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Last edited 20 Jan 2021
Ensuring good indoor air quality in buildings
According to the United Nations, in 2016, 54.5% of the world’s population was living in urban settlements, with 23%, or 1.7 billion, living in cities with at least a million inhabitants. That is expected to rise to 60% by 2030.
While outdoor air pollution can impact the quality of indoor air in buildings, an array of other factors also negatively affect indoor environments and the health of occupants. This is a critical issue given that people living in developed countries typically spend 90% or more of their time indoors, with the most susceptible individuals, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions, spending almost all their time inside.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is complex, with many factors affecting it, including a wide range of pollutants and sources, building types, locations and décor. Exposure to different pollutants can cause health effects ranging from the worsening of asthmatic conditions and skin irritation, to premature deaths caused by heart and lung disease.
This free BRE Trust publication summarises the issues that building owners, designers and facilities managers face when seeking to provide good indoor air quality. It gives an overview of the sources and types of pollutants likely to affect different indoor environments in urban areas, and summarises current regulations, standards and guidance in the UK. It also includes short case studies to illustrate strategies for improving indoor air quality.
Its contents are:
- Air pollutants and their sources.
- Impact of poor IAQ on health, wellbeing and productivity.
- Indoor air quality standards and guidelines.
- Mitigating air pollutants in the indoor environment.
- Case studies.
Ensuring good indoor air quality in buildings can be downloaded free at: https://www.bregroup.com/bretrust/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2019/03/Ensuring-Good-IAQ-in-Buildings-Trust-report_compressed-2.pdf
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Air Quality Taskforce.
- Air quality.
- At a glance - Indoor air quality.
- BRE articles.
- BREEAM and air quality.
- BREEAM Indoor air quality plan.
- BREEAM Indoor air quality Ventilation.
- BREEAM Indoor pollutants VOCs.
- Bringing a breath of fresh air to the design of indoor environments.
- Building Research Establishment.
- Clean indoor air for healthy living - New air filter standards.
- Effective ventilation in buildings.
- Health effects of indoor air quality on children and young people.
- Human comfort in buildings.
- HVAC industry defines post COVID-19 changes.
- Indoor air quality.
- Indoor environmental quality.
- Locating ventilation inlets to reduce ingress of external pollutants into buildings: A new methodology IP 9 14.
- The history of non-domestic air tightness testing.
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