In this air quality article, we look at a recent visit to carry an indoor air quality assessment for BREEAM. The overall objectives of the air quality assessment were to measure the concentration volatile organic compounds (TVOC) as well as formaldehyde in the indoor environment to evaluate the site compliance against the BREEAM indoor air quality requirements. The results of our BREEAM HEA-02 air quality plan test showed that the site was not compliant with the requirements set out in the “Hea-02 Indoor air quality” document.
The concentration of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds was below the maximum concentration limits in the two of the four business units; however, two of the units had failed with elevated readings above the required limits with BREEAM HEA-02 for VOCs volatile organic compounds. Much of the raised readings were down to freshly painted surfaces and freshly sealed concrete floors, which should have been completed some 2 weeks previously.
How to implement a BREEAM air quality plan
In order to improve the indoor air quality across the development, we needed to implement a BREEAM air quality plan. As part of our BREEAM indoor air quality plan, we suggested that a pre-occupancy building flush out to be carried out prior to handover and ensure all the decorating works were fully compete and all materials removed from the units at least 1 week prior to the next test date.
The development consists of a mixture of 4 office units, each unit has a floor area of approximately 250m2. After our second indoor air quality test visit, we were pleased to see that all 4 buildings had passed the VOC testing. Even with the addition of new furniture (which can produce VOC) with adequate flushing out the building passed, and the extra 2 BREEAM points were secured.
General symptoms due to excess levels of VOC levels.
Because VOCs is a general category of chemicals that may be produced during the off gassing of building materials, it can lead to general symptoms that can include the following:
- Respiratory irritation
- Itchy eyes
- Stuffy nose
- Ongoing respiratory infections
We undertake Indoor Air Quality Testing for BREEAM
It is essential that testing for Formaldehyde and VOCs is carried out to the specified BREEAM Hea02 exacting standard required on your project. All test samples must be analyzed in a UKAS accredited laboratory and may take 2-3 weeks to arrive back at our office; however, we can request a quicker service for an extra cost.
Call or email us today about Indoor Air Quality Testing. We are here to help! Please call us on 01525 303905 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org about our Indoor Air Quality Testing services. We are here to help! Alternatively, please visit our contact page here.