BREEAM Indoor air quality Ventilation
 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.
 When to consider
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.
 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).
- EN:13779: 2007 Annex A2 - For mechanically ventilated buildings.
- EN:13779: 2007 Annex A3 - For naturally ventilated buildings.
 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).
 Typical evidence
Design stage evidence
- Indoor air quality (IAQ) plan.
- For mechanically ventilated buildings - A layout of the roof showing the position of all air intakes and extracts and their position relative to each other. Not only from HVAC units, but also between them and to any other building extracts - eg. sewage systems, toilet extracts, local extracts, etc.
- For naturally ventilated buildings - Layouts and elevations showing distances to external pollution sources.
- For mixed mode buildings - As above.
- Technical report from the mechanical engineer confirming the standards used as per S&W List (Soil and Waste).
- Technical sheets from HVAC units / technical reports listing the types and classes of the filters used.
- If applicable, a drawing showing the position of CO2 sensors and a technical report describing their functionality.This is applicable for areas of large and unpredictable or variable occupancy patterns.
- A letter or extract from the relevant legislation confirming that smoking is prohibited in the building OR a drawing with non-smoking signs and the policy to be implemented. In case, evidence that a dedicated smoking room is present and a technical report describing its ventilation system.
- IAQ plan, including photos from its implementation during construction.
- As-built drawings.
- Photos of windows / supplies / extracts / sources of pollution - confirming that the drawings reflect reality.
- HVAC and ventilation commissioning report confirming fresh air rates according to the S&W List.
 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)
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Air quality.
- Air Quality Taskforce.
- At a glance - Indoor air quality.
- BREEAM and air quality.
- BREEAM Indoor air quality plan.
- BREEAM Indoor pollutants VOCs.
- Bringing a breath of fresh air to the design of indoor environments.
- BSRIA responds to UK Air Pollution Report.
- Clean indoor air for healthy living - New air filter standards.
- Human comfort in buildings.
- Indoor air quality.
- Indoor air velocity.
- Indoor environmental quality.
- Locating ventilation inlets to reduce ingress of external pollutants into buildings: A new methodology IP 9 14.
Issue support documents
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Issue support documents are written for named BREEAM Issues or sub-issues. More info. (ac) = awaiting content
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- BREEAM Sustainability champion
- BREEAM Environmental management
- BREEAM Considerate construction
- BREEAM Monitoring of construction site impacts
- BREEAM Aftercare support
- BREEAM Seasonal commissioning
- BREEAM Testing and inspecting building fabric
- BREEAM Life cycle cost and service life planning
- BREEAM Stakeholder consultation (ac)
- BREEAM Commissioning (ac)
- BREEAM Handover (ac)
- BREEAM Inclusive and accessible design (ac)
- BREEAM Post occupancy evaluation
 Health and Wellbeing
- BREEAM Visual comfort Daylighting (partly ac)
- BREEAM Visual comfort View out
- BREEAM Visual comfort Glare control
- BREEAM Indoor air quality plan
- BREEAM Indoor air quality Ventilation
- BREEAM Thermal comfort
- BREEAM Internal and external lighting (ac)
- BREEAM Indoor pollutants VOCs (ac)
- BREEAM Potential for natural ventilation (ac)
- BREEAM Safe containment in laboratories (ac)
- BREEAM Acoustic performance
- BREEAM Safety and security (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions
- BREEAM Energy monitoring
- BREEAM External lighting
- BREEAM Low carbon design
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- BREEAM Free cooling
- BREEAM LZC technologies
- BREEAM Energy efficient cold storage (partly ac)
- BREEAM Energy efficient transportation systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient laboratory systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient equipment (partly ac)
- BREEAM Drying space
- BREEAM Public transport accessibility
- BREEAM Sustainable transport measures
- BREEAM Proximity to amenities
- BREEAM Cyclist facilities
- BREEAM Alternative modes of transport (ac)
- BREEAM Maximum car parking capacity
- BREEAM Travel plan
- BREEAM Home office (ac)
- BREEAM Water consumption
- BREEAM Water efficient equipment
- BREEAM Water monitoring
- BREEAM Water leak detection (ac)
- BREEAM Hard landscaping and boundary protection
- BREEAM Responsible sourcing of materials
- BREEAM Insulation
- BREEAM Designing for durability and resilience
- BREEAM Life cycle impacts
- BREEAM Material efficiency (ac)
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 Land Use and Ecology
- BREEAM Site Selection
- BREEAM Ecological value of site
- BREEAM Protection of ecological features
- BREEAM Minimising impact on existing site ecology
- BREEAM Enhancing site ecology
- BREEAM Long term impact on biodiversity (ac)
- BREEAM Impact of refrigerants
- BREEAM NOx emissions
- BREEAM Flood risk management (ac)
- BREEAM Surface water run-off (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of night time light pollution (partly ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of noise pollution
Once an ISD has been initially created the '(ac)' marker can be removed
This particular index is based around the structure of the New Construction and RFO schemes.