Indoor Air Quality IAQ G#1119 N#1135

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Indoor Air Quality IAQ

Indoor Air Quality IAQ
About:


Airtightness

  • As we move towards zero carbon buildings this means we will be making building envelopes more wind and airtight.
  • Air tightness testing of building envelope becomes essential for them to work efficiently.
  • Building Regulations requires an airtightness pass rate of 10 (a very leaky building) at 50 pascals
  • An 8 will be noisy and have drafts through windows and papers will be blown from tables
  • UK construction can be as bad as 27 (the worst GBE has heard about)
  • Scandinavia and mainland EU can achieve 1 and down to 0.1
  • Passivhaus German Energy standard requires 0.6 for new build and 1.0 for refurbishment

Consequences:

  • Airtightness levels of 5 at 50 pascals without ventilation begins to become unhealthy, at 3 dangerously so.

Ventilation:

  • Whole House Mechanical Ventilation (WHMV) is possible energy inefficient solution
  • Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) is possible efficient solution.
  • MVHR becomes important to refresh air and save the heat
  • Passive Ventilation with Heat Recovery (PVHR) can improve performance of old building with open flues
  • Passive ventilation is probably inadequate to deal with indoor air quality since some vents are activated with moisture detection and ignore smells and other gases in the air
  • Passive ventilation is inadequately understood and often leads to failures
  • Fluid dynamics can be used to understand how designs will fail and how they can be improved before building.

IAQ Indoor Air Quality

  • The problem is often down to the off-gassing from adhesives, paints, plastics, etc. from furniture, finishes and decoration.
  • PVC off-gasses phthalates
  • Paints off-gas VOCs Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Some manufacturers have developed Low VOC paints, often water based in place of solvents, but they add more hostile chemicals to make them perform as well as high VOC paints
  • Furniture made of timber panel products often use Formaldehyde adhesives bonding the ply and fibres.
  • Design with Green and healthy materials is all the more important to avoid VOCs.

Condensation and mould

  • Thermal bridges (=Cold bridges in UK and Warm bridges in EU)
  • Thermal bridges often create cold spots and when conditions are humid condensation can form on these cold areas of otherwise warm surfaces.
  • Moisture build ups set off ever-present spores and surface mould develop these in turn generate spores that get into the air and into the respiratory system.
  • Asthma is on the rise in the UK and has risen to seriously high levels.
  • In America they have reached a position where mould-ridden buildings have become so toxic they are condemned from entry.
  • These become hazardous to clean, hazardous to demolish and generate hazardous waste.

Avoiding Condesnation 

  • Hygroscopicity and moisture mass can help to minimise the condensation risks and avoid the mould development.
  • GAIA Architects in Edinburgh are exponents of moisture mass and make use of clay plasters to minimise condensation risks.
  • GAIA I am sure will share their knowledge on the subject and their know-how in their use
  • Sandy Halliday Sandy@gaiagroup.org
  • Howard Liddel RIP

Who know what?

  • IAQ is discussed quite a bit by consultants, test houses and kit manufacturers at Sustainability Live exhibition
  • But its not taken seriously until legislation drives it.
  • In Europe and UK there appears to be little or no legislation addressing IAQ Indoor air quality which can have adverse affects upon health and wellbeing.

Other legislation that indirectly affects IAQ

  • Cavity wall insulation that generates urea formaldehyde has been controlled by Building Regulations
  • Radon (radio active gases rising from granites) in parts of UK were discovered to enter building and Gas Proof Membranes (GPM) and Courses (GPC) were introduced to prevent them entering buildings from the ground.
  • Preservative treatments are controlled to some degree by legislation
  • Creosote and Copper Chrome Arsenate (CCA) preservative treatment is controlled in residential use and in particular in garden construction associated with food growing due to the risk of leachates getting into the food chain.
  • Occupational exposure limits (OEL)  of say painters are set and monitored by the Health and Safety Executive (H&SE)
  • Painters using Solvent based paint should use breathing apparatus if working for more than 30 minutes.
  • Specifiers should review the Health and Safety data sheets of paints, other coatings, products and decide to avoid subjecting painters to these gasses, etc.
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) report painting is a very unhealthy career and its worse for women.

