BREEAM Indoor air quality plan
 Aim and benefits
There are many pollutants present inside buildings and the materials used to construct them. Of particular concern are volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions and formaldehyde as these are known to cause cancer in animals.
- The levels of contaminants that are acceptable.
- Measures for specifying materials with low emission levels.
- Advise on pre-completion testing to ensure acceptable levels have been met.
- Removal of contaminant sources.
- Dilution and control of contaminants during construction.
- Detail procedure for pre-occupancy flush out.
- Specification for third party independent testing.
By specifying materials in accordance with the plan and flushing out the pollutants from the construction process sufficiently prior to building occupation, it is possible to provide healthier work and living spaces, reducing the potential for indoor air pollution and supporting the physical health of building occupants.
 When to consider
Fully fitted out buildings: As early as possible. The objectives of the Plan should be used in the ventilation strategy, so it is best to prepare them prior to RIBA stage 2 to feed into HVAC design and complete them prior to Detailed Design Stage (RIBA Stage 3 freeze) so that architects can implement into their specifications.
- Ensure a specialist is being appointed to produce the plan. A sustainability consultant/mechanical engineer/architect may have the required knowledge, otherwise external consultants can be sourced.
- Ensure the specialist is aware of the BREEAM criteria and that all the 5 headings in the guidance are considered as a minimum.
- Ensure the client is aware of the third party testing and allows for appointments if they are willing to proceed with the recommendations and wish to target the additional credit for Post Construction Emission Levels.
- A copy of Indoor Air Quality Plan should be submitted as an evidence document.
- The Indoor Air quality Plan should be provided to the architect as typically it will list the standards that the finishes (usually specified by the architect) should comply with.
 Questions to ask while seeking compliance
Who is writing the indoor air quality plan?
- It is frequently missed from anyone's’ scope of works. While the Sustainability consultant or M&E engineer may be fully capable of writing the plan, their appointment may not allow for it. For scale, it should not be more than 1 days work for a consultant. There are indoor air quality testing companies who can also provide them.
- Guidance Note regarding Indoor Air Quality Plan [Please note: This is available to licensed assessors only]
- BRE Knowledge Base related articles
- Template Indoor Air Quality Plan
- Make sure it is someone’s responsibility to actually write this report.
- This is a relatively low cost credit.
- Ensure the main contractor implements a policy of requesting the relevant certification for products (paints, varnishes finishes) during procurement.
- It is possible to go above and beyond BREEAM requirements by suggesting making it mandatory for contractors to hand a copy of this guide (or an amended guide relating to maintaining air quality in use) to the occupants.
 Typical evidence
Compliant Indoor Air Quality Plan - Typically you will receive a written report as an “Indoor Air Quality Plan”, however any form of evidence which complies with the BREEAM evidence principals would be acceptable for this purpose.
 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.
--Multiple Author Article 21:55, 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 Ventilation.
- 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
|Thanks to our Knowledge Sharing Ambassadors for a lot of this content|
- BREEAM Sustainability champion
- BREEAM Environmental management
- BREEAM Considerate construction
- BREEAM Monitoring of construction site impacts
- BREEAM Aftercare support
- BREEAM Seasonal commissioning
- 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 (ac)
 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 (ac)
- BREEAM Safety and security (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions
- BREEAM Energy monitoring
- BREEAM External lighting (ac)
- BREEAM Low carbon design
- BREEAM Passive design
- BREEAM Free cooling
- BREEAM LZC technologies
- BREEAM Energy efficient cold storage (partly ac)
- BREEAM Energy efficient transportation systems (ac)
- 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 (ac)
- 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 (ac)
- 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 (ac)
- BREEAM Material efficiency (ac)
- BREEAM Construction waste management
- BREEAM Recycled aggregates
- BREEAM Speculative floor & ceiling finishes
- BREEAM Adaptation to climate change
- BREEAM Operational waste (ac)
- BREEAM Functional adaptability (ac)
 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.