APT Sound Testing has been providing indoor air quality services such as post-construction air quality testing and indoor air monitoring for a number of years. We have assisted many customers in gaining their BREEAM and other compliance credits through our air quality plan and BREEAM air quality testing services.

As well as helping you to gain your initial (BREEAM) credit, by testing the indoor air quality our engineering team are then able to produce a bespoke indoor air quality plan. Our plans are able to provide you with the following benefits:

  • Advice on removal of contaminant sources
  • Dilution and control of contaminant sources
  • Procedures for pre-occupancy flush-out
  • Informative checklist to help you prepare for the third party testing
  • Third party testing and analysis
  • Advice on maintaining Indoor Air Quality In-Use

BREEAM INDOOR AIR QUALITY TESTING CHECKLIST

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Our Services to attain extra BREEAM points for Indoor Air quality under BREEAM Hea02

There are two defined stages for achieving extra points under BREEAM Hea02. The first stage is the air quality plan and the second stage is indoor quality testing. here is a quick explanantion for each stage.

Stage 1BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Plan
The BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Plan reduces the risk of health deterioration and building performance by improving indoor air quality for the end user. It makes assurances in the design stage of a project which plan for the existence of ventilation, equipment and construction materials which improve indoor air quality for the buildings occupiers.

Stage 2BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing
Your project must be nearing completion, including a fully operational HVAC system, before an Indoor Air Quality Test can be carried out. The sampling identifies the presence of volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), including formaldehyde.

Where the levels of these compounds are found to exceed the prescribed limits, to claim the BREEAM credit it must be identified that appropriate measures have or will be undertaken in accordance with the IAQP and the consultant’s report recommendations to reduce the levels to fall within the limits.

Your project must be nearing completion, including a fully operational HVAC system, before an BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Test can be carried out. The sampling identifies the presence of volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), including formaldehyde.

Where the levels of these compounds are found to exceed the prescribed limits, to claim the BREEAM credit it must be identified that appropriate measures have or will be undertaken in accordance with the IAQP and the consultant’s report recommendations to reduce the levels to fall within the limits.

A standard size commercial building such as a 50 bedroom hotel can be completed in a day. For much larger developments it may take a couple of days. We usually supply a full air quality testing schedule with each quote, to ensure you comply with BREEAM and to help you prepare the correct areas for testing.
Formaldehyde and TVOC measurements should be carried out in accordance with ISO 16000-2 and ISO 16000-5 respectively. Sampling should be performed only in rooms that are expected to be occupied for long periods of time such as bedrooms, living rooms, classrooms, offices, etc.

A representative number of these rooms should be sampled. In larger rooms, such as open-plan office areas, additional sampling locations may be required in order to understand the homogeneity of the indoor environment.

We can prepare IAQ plans (1 credit) as part of the preconstruction design process and carryout air quality testing (1 credit) after the construction is complete, in-line with the BREEAM HEA 02 standard.
The main compounds we will be testing for as part of the BREEAM indoor air quality testing are Formaldehyde and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)

Formaldehyde is a commonly used chemical compound that exists in various forms and at room temperature, is a colourless, distinctive, strong and even pungent smelling, flammable and gaseous substance. Formaldehyde has been used in several industries for various purposes e.g. for the manufacturing of building materials.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gases that are given off by many indoor sources. Concentrations of most volatile organic compounds are higher in indoor air than outdoor air. VOCs include a variety of chemicals that can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and skin problems.

The formaldehyde concentration in indoor air at post-construction should not exceed 0.1mg/m3, averaged over 30 minutes. The total volatile organic compound (TVOC) concentration in indoor at post-construction should not exceed 0.3mg/m3, averaged over 8 hours.
With every fee proposal we always send across our air quality checklist to help our client prepare for the testing. Here is a quick summary of what action you need to undertake to prepare your building for the testing:

Building flush out: Air out the inside of the building with as much outside air as possible. This step can be accomplished by simply opening natural ventilation windows and/or running the HVAC systems. The building should be ventilated with 100% outside air. The building should be thoroughly ventilated for 24-48 hours prior to our attendance.

