This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Air of authority

05 August 2019

Having formed an Air Quality working group, CIBSE aims to document best practice and feed into its guidance publications, many of which are used extensively in the FM sector.

As a leading engineering body for the built environment, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) is an impassioned advocate for healthy air both inside and outside of buildings.

To help champion the cause, on Clean Air Day 2018 the institution announced the launch of a new working group to inform its activities and guidance on air quality. The Air Quality Group's mission: "To use engineering skills to support the pursuit of healthy air in the built environment."

The formation of the new working group will help CIBSE promote improvements in air quality and to build links to other organisations with similar goals. The new group will also collaborate with other CIBSE groups, such as the Resilient Cities Group and the HVAC Group, on issues of shared interest.

"We hope to improve the standard of air in buildings through documenting best practice and through informing CIBSE activities and guidance documents," says Edwin Wealend, chair of the new working group and Cundall consulting engineer.

Mr Wealend says increasing amounts of attention are being paid to the impact of indoor air quality (IAQ) on people's health and wellbeing through pressure from increased public awareness, the application of standards such as WELL and RESET and new guidelines such as BB101 for schools.

As a consequence he says some landlords are increasingly focused on the provision of good quality air because it may allow them to charge a higher rent for a space because the IAQ complies with a particular quality standard.

In addition, there have been a series of studies which have drawn attention to the impact of poor air quality in the workspace or schools.

These suggest that when carbon dioxide levels in a space are high, occupants' cognitive performance will be significantly worse, impacting their productivity and learning.

Coinciding with this increase in air quality awareness is what Mr Wealend describes as a "huge growth" in the sale of air quality sensors, particularly in the consumer market. Armed with data from the sensors, occupants are starting to hold landlords to account for poor air quality, for example if there is insufficient fresh air.

"From personal experience large landlords are paying much more attention to air quality now that occupants can sense the quality of air in a space," says Mr Wealend.

Although the Air Quality working group's membership numbers are currently small - the group has a total of just 10 members to date - the members' interests and experience are broad and include many aspects of indoor and outdoor air quality.

The group is not currently open to manufacturers, but CIBSE says they will be involved when their expertise is required.

"It's a small group with a varied skill set to reflect the nature of IAQ, our members include: mechanical engineers; outdoor air quality specialists; people focused on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and indoor pollutants; we have a guy whose focus is on the chemistry of plants; and some-body from a property care association who is an expert on mould in buildings and the improvements that can be made through controlled ventilation," Mr Wealend explains.

"My background is as a mechanical engineer, but I have gained a good understanding of sensors as a result of developing an IEQ monitoring system from scratch,” he adds.

Mr Wealend's familiarity with sensor technology will come in useful with one of the group's first tasks: the publication of guidance on air quality sensors and their limitations.

He says the guidance is needed because sensor technology is not currently covered by CIBSE guