BSRIA is urging industry to take responsibility regarding indoor air quality (IAQ) when experts spoke at September’s AGM in London.
Chris Knights, BSRIA Compliance Manager, kicked off by saying: “Indoor Air Quality in buildings is closely linked to the health of its occupiers. A study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare reveals that exposure to indoor pollutants is linked to reduce life expectancy and burden of disease, 57 per cent of the burden relates to cardiovascular, 23 per cent to lung cancer and 12 per cent to Asthma.
The UK is amongst the highest in the world. The study suggests improved ventilation could improve the burden of disease by up to 38 per cent.”
Mould: effects on health
Moulds produce spores that float in the air, land on damp surfaces, and grow. Consequences can be sneezing, red eyes, skin rashes, asthma attacks. The key to mould control is moisture control.
Design must have a holistic approach
System resistance must be considered, along with other services sharing the space, providing detailed product specifications. The ventilation strategy must be in line with the design air permeability.
Chris wrapped up by saying according to the Building Regulations requirement F1 (1): “There shall be adequate means of ventilation provided for people in the building. Buildings can affect our wellbeing. Light, thermal comfort, IAQ, odours and acoustic comfort must be considered at the design stage.”
A final salvo from Chris is that the current system being applied is failing: “It is one based upon trust, a trust that is being abused, and as a result, the unknowing occupier is being subjected to a non-compliant property.”
Some wellbeing standards to also consider: water; nourishment; ergonomics; electromagnetic frequency levels; aesthetics.