Lennart Ostergaard is the Eurovent Commission Chairperson and Senior Manager of VELTEK Ventilation. In our ‘Faces of the Eurovent Commission’ series, he shares with us what the Eurovent Commission looks forward to working on.
Lennart Ostergaard graduated from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and has held various job positions as Project Manager and Business Development Manager for different companies. He has been part of Eurovent over the past years and is also a member of the Board of Directors, General Assembly and various Product Groups within the association. As part of the ‘Faces of the Eurovent Commission’ series, the Eurovent Team conducted an interview with him to understand more about the works of VELTEK Ventilation and to obtain information on the Eurovent Commission’s prospects in 2023-2024.
What is VELTEK Ventilation and the main focus points it is involved in?
VELTEK Ventilation is an industry association for manufacturers and suppliers of ventilation products and systems. We organise approximately 50 members, active on the markets for comfort, industrial, fire and smoke ventilation for any kind of building: homes, schools, offices, healthcare and industry. Our vision is that everyone should enjoy the best possible indoor climate. Regardless of where you are, we must achieve this with the least possible total energy consumption.
There is still a lot to do for society to succeed in this sense. To give one example, numerous schools across the European Union are still equipped with inadequate ventilation systems, leaving our children at risk for increased infection rates and reduced learning outcomes. Indoor climate researchers in Denmark even believe that the adverse effects of poor indoor climate affects students with learning difficulties more than other students.
We are also deeply concerned with climate change and the role of our industry in this sense. We have recently documented the environmental impact of key components of the ventilation industry in Denmark through creation of industry average Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). We believe that it is important for us as a responsible industry to openly show the impact of our products, although for most ventilation systems, the energy consumption in the use phase is still the primary and most important factor to reduce and optimise.
It is also important to realise that the solutions from the ventilation industry are indispensable as part of our move towards sustainable buildings. Sustainability rests on three pillars; environmental, social and economic. Social sustainability in our buildings has a lot to do with the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) that we are exposed to. We must therefore insist that IEQ is considered when we revise, for example, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Optimising the energy consumption without formulating minimum requirements for the IEQ simply does not make sense. The European Parliament has shown the way for proposing an amendment to the European Commission’s proposal suggesting that Member States must formulate requirements for IEQ nationally. We believe that this is the right way forward.
What are the main focus points for the Eurovent Commission in the 2023-2024 year and how are you managing to tackle them?
As the Chairperson of the Eurovent Commission, it is my privilege to be in close dialogue regularly with more than 15 industry associations across Europe. Although all of us are different in terms of organisation, resources, types of members and climatic and regulatory environment. We do share almost the same vision for a great indoor climate with a minimal energy consumption.
For the next year, I sincerely hope that we in the Eurovent Commission will be able to succeed with at least two notable activities: Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ).
The creation, publication and sharing of EPDs across Europe is a landscape which is simply too fragmented and too expensive for the industry to navigate in. This will inevitably result in higher costs for the costumers and have a slower green transition than possible. In Eurovent, we will try to formulate and present our inputs on how to arrive at a more stringent situation where the right data are available for making efficient and green choices and at the same time have minimum administrative burden and costs for the industry. It is for example, not optimal that different EU regulation proposals to use different frameworks for documenting environmental impact, or that there is a proliferation of national calculation rules in this matter.
Another topic for the Eurovent Commission to address is how we better communicate the benefits of IEQ. Indoor Environmental Quality has so many benefits for society in relation to our health, productivity, learning and well-being, but we often see that these effects are overlooked in regulation and in building projects. This is a topic which we will try to promote more through the work in the Eurovent Commission and we hope for a swift management of these focus points.
About VELTEK Ventilation
VELTEK Ventilation is the Danish association for good Indoor Climate. Founded in 2004, the mission of VELTEK Ventilation is not only to represent its members in the best possible way towards the Danish market and politicians, but also to promote a healthy indoor air throughout Denmark and beyond. In this respect, the association plays a major support role to the Danish government in developing new product legislation and standards. Additionally, VELTEK Ventilation actively campaigns the importance of a good indoor climate in new and especially existing buildings throughout the country, to organisations as well as individual consumers.
About the Eurovent Commission
Eurovent’s Member Associations are represented in the Eurovent Commission, which is Eurovent’s steering committee. The Eurovent Commission does not only define the general political guidelines of the association, but also monitors and mediates the activities of its subordinated Product Groups. It also serves as a forum for exchange of information and cooperation between the Member Associations. The Eurovent Commission ensures that Eurovent positions are always broadly representative of wider European interests across all sizes of enterprises. The Eurovent Commission elects a Chairperson for a three-year term and appoints a Vice-Chairperson for a one-year term according to a rotating schedule. Both are automatically members of the Eurovent Board.