REACH Regulations

Hazardous materials 

  • CHIP controls transportation of hazardous materials
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) requires designers to consider health and safety risks associated with construction and maintenance of their designed buildings.
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) controls the use of substances hazardous to health
  • Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) restricts the use of hazardous substances in the manufacture of electrical and lighting components
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) restricts the carriage, treatment, deconstruction of waste electronic and electrical equipment
  • Hazardous Waste Regulation control the transportation, pre-treatment and disposal of hazardous materials before disposal.
  • Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Control on the use of Ozone Depleting Substances often used in foamed plastics thermal insulation, are now treated as a hazardous material but often slip through the controls.
  • Asbestos Regulation control the use of asbestos in manufacturing, construction and restrict particulate levels in the atmosphere and control the removal and disposal at Stable Non-Reactive hazardous waste sites.
  • Other fibrous materials that release particulate into the atmosphere are controlled also.
  • Acoustic and thermal insulation fibres can get into air and be carried into buildings, enclosure in acoustically transparent fabrics and aluminium
  • For a long time painting and resinous products (often concoctions of chemicals) did not need to go through any scrutiny before being released into the market place unlike medicines and yet we are infused by them through breathing their gasses in the atmosphere.
  • However paints are now controlled by setting maximum levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) permitted to sell them in EU.

European Waste Catalogue

  • In 2004 240 materials were reclassified as hazardous when waste, these are listed in the European Waste Catalogue a UK version of this exists.
  • Virtually all substances that are liquid, flow, sticky or gooey are included.  Paints, stains, waxes, oils, sealants, resins, are examples.
  • foils is commonplace in ceiling voids.

BRE Green Guide to Specification

  • In the UK BRE’s Green Guide to Specification expressly states it does not address IAQ, without explanation or justification.
  • BREs Green Guide actually drives material choice towards conventional materials and allegedly identifies ‘green’ materials but in NGS’s view identifies the ‘least violet’ of the ‘violet’ materials.
  • http://www.thegreenguide.org.uk/
  • D Crump at BRE England was part of an EU funded project looking at IAQ and product labels but its involvement seems not have informed anything it does.
  • BRE probably know about IAQ and have a fair bit of information about it, But Green Guide ignores it.
  • BRE do indoor conditions testing (heat humidity coolth testing) in their rigs, paid for by clients and designers.
PERFECTION Project
  • The project considers health, comfort and safety (including accessibility) of the indoor environment.
  • BRE Scotland is involved in PERFECTION Project.
  • BRE is currently involved in an EU research project under the Framework FP7.
  • This project is being undertaken across a number of countries in the EU.
  • The Project (short name – PERFECTION) is a coordination action for which the main objective is the development of a framework and a set of indicators concerning the overall quality of the indoor environment of buildings.
  • The main focus is on issues such as comfort, health and safety, but also accessibility, positive stimulation of people and sustainability will be covered.
  • The long-term aim of PERFECTION is to help enabling the application of new building design and technologies that improve the impact of the indoor built environment on the human well being.
  • More details are on the project web site – http://www.ca-perfection.eu/.
  • Part of the project involves assessing stakeholder opinion on the relative importance of various indicators.  As such a questionnaire has been developed to seek expert opinion.
  • The questionnaire could be completed via telephone interview, face to face meeting or by electronic means (i.e. we will email it to you).
  • Contact: Dr Stephen L Garvin
  • Construction Director, BRE Scotland
  • Scottish Enterprise Technology Park, East Kilbride, G75 0RD
  • T +44 (0) 1355 576242
  • M +44 (0) 7772228721
  • E garvins@bre.co.uk
  • W www.bre.co.uk

IAQ Testing 

EU Consumer Council

  • ran a conference in 2008 in Brussells
  • NGS attended (have most of the presentation PDFs)
  • They pointing out that EU Technical Committees developing Environmental Profiling (EP) & Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) standards are populated by a weight of manufacturers who want BAU Business As Usual.
  • These companies driven by reducing costs opt to use cheap materials and methods of manufacture which often include synthetics which often cause off gassing and make unhealthy buildings.
  • The EP & EPD standard would ignore IAQ but the Consumer Council have said ‘ignore IAQ and we will recommend Consumers (public and design professionals) to ignore EPD and EP’
  • Surveys have shown that the consumers don’t understand EP and EPD or they think they are complicated, so a little encouragement and they will ignore them altogether.

