Indoor Air Quality
There are a number benefits in assessing air quality on a regular basis including:
» Provide evidence of actual conditions to allay occupant concerns or complaints
» Check on the adequacy of HVAC plant maintenance
» Help identify the most pressing environmental problems
» Show whether indoor environmental conditions are improving, deteriorating or constant
» Help maintain a happy and healthy workforce
» Improve productivity
» Provide tangible evidence that well-being is important
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‘Over the past fifteen years Broadgate Estates have utilised Healthy Buildings International on the majority of buildings within their portfolio, because both the on site audit and office support services received have always been excellent. Indoor Air Quality and Water Quality including Legionella management and Disabled Access Auditing and control are the main elements HBI have been or are currently involved with within the buildings. The Technical staff that undertake the various audits are extremely knowledgeable on their subjects, and are happy to discuss their initial findings and what steps may need to be taken. These are always practical and helpful. The Audit report format is clear and concise, but should there be a requirement to discuss any issue then HBI are more than happy to do so. In short we would not hesitate to recommend HBI to anyone considering using them for any issues relating to Environmental control and monitoring’.
Martin Chalker, Broadgate Estates Engineering Manager for Estates Management Office, Exchange House and 10 Exchange Square.
"We monitor the air quality within our administrative offices and public buildings to ensure we are discharging our duty of care under Regulation 6 of the Workplace Regulations. The guidance notes to this regulation go on to detail what constitutes ‘a suitable quantity of outside air’ as 5 to 8 litres per second, per person and our ongoing monitoring also serves to confirm that this is being achieved, as well as covering the issue of ensuring that the air is ‘free from any impurity which is likely to be offensive or cause ill-health’ (Par 29). Furthermore Healthy Buildings International also carry out plant inspections which cover the duties under paragraph 33. Of course this all serves to give us and our colleagues peace of mind in the workplace.”
Clay Charles, Mechanical & Electrical Engineer, Property & Facilities Management, Three Rivers District Council
Features of our Indoor Air Quality Testing
The proactive indoor air quality testing service includes the following features:
» measurement of a selection of indoor air quality parameters at fixed locations that are representative of different areas of the building
» Checks on the ventilation supply systems
» Indoor Air Quality Assurance Certificate that can be displayed (as below)
Measurements are taken every threes to six months to assess the impact of seasonal changes on the indoor environment.
The indoor air quality parameters measured can be tailored to specific client needs and may include some or all of the following:
» air temperature
» relative humidity
» carbon dioxide concentration
» carbon monoxide concentration
» airborne bacteria and mould levels
» formaldehyde concentration
» respirable suspended particulates
» air movement
» light level
» sound level.
In addition, calibrated gas tubes can be used to measure a range of gases such as hydrocarbons, ammonia, ozone, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide.
Checks on the ventilation supply systems include:
» visual inspection of the cleanliness, condition and operation of the ventilation supply systems including component parts of air handling units
» measurement of bacteria and mould on the internal surfaces of the ventilation supply system to identify potential sources of airborne microbes
» visual inspections of supply and return duct internals using fibre optics
» measurement of air supply temperature for comparison to set point
» measurement of air supply static pressure to identify blockages and imbalances in supply
» measurement of particulates to assess effectiveness of filtration
» analysis of supply air soiling characteristics to assess long term effectiveness of filtration.
A detailed report is produced that includes:
» comparison of each measured indoor air quality parameter to recognised standards
» graphical representation of trends over time. As the same points in the building are tested each time the current conditions can be compared to high and low results, as shown in the example in Graph A. Conditions in the building as a whole can be assessed (see example in Graph B) and this shows how tight the control is, seasonal variations and whether conditions are improving, deteriorating or remaining relatively constant.
» analysis of system operation based on measured and desired supply conditions
» observations on problems or inadequacies in the ventilation supply systems
» an action plan or list of recommendations for use by clients or their contractors that details remedial measures required to improve conditions within the building.
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