations. The economic value of buildings with indoor environments having a good performance should however be positively influenced. As such, improving serviceability and positive stimulation in buildings was mainly a market concern, and less a policy objective. Although it should not be neglected that in specific building types, such as hospitals and rest homes, there were also clear benefits for society with for instance a better and faster revalidation and/or integration.

Report on indicators, design and technologies including the barrier and incentives (D3.1)

The objective of this task was to formulate a set of recommendations to the EC and the member states with regard to incentives and barriers to new designs and technologies. The report led to the following list of recommendations:

1. raising awareness activities - addressed to all and fit for purpose, including also cost analysis of how a new technology/method works in comparison to old methods, well-prepared information campaign
2. promote incentives developed by the authorities. Balancing of the demand and supply side as being crucial to entrench the innovations and benefit from them
3. the voluntary labeling (certificates/award systems), if supported by the government and widely recognided by the professionals, might also contribute to the uptake of e.g. green buildings concept. The KIPI assessment tool had also the potential to become or contribute to one of these labels.
4. suggest guidelines for the EC
5. elaborate benefits of the technologies for the adopters as well as EC (structured list of benefits, to make them obvious).

Report on design and technology needs and priorities (D3.2)

This task was devoted to the identification of the needs and priorities for future technology developments to improve the quality of the indoor environment. The analysis started considering the High Level Indicators of the KIPI framework and then went deeper to evaluate each indicator. This approach was chosen as indicators belonging to the same group are often assessed through the same methodologies and technologies.

The analysis showed that several solutions were already available for building designers and managers. However, there was still a lot of work to do both from the point of view of the regulations and standards and from the point of view of technology innovation. It was also very important to design the indoor environment in an integrated way, optimising the balance between the design approaches followed and the choice of the passive or active technologies to be installed to achieve the best performance.

Regarding regulations, the most important technical requirements can be summarised as:

1. harmonisation of the reference technical parameters to evaluate the KIPI indicators among the different European countries, in terms of descriptors, assessment methodologies and target values (acoustic descriptors, illuminance, thermal parameters, etc.)
2. definition of guidelines for cleaning, helping to identify the best solutions to guarantee a proper conservation of the building materials, and positive stimulation issues to help managers and designers to choose the best approach to improve the indoor environment quality
3. development of guidelines to develop materials and construction methodologies to facilitate the cooperation between building designers and constructors, also ensuring adaptability and a long lifetime of the building.

The last aspect considered was the analysis of the control technologies and methodologies. The major priority is to promote the diffusion of integrated systems with capabilities to control environmental parameters (temperature, relative humidity, light, noise, etc.) not only in different areas of the building, but also in the same room.

Policy support paper (D3.3)

The aim of the projects subtask 3.3 was to deliver a policy support paper with regard to the current standards and regulations. Relevant documents and policies, such as the CPD/CPR, EPBD, EEHAP and GPP, were of course to be covered in particular. This task based its work on the PERFECTION KIPI framework (Tasks 1.5 and 1.6) and on experts? contributions (partners, CES members).

Firstly, a synthesis of the European policies related to the themes involved into the PERFECTION project was carried out in order to identify ways of improvement. This synthesis was presented to the CES members during a workshop session held in Prague in March 2011.

Then a questionnaire regarding the main recommendations was submitted in May 2011 to all experts involved in the PERFECTION project, leading to more than 20 contributions.

Finally, a synthesis of all of these contributions was integrated into the task 3.3 report. The work was presented in SB10 Finland and SB11 Helsinki in separate policy papers, and was presented in the Business-Oriented workshop in Greece (November 2012) and the EC Policy-oriented event (December 2012). The report itself waseen amended and completed step-by-step by the PERFECTION partners, but was finalised in October 2012.

Indicator roadmap (D3.4)

The roadmap summarised the work in different time scales. It was developed in collaboration with PERFECTION CES members and also validated in a SB11 Conference by a wider group of experts.

Conclusion: recommendations to improve indoor performance in the future

If one aimed to improve the indoor performance of buildings through developing or improving policy and regulations, he would have to take into account the multiple dimensions of the indoor environment, which were themselves only a part of the many dimensions determining the sustainability of the building or built environment under consideration. Improving the indoor performance therefore demanded a policy approach dealing on the one hand with the overall concept and on the other hand with the individual sub-categories and performance indicators.

