International Symposium Tackles Major Issue in Future Building Stock


Next week, 300 of the world's leading experts in daylight gather in Copenhagen. Their goal is to challenge the use of sunlight to transform today's buildings into sustainable and healthy indoor environments in the future. 

According to the hosts of the VELUX Daylight Symposium, taking a hard, critical look at our future building stock has never been more important than it is today. This is why the organisers have summoned the elite of daylight research, architecture and engineering to discuss the theme "New eyes on existing buildings" at the 5th VELUX Daylight Symposium.

 "The average European spends 90 per cent of his time indoors. But 30 per cent of all buildings provide an unhealthy indoor climate with too little daylight, a situation that can lead to poor health and depression-related symptoms for the occupants of those buildings," explains Per Arnold Andersen, head of the VELUX Group's Knowledge Centre for Daylight, Energy and Indoor Climate, and continues:

 "In 20 years, we will still be living in the buildings we live in today, and we are heading down a very unhealthy path when it comes to our future building stock. Unless we act upon it – which is exactly what we hope the daylight symposium will ensure."

 According to the VELUX Group Knowledge Centre, these grave consequences face everyone in more or less every corner of the globe.

 Health benefits with more daylight in buildings

Per Arnold Andersen is not alone making this sad prediction. According to Dr Richard Hobday, author of 'The Healing Sun: Sunlight and Health in the 21st Century' and a leading expert in the field of daylight research, daylight has a number of health benefits that have been neglected or even forgotten.

 "Drug-resistant bacteria, the influenza virus and other pathogens pose an increasing threat to people in buildings. So it is important to remember that daylight can protect against infections and other health problems. Unfortunately, there is a trend towards admitting less light indoors rather than more which, in my opinion, is a major public health issue," explains Dr Richard Hobday.

 Richard Hobday is one of the more than 20 international experts who have been invited to give a presentation at the 5th VELUX Daylight Symposium in May.

 Need for increased focus on daylight

The need to discuss daylight in buildings and highlight its importance is an international issue. According to Per Arnold Andersen one of the ways to deal with the negative trend is to promote the benefits of daylight to homeowners as well as legislators.

 "Most people do not realise that they don't get enough daylight on a daily basis and that this can have grave consequences for their general health and well-being. One of the ways to awaken the consciousness is by promoting daylight through campaigns and, of course, by tightening the requirements of daylight exposure in our building regulations. How we do this is perhaps the most important topic to be answered at VELUX Daylight Symposium," explains Per Arnold Andersen.

 The 5th VELUX Daylight Symposium will take place at a fantastic venue − The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen – from 15-16 May 2013.

 The full programme and information are available at