Indoor Air Quality Testing for Extra BREEAM Credits

BREEAM provides extra credits through improving indoor air quality. There are five credits available in this section, sitting within the Health and Wellbeing category. This is split into two areas: minimizing sources of air pollution (four credits) and improving the potential for natural ventilation (one credit). There are also additional innovation credits (two credits) that can be accrued.


Undertake an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Plan for One Credit

To gain this credit, you must show that an indoor air quality plan has been produced and put into practice. The Indoor Air Quality Plan plan needs to consider whether contaminant sources have either been removed or diluted and controlled. In addition, it needs to include procedures for a pre-occupancy flush out to remove any pollutants inadvertently introduced during construction. you also need to account of measures to protect both the HVAC systems and indoor areas from dust and other sources of pollution during refurbishment and fit-out works.

In order to ensure that all contaminants have been removed effectively, the plan should include processes for third-party testing BREEAM indoor VOC Testing and analysis. Finally, the indoor air quality plan must show a commitment to maintaining the indoor air quality of the building, with regular maintenance and cleaning schedules of the HVAC system, ductwork and filters.

Third Party Testing for VOC Emission Levels (Post Construction) for One Credit

To gain this extra credit, TVOC and formaldehyde concentration levels must be within specified limits OR corrective measures put in place comply with these limits

There are two measures that must be met in order to gain this credit. These levels are measured post-construction, but pre-occupancy by a third party testing company:

  1. The total volatile organic compound (TVOC) concentration level needs to be less than 300µg/over 8 hours.
  2. The formaldehyde concentration level needs to be less than or equal to 100µg/averaged over 30 minutes.

Where levels exceed the limits, to gain the credit you must show that remedial measures have, or will be taken, to reduce the levels to within these limits. This includes re-measurement via the BREEAM Assessment Scoring and Reporting Tool.

General Symptoms of Excess VOC in Buildings

Because the term VOC is a general category of chemicals that may be produced during the off-gassing of building materials, determining the exact health effects of high VOC levels is impossible. Below is a list of some of the general symptoms that are associated with excess VOC levels:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Itchy eyes
  • Respiratory irritation
  • Stuffy nose
  • Frequent respiratory infections


We can help with your BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing

We have significant experience in carrying out post-construction Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) testing. We are familiar with the stringent methods that are specified under BREEAM Hea02, Home Quality Mark (HQM) and other compliance standards. Our team will always provide a firm quotation and helpful checklist to help you prepare for the testing, prior to us visiting site to carry out this work.

When undertaking Indoor Air Quality Testing for BREEAM, we will typically test for Formaldehyde and TVOC in the air but can easily include other pollutants if required. We will normally sample rooms which will be occupied for long periods of time, for instance offices, hospitals and offices. It is important to make sure that a sufficient number of these rooms are tested in order to gain the relevant credit.

Our tasked team will make sure that all post-construction air quality tests are carried out in accordance with the very exacting BREEAM Hea02 methods. Our expert team will also provide free advice and guidance to your project manager to help to create the correct environment for the air quality tests as we have found over this years this to be very important.

To help you prepare for your Post Construction Indoor Air quality testing, please download our Indoor Air Quality Checklist. Need to add a BREEAM Indoor Air Quality testing checklist

What happens after the indoor air quality test?

After the indoor air quality test, we will send you a detailed test report. This shows you which gases are present within your building, and where they are likely to have come from. 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 about our Indoor Air Quality Testing services. We are here to help! Alternatively, please visit our contact page here.