Restrict construction: If possible, at least 24 hours before air quality evaluation only minimal construction efforts should be taking place and no new volatiles should be introduces. (Application of all decorative finishes including water based coatings, silicon seals, adhesives and others sealants)

Finishes: All interior finishes should be installed, including but not limited carpeting, doors, paint, files. Movable furnishings such work stations and partitions are not required but should be in place.

Restrict cleaning: All activities likely to introduce volatiles into the indoor environment should be restricted. This applies to cleaning, the use of air fresheners, window, surface or other cleaners, polishes, waxes and other surface treatments.

Formaldehyde, for example, can persist in furniture for up to 6 months. VOCs can accumulate in buildings from a variety of sources, there are many cases where new build occupancy starts whilst VOCs are still high.

The effects of VOC’s on human health are well documented, despite being able to decay naturally; unfortunately, they can persist in the environment for a long time.

If we undertake the indoor quality testing and the levels of these compounds are found to exceed the prescribed limits, to claim the BREEAM credit for air quality it must be identified that appropriate measures have or will be undertaken in accordance with the IAQP. Within our indoor quality test report we will make recommendations to reduce the levels to fall within the limits.

Indoor Air Quality Testing for BREEAM Hea02

Here at APT Sound 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.

We will ensure that all post-construction testing is carried out to the relevant standard that you are looking to achieve as specifications do vary.

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 tests as we have found over this years this to be very important.

Why do we need good air quality in Buildings?

When you think of air quality and pollution in your area, we think of outdoor air quality, unfortunately indoor air quality often get overlooked. However, as we are now spending an ever-increasing amount of time inside buildings, we are at risk of numerous pollutants which can cause health problems. Having good air quality is vital for any building and its occupants and should be at the forefront of all minds.

Indoor air quality has been identified as one of the top five most urgent environmental risks to public health, and as a responsible employer you need to ensure your employees are safe and healthy whilst they are in the working environment.

Workplace air quality should be a major concern to businesses right across the UK and it should not be taken lightly, as it can impact the health, comfort, wellbeing, and productivity of staff. It is worth noting that on average, office workers spend 37- 40 hours a week in office buildings. These workers may also study, eat, drink, and, even sleep in their work environments.

Symptoms related to poor workplace air quality vary depending on the type of contaminant. They can easily be mistaken for symptoms of other illnesses such as allergies, such as influenza, hay fever, stress and colds. The usual clue is that people feel ill or find it hard to concentrate whilst working inside their building, and the symptoms go away shortly after leaving they leave the building. This is often known as Sick Building Syndrome.

Formaldehyde, for example, can persist in furniture for up to 6 months. VOCs can accumulate in buildings from a variety of sources, there are many cases where new build occupancy starts whilst VOCs are still high. The effects of VOC’s on human health are well documented, despite being able to decay naturally; unfortunately, they can persist in the environment for a long time.

If your workforce is constantly feeling sick or unwell then it can have a detrimental effect on the business and its productivity. If staff numbers drop then the workload will also – as the old saying goes ‘Health is Wealth’

We can undertake all your BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing requirements

Here at APT Sound 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.

We will ensure that all post-construction testing is carried out to the relevant standard that you are looking to achieve as specifications do vary.

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 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 testing report. This shows you which gases are present within your building, and where they are likely to have come from. Where we can, we will tell you what you can do to improve the air quality.

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 analysed in a UKAS accredited laboratory and may take 1-2 weeks to arrive back at our office.

Call or email us today about Indoor Air Quality Testing. We are here to help!

Call us on 01525 303905 or email us on info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk about our Indoor Air Quality Testing services. We are here to help! Alternatively, please visit our contact page here.