The effects of VOC's on human health are well documented, despite being able to decay naturally they can persist in the environment for a long time.
Formaldehyde, for example, can persist in furniture for up to 6 months. VOCs can accumulate in buildings from a variety of sources, there are many cases where new build occupancy starts whilst VOCs are still high.
The formaldehyde concentration in indoor air at post-construction should not exceed 0.1mg/m3, averaged over 30 minutes. The total volatile organic compound (TVOC) concentration in indoor at post-construction should not exceed 0.3mg/m3, averaged over 8 hours.
ACTIONS AND ADVICE
Formaldehyde and TVOC measurements should be carried out in accordance with ISO 16000-2 and ISO 16000-5 respectively. Sampling should be performed only in rooms that are expected to be occupied for long periods of time such as bedrooms, living rooms, classrooms, offices, etc.
A representative number of these rooms should be sampled. In larger rooms, such as open-plan office areas, additional sampling locations may be required in order to understand the homogeneity of the indoor environment.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
We can prepare IAQ plans (1 credit) as part of the preconstruction design process and carryout air qaulity testing (1 credit) post construction inline with the BREEAM HEA 02 standard.
INTERESTED IN BREEAM IAQ TESTING?
If you need any further assistance or would like to know more please get in touch and we will get back to you as soon as we can.