A project such as PERFECTION helped to put forward and increase the visibility of the indoor environment quality concept. A good understanding of what indoor performance was very relevant, and the KIPI framework certainly helped to bring the message and create awareness. Indoor performance was much too often restricted to indoor air quality, and the PERFECTION framework avoided such misunderstandings. Promoting the indoor performance concept remained therefore an important action point for the future. It could be realised amongst others:

1. by stimulating indoor environment research and development of appropriate technologies
2. by promoting standardisation and developing assessment methodologies for individual performances and for global evaluations (being part of overall sustainability evaluations for instance)
3. by issuing guidelines and codes of good practice
4. by integrating indoor environment quality in technical specification for public buildings and works, such as for instance schools, hospitals, etc.
5. by developing educational programs and courses on indoor performance for specific target groups such as architects and designers, building professionals and students for the different building professions.

Besides the overall concept, policy initiatives could also address the individual sub-categories and performance indicators of the KIPI framework. As illustrated in the former paragraphs health and safety (and in a lesser way comfort) were already well integrated in the existing regulatory framework, but this did not mean that further work was not necessary. Research and technological development remained important in these areas. With regard to health a lot of work remained for instance to be done to better understand the effects of the different contaminants present in the indoor environment. Translating the safety requirements in practical guidelines and standards and in economic feasible designs stayed an important challenge for the future.

Most of the other sub-categories could only be partially addressed by regulations. Setting minimal requirements for comfort, security, usability, positive stimulation, adaptability or serviceability was less evident for a regulator than for the health and safety sub-categories, where the risk for human beings was far more important. However, depending on the categories of buildings and the specific performance considered, the legislator may take particular initiatives. Examples were the accessibility requirement for public buildings which is present in most regulations of member states or the acoustical comfort and noise protection addressed sometimes in building regulations. Next to addressing and completing the regulatory framework, policy makers might stimulate the market to develop and use new technologies and designs in order to improve the quality level of the built environment by stimulating and financing RTD work and voluntary initiatives, for instance through financial
support or tax deductions.

Potential impact:

As a project PERFECTION was lucky and able to have already an impact during the projects lifetime. The good understanding and collaboration in the consortium and between partners enabled the timely delivery of deliverables, reports, newsletters, workshops and tools. Thanks to this an extensive dissemination and interaction with the scientific, industrial and policy community could be organised, already during the projects lifetime. As such, the short term impact of the project could not be underestimated, and consisted amongst others oof:

1. about 14 scientific peer-reviewed papers, presented during conferences where academia and industry could be reached. PERFECTION also presented four posters at such conferences.
2. five workshops, focusing on the interactions with the PERFECTION Committee of Experts and Stakeholders, but also open to the public and including invited speakers
3. one workshop with the EC, to transfer and discuss the PERFECTION policy-related activities
4. two PERFECTION webinars (in June 2010 and June 2011)
5. four videos on PERFECTION and tools available on You Tube
6. three websites, i.e. the mother website and the tool websites on buildings and products
7. two PERFECTION booths at the SB11 Helsinki World Sustainable Building Conference and at the Green Expo of the Greek MoneyShow
8. a special forum on Indicators at the SB11 Helsinki World Sustainable Building Conference and a conference session during the same conference focusing on indoor performance and indicators, in which four of the six presented papers were PERFECTION-based.
9. presence and presentations in events, such as the ECTP Conference, the Belgian presidency initiative on indoor environment and health and standardization committees.

Thanks to the dissemination activities, PERFECTION was able to put forward Indoor Performance as an important concept, and to create awareness about the different components of IP. The PERFECTION KIPI framework appeared to be easy to understand, attractive and fit for communication purposes. The consortium never claimed that the KIPI framework was perfect nor complete, but it clearly had the advantage of simplicity, transparency and manageability. Thanks to this, a lot of actors came to realise that indoor quality was more than indoor air quality and health-related aspects.

The indoor performance (IP) concept itself, and its different components, allowed also identifying some work items for the future. These were amongst others addressed in the policy support deliverable reports and the policy brief. In areas such as health, safety and comfort, policy initiatives were already taken in the past, and indicators were therefore judged to be mature for immediate implementation. The other indicator categories, such as security, usability, positive stimulation, adaptability and serviceability clearly lagged behind and face longer implementation times. Making progress in these areas would depend largely on the efforts taken by policy makers to create frameworks and stimulate initiatives and the response of industry and the market. Three examples illustrate the potential impacts this might have:

