Welcome to the UK Indoor Environments Group
Background: Our Aims and Objectives
The UK Indoor Environments Group (UKIEG) was launched in 2003, with the aim to co-ordinate and provide a focus for UK activity concerned with improving indoor environments for people.
We are a unique, independent and impartial multidisciplinary network of professionals working in the field of health, wellbeing and indoor environments. We are committed to promoting the development, synthesis, dissemination and application of evidence relating to policy and practice in the UK indoor built environment, with the ultimate aim of improving health and wellbeing.
The fact that people spend the vast majority of their time inside buildings – at home, at work, in vehicles, shops, etc. – is widely acknowledged, yet while the outdoor environment has received much attention, the importance of the quality of the indoor environment in relation to human health and wellbeing is often unrecognised and under-researched. Moreover, addressing problems relating to the indoor environment, which might include issues as diverse as indoor air quality, lighting, ventilation and thermal comfort, physical and mental health, comfort and wellbeing, requires a highly multidisciplinary approach and involves numerous different stakeholders. Yet there is a fundamental lack of mutual understanding around the notions of 'health' and 'wellbeing' within the context of indoor environments, and little understanding of how to support health and wellbeing indoor using an evidence-based approach and in a sustainable manner. This lack of coordination and alignment cuts across policy, research and professional practice.
Based on these considerations, our objectives are:
We currently have approximately 250 registered members with a wide range of expertise from medics to toxicologists, architects, designers, appliance manufacturers, academics, regulators, researchers, chemists, modellers, engineers, building managers, environmental health professionals, social scientists - and others working in fields connected with the built environment. Our members can choose to receive regular updates on the Group’s activities and relevant news and events.
One of the main functions of the UKIEG is to provide a platform for members to discuss issues of common interest. An annual conference is organised by the group which in the past has covered areas such as energy efficiency and human behaviour and indoor environments and children’s health (see link), the members having a significant input into deciding the theme for each meeting. Besides our annual Conference, we also help organise other events, often in collaboration with appropriate partner organisations.
In addition to dissemination and networking activities, the UKIEG Committee helps coordinate targeted expert workshops and, in collaboration with relevant experts if appropriate, produces expert statements/reports on selected topics, with an overall aim to help promote the development, synthesis, dissemination and application of evidence relating to policy and practice for health and wellbeing associated to UK's indoor environments.
When appropriate, the UKIEG Committee secures funding to support selected activities. For example, the UKIEG won funding for a Collaborative Development Network grant from the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme managed by the MRC (Medical research Council). The project, led by then UKIEG Chair Prof Jon Ayres, was entitled WELLINE: Wellbeing and the Indoor Environment, and aimed to set up a multidisciplinary expert Network. This examined the interactions between indoor environmental factors and key chronic diseases affecting the older population - thereby identifying effective interventions on the indoor environment which could alleviate existing cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal or neurological conditions in older people, and/or prevent the onset and/or mitigate progression of such conditions during the life course.