Product labels

  • Most of the EU green labels identify products with natural characteristics conducive to good health.
  • These labels come about as consumers and scientists fight back against unhealthy practices by manufacturers of materials and their use in buildings.
  • IAQ is part of most of these labels.
  • One American label does too.

Product Databases

  • There are databases of healthy materials, low allergy materials, natural and green materials but mainstream industry and designers are not interested in woolly green ideas and often are unaware of the existence of them.
  •  Some of the databases and labels:
  • There are many databases and lables in Europe
You may be familiar with these:

You are less likely to know these:

GBE CPD files:

  • One Eco Interiors,
  • Eco Furniture Labels

Other sources of information

  • Oliver Heath’s book Urban Eco Chic addresses all of these issues from a domestic perspective.

Campaigns

CAP’EM Cycle Assessment Procedure for Eco Materials 

  • CAP’EM www.capem.eu is a 4 year Interreg part-funded EU funded project to develop a simplified LCA to evaluate eco materials,
  • will post their LCA data on a website a search and compare facility,
  • add more products to NGS website and promote the materials and their use.
  • IAQ will be a characteristic taken seriously in CAP’EM.

Investigation:

  • EU Consumer Councils views need to be explore
  • UK Consumer Councils views to explore

Ska-Ratings

Design and Detailing for Toxic Chemical Reduction in Buildings

Green Public Procurement 

  • Defra called a public consultation meeting with the furniture Industry to help develop UK standards for GPP Government Public Procurement to exceed EU GPP requirements.
  • NGS will forward PDF of presentations when they are made available
  • EU GPP information is available from OJU website.
  • NGS have forwarded some information already to KF 26/11/09
  • A full public consultation will occur soon I will be on mailing list will forward to KF when it arrives.

ToxList

Updated: 27th November 2009, 10th October 2011, 20th November 2011, 29th September 2013

Email request from ex student 25/03/2010

Hi Brian
Thank you for the info. Ive been told by tutor that my project lacks actual evidence from ‘independent peer group research’ The companies or people that I have quoted from or researched could be conceived as people ‘with an axe to grind’ or rather they have green credentials etc.

She believes that I need some scientific and independent, British evidence that indoor air quality in modern day buildings is dangerous because of the materials used and future air tightness levels.

Can you help please? Thank you.
Regards,
Karla

Manufacturers

  • want Status Quo to prevail so there will be no help there.

National Statistics Office

  • For worker absentee rate data and labour days lost
  • And data on impact on GDP
  • Sick Building Syndrome stats if any exists

National Health Service statistics

  • Environmental impacts
  • (Holby City, Casualty and ‘House’ on the TV often have house visits to determine environmental causes of ailments)
  • Asthma and carpets
  • Asthma and bed bugs
  • Cleaning goods

Cleaning goods manufacturers

  • Ecover (vested interest?) may have access to the data you need

Health and Safety Executive

  • data on Permitted Occupational Exposure Limits

Any consultancy that does IAQ surveys

  • Satistics if any
  • KilTox (vested interest?)

British Standards Committees

  • Improving standards to reduce IAQ issues
  • Some committee members will be against the green objectives

DEFRA

  • OGC and GPP standards and specifications driving down chemicals in products
  • They do not do this for fun, there is a reason

EU Consumer Council

UK Consumer Council

British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval (vested interest?)