1. in the usability category, one of the performance indicators was access to and in the building. In most European countries, accessibility was regulated or regulation initiatives were taken, and in nearly all cases the focus was on the public environment. More stringent regulations in the public area and stronger demands from society which was ageing, would clearly stimulate (and in some cases already have stimulated) progress in this area. New and innovative products, technologies, care and services initiatives were taken to respond to this societal demand and challenge. Thanks to PERFECTION this challenge was placed in a broader framework, in which the access element is part of the global indoor performance.
2. the different elements of the positive stimulation sub-category were put on the foreground thanks to the FP7 ENV call and the response of PERFECTION to this challenge. The work of PERFECTION showed that this area was not well enough covered by research and technological development, and that huge steps forward seemed to be possible in this area. Investing in positive stimulation may have important societal benefits, largely depending of where the positive stimulation measures were installed. In industry and work environments, such measures might lead to higher productivity and economic benefits. In schools, positive stimulation might help pupils to stay focussed and motivated. In shops, measures might help to increase sales. In hospitals and care facilities, positive stimulation might accelerate revalidation, increase quality of life and lengthen life. Studying impacts and quantifying costs and benefits seemed to be an urgent need in this sector to enable further progress and
stimulate investments.
3. due to the global challenges facing the world in the Energy and Climate debate, the construction industry was heavily concentrating on energy efficiency and carbon neutrality of buildings. A huge amount of RTD funds were now directed towards this long-term challenge with objectives defined for 2020, 2030 and 2050 with regard to energy use, carbon emissions and renewable energy (see the 20-20-20 objectives and the EU roadmap towards carbon neutrality). It was clear that the built environment, both new built and renovations, had an important role to play in this debate, but at the same time the quality of the buildings themselves might not be endangered by focusing solely on the energy and climate objectives. Indeed, as people spent more than 80 % of their time indoors, the Indoor Performance was crucial to the well-being of people and society. The KIPI framework would help remind society to this equilibrium and would help to convey the message that the future challenge was to build
energy-efficient and carbon-neutral buildings with a high-quality indoor performance. Moreover, the KIPI framework and the whole or partial uptake in sustainability assessment tools and objectives would also help to improve the quality of these tools. Finally, the KIPI framework itself contained an indicator named adaptability to climate change. This indicator stressed the importance of long-term views on buildings and the indoor performance. Indeed, buildings which were new built or renovated now, not only impacted the energy use and carbon emissions of the future, but should also be flexible and adaptable to allow adaptations to an unpredictable future, and this at a minimal economic and environmental cost.

The different results of PERFECTION would be exploited by the consortium in many ways. In a direct way the consortium participants would use the KIPI framework and associated tools to impact:

1. Education. Some of the participants taught at universities and would include the framework in their courses.
2. National regulations. Organizations involved in PERFECTION had in many cases an advisory role in regulatory initiatives, such as the EPBD implementation or access regulation, and would put forward the IP concept.
3. International standardisation. During the lifetime of PERFECTION information was transferred to CEN TC350 (WG5) and ISO TC59 SC17 (WG2), and this would be continued in the future.
4. Certification. Many of the associated participants were involved in the development of sustainability assessment schemes or projects, such as BREEAM, SB Tool, VALIDEO, Super Buildings or Open House. The results of PERFECTION would be partially integrated and implemented gradually in these schemes.
5. Networking and exploitation activities. Some of the participants would try to stimulate the use of the PERFECTION building tool on a local level, and with a focus on specific target building types. The main efforts were currently focused on the adapted version of the tool in commercial environments.
6. Further RTD activities. Both on the level of the IP concept as on the level of the categories or performance indicators, consortium participants would continue RTD efforts. IPR agreements were defined by which the source code on the tools was shared between the PERFECTION partners. Most of the consortium partners were willing to collaborate in the future, but due to funding possibilities in Europe it was highly probable that RTD efforts would be undertaken at the national or interregional scale.

Finally, it has to be repeated in this context that one of the conference papers was selected as Best Paper at SB11, and thanks to this, this paper would be reworked for a scientific journal. The paper would be published by the middle of 2012. Dissemination continued thus also on the scientific level.

List of websites:

The public project website was located at The evaluation tool could be reached at and the product tool at Any request concerning the project might be sent at Contact .

Collaboration sought: N/A

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Performance Indicators For Health, Comfort And Safety Of The Indoor Environment


01.01.2009 to 31.12.2011

completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.



Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Mr. DESMYTER Jan





Contact person: SAKKAS Nikos

Phone: +30-2810-379834




Contact person: GORECZNA Maria

Phone: +48-2435-57715




Contact person: HELLEUX Arnaud

Phone: +33-140519385




Contact person: KORNADT Oliver

Phone: +49-178-3021136



(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Dr. GARVIN Stephen Leslie


Phone: +44-1355576200



(Czech Republic)

Contact person: HAJEK Petr

Phone: +420-224354459




Contact person: SHARAN Yair

Phone: +972-3-6407574




Contact person: MONDINI Daniela

Phone: +39-01119751111




Contact person: MONEN Marius

Phone: +31-40-2473970




Contact person: HUOVILA Pekka

Phone: +358-20-7225903