Limiting Indoor Air Pollution

Scope Of The Project

To assess potential air quality issues at a recently refurbished basement office, where some employees have reported health problems that could indicate poor air quality. Around 60 employees use the office, although not all at the same time.

Tools For Tasks Implementation

A handheld air quality monitor, which is a multi-function testing tool with a high accuracy lase sensor. This equipment identifies potential sources of indoor air quality such as particle matter, formaldehyde, total volatile organic compound, temperature, humidity, and the air quality index of offices.

Challenges For Tasks Implementation

Air Quality was tested in each main room for a limited time which measured if the air quality was below standard but did not give a comprehensive reading. Ideally permanent sensors should be installed to monitor the air quality at all times. Alternatively, samples can be taken and sent to UKAS-registered laboratories. Also the building was recently refurbished and some areas were still under development.

Solutions

Solutions to improving the office air quality and working environment include:

  • Regularly maintain and service mechanical ventilation and air conditioning systems,
  • Introduce biophilic design techniques,
  • Seek third party schemes such as BREEAM In-use or Well Building Standard
  • Create an environment comfort policy
  • Set the heating to recommended levels
  • Avoid using personal heaters

Key Achievements

The report provides the basis of an action plan with short, medium and long term goals. These goals can shape workplace policies that will sustainably improve air quality. The report also encourages employees to consider their own health and well being, and take an active role in improving their working environment.

Benefits For Clients

The report enables the client to reassure employees their office has a good to moderate health environment. It also recommends policies and actions that sustainably improve air quality, save money on energy supply, and inspire employees to be part of the solution in improving their working environment.