  • They have a reason for doing it they may have data

WEN Women’s Environment Network (vested interest? I cannot see one)

PAN Pesticides Action Network (vested interest? cannot see one)

  • They may have access to the data you need

SEDA

  • May refer to some in the book

GAIA

  • They may have access to the data you need

Manufacturers of IAQ toxicity level detectors

  • Carbon Monoxide detectors already exist
  • Carbon Dioxide detectors are used to activate ventilation systems

Passivhaus Institute (Germany)

  • Website may have data

Information Paper IP6/05 – Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality in Schools.

  • A study was undertaken to provide baseline information on the ventilation rates and IAQ currently achieved in a sample of post-1995 primary school classrooms across England.
  • This information paper discusses the results of the study.
  • Price: £10.50(inc. p&p*)
  • BRE Report and Information Papers
  • Order Online

VOCs and contaminated land

  • May have a bearing on IAQ?
  • Verification reports and contaminated land, a LACL event, 24 March 2010, London. More…
  • VOCs – assessment and remediation, a LACL event, 14 April 2010, Scotland. More…
  • Dealing with contamination existing residential developments, a LACL event, 20 April 2010, Kingswood. More…
  • Environmental liability in brownfield projects, a BRMF event, 15 April 2010, London. More…
  • Wed, 24 Mar 2010 06:15:03 -0400

BRE Trust report FB23 The Real Cost of Poor housing

  • This may not relate to IAQ, I do not know.
  • Costs to the NHS £600m and the society as a whole £1.5 bn
  • This is of building with hazards: unsafe hazards and unhealthy
  • Injury rates and treatment costs related
  • National Housing Health and Safety Rating System
  • English House Condition Survey
  • BREs team: Maggie Davidson, Mike Roys, Simon Nicol
  • Uni of Warwick: David Ormandy
  • Uni of Brighton: Peter Ambrose

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
29th September 2013 – 4th February 2017

Indoor Air Quality IAQ
Images:


This page was promoted by Interior Design Student thinking about her dissertation needing some guidance on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

karlafoxreynolds

Karla Fox-Reynolds now working for Cundell in Australia


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
29th September 2013 – 28th September 2016

Indoor Air Quality IAQ
See Also:


GBE Past Events

2013 October 10 (11am-2pm): “Indoor Air Quality and Moisture Management” 

  • Green Boots Advanced Series, Austin Texas, 
  • Basic Series sessions on “Contamination Control” and “Interior Finishes”. 
  • Registration at www.hbaaustin.com

2014 July 7-12: Indoor Air 2014


REACH Regulations

  • REACH requires declaration of all materials used by manufacturers but does not restrict their use.
  • Despite REACH being the most promising piece of legislation there are still problems with unscrupulouse manufacturers and importers

GBE Jargon Buster

Theme

Initials

  • CDM
  • CHIP
  • COSHH
  • EWC
  • ODS
  • REACH
  • RoHS
  • WEEE
Words and Phrases
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM)
  • European Waste Catalogue (EWC)
  • Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS)
  • Stable Non-Reactive hazardous waste (SNRHW)

GBE Links

  • International Society for Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ)
  • global indoor health network

IAQ Testing 

Product Databases

  • There are databases of healthy materials, low allergy materials, natural and green materials but mainstream industry and designers are not interested in woolly green ideas and often are unaware of the existence of them.
  • Some of the databases and labels:
  • There are many databases and lables in Europe
You may be familiar with these:

You are less likely to know these:


GBE CPD

  • One Eco Interiors,
  • Eco Furniture Labels

Other sources of information

  • Oliver Heath’s book Urban Eco Chic addresses all of these issues from a domestic perspective.

Campaigns

CAP’EM Cycle Assessment Procedure for Eco Materials 

Ska Ratings

  • See Page

Design and Detailing for Toxic Chemical Reduction in Buildings

ToxList

Passivhaus Institute (Germany)

  • Website may have data

Information Paper IP6/05 – Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality in Schools.


BRE Trust report FB23 The Real Cost of Poor housing

  • National Housing Health and Safety Rating System
  • English House Condition Survey

GBE Products

GBE Suppliers


GBE Installers


GBE Systems


GBE Products



GBE Manufacturer

  • Company name

GBE Materials


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
29th September 2013 – 30th May 2016

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