Last edited 27 May 2019

BREEAM Indoor air quality Ventilation


[edit] Aim and benefits

Studies have demonstrated that poor ventilation is one of the main cause of health issues in buildings. The effects of poor indoor air quality can include; headaches, dizziness and fatigue, while also contributing to longer-term health issues such as asthma, heart disease and cancer. It has also been proved that productivity is higher in workplaces with better indoor air quality.

The aim of this BREEAM credit is to promote healthy buildings, reducing the risk of health issues associated with indoor air quality and provide building occupant comfort and productivity.

[edit] When to consider

This is not applicable to Shell only projects

This should be considered during the early design of ventilation systems. The majority of buildings will use air conditioned or mixed mode ventilation systems.

The location of the air handling unit’s intake and exhausts need to be considered. Intakes and exhausts should be 10m apart and intakes should be more than 20 m from sources of external pollution (such as car parks and roads etc) OR the building's intakes and exhausts can be designed in accordance with BS EN13779:2007 Annex A2.

For naturally ventilated buildings, openable windows should be more than 10m from external sources of pollution.

[edit] Step by step guidance


[edit] Questions to ask while seeking compliance

  • Check the filtration class as the first task, as in many cases it does not comply - then you do not waste time checking the rest of this issue (not applicable for Shell and core).
  • Is the building naturally ventilated or mechanically ventilated?
  • What is the proposed plant location? If it is on the roof how far away are the ventilation intakes from sources of pollution or from other buildings, frequently used roads or car parks?
  • Can the intakes or exhausts be extended?
  • Is the building occupancy fixed or variable? (this may be a by product of the use of the building i.e an office may be designed for a specific number of people per square metre whereas retail space might be subject to large changes in occupancy).

[edit] Tools and resources

  • EN:13779: 2007 Annex A2 - For mechanically ventilated buildings.
  • EN:13779: 2007 Annex A3 - For naturally ventilated buildings.

[edit] Tips and best practice

In some cases it is easier to draw a 10m radius on the roof plan, with supply in the middle - showing there is no extract in the circle (although, please note this is 3D space so if the building is high off the ground away from a source of pollution it will still comply).

Fire smoke extract is not considered and does not need to be checked.

[edit] Typical evidence

Design stage evidence

Post construction evidence

For naturally-ventilated buildings, confirmation from the designer that the building complies with BREEAM criteria.

[edit] Applicable schemes

The guidelines collated in this ISD aim to support sustainable best practice in the topic described. This issue may apply in multiple BREEAM schemes covering different stages in the life of a building, different building types and different year versions. Some content may be generic but scheme nuances should also be taken into account. Refer to the comments below and related articles to this one to understand these nuances. See this document for further guidelines.

BRE Global does not endorse any of the content posted and use of the content will not guarantee the meeting of certification criteria.

This article was created originally in a BREEAM Workshop by Tom Abbott, Sandra Turcaniova, Lenka Matejickova, Azita Dezfouli and Joe Hodgkinson

--Multiple Author Article 21:56, 21 Apr 2018 (BST)

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki