12 April 2019

Why Indoor Air Quality Needs to be Seen as an Ongoing Process

By Alan Macklin

12 April 2019

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When I stop and look at policies such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), I can’t help but think there’s something missing.

But what exactly is the missing piece of the jigsaw? After all, we look set to see standards introduced which define exactly what good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) looks like.

The truth is, a building with good Indoor Air Quality today may not have good Indoor Air Quality in a year’s time – and therein lies the problem. It is vital that we don’t fall into the trap of promoting a ‘set and forget’ approach.

Ventilation rates in buildings have a tendency to fall short of their original performance specification over time as the characteristics of the building change. The usage of the building itself, the equipment within it, and its level of occupancy throughout the day can all affect air quality, so there is a clear need for levels to be checked regularly.

Ventilation rates are prescribed by the Building Regulations, but it is only through regular monitoring – and adjustment where required – that these prescribed rates can be maintained.

A ventilation performance standard and some form of maintenance requirement really should go hand-in- hand if we’re to optimise energy performance and keep the occupants of our buildings healthy at the same time.

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