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BSRIA helps improve health: multi-storey car park air quality assessment a successAugust 2016

BSRIA was commissioned to determine the air quality in a multi-storey car park located in a town shopping centre. BSRIA monitored the typical weekly levels and ensured compliance with legislation. The client was supplied with a comprehensive report containing charts and tables of Time Weighted Average (TWA) and Short Term Exposure Limits (STEL) of carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as temperature and humidity values.

The Health and Safety Executive, HSE, details the exposure limits (TWA and STEL) for a series of contaminants that should not be exceeded in the work place. The Building Regulations (Part L) also limit the concentrations of CO in carparks, independent of whether they are or not a workspace. Visitors to the car park would also benefit from low levels of contaminants.


The average concentration of CO was monitored over 8 hours, and did not exceed the limit of 30 ppm. Peak concentrations were also monitored and they should not exceed 90 ppm for periods of 15 minutes. The indoor air quality in the car park was monitored for a whole week.

CO2 levels were also monitored. Although the CO2 limit that can cause damage to human health is 5000 ppm (as per HSE and the World Health Organisation recommendations) the limit considered a good reference for good air quality is 1000 ppm.

The contaminants were measured using TSI “Q-Trak” Indoor Air Quality Meters (IAQ) at different levels of the car park. To overcome possible vandalism, the meters were installed in standard equipment boxes, mounted on the walls with only the sensor exposed.

Blanca Beato-Arribas, BSRIA Asset Performance Team Leader, said: “High concentration levels of CO and CO2, which are combustion products, can be found in car parks. A combination of monitoring the contaminants, plus a good ventilation strategy – for example localised ventilation or well-planned pedestrian routes – can help reduce the exposure levels, ensuring the health and safety of visitors and staff.”

Products and services

BSRIA provides independent Indoor Air Quality consultancy services during design, when planning refurbishment or on-site. For more information contact BSRIA on 01344 465578.

Read more about the TSI Q-Trak IAQ monitor, available for hire or sale, which covers a wide range of parameters including carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), temperature and humidity. Call the BSRIA Instrument Solutions team on 01344 459314 to discuss your requirements.

IAQ investigations

Indoor air quality investigations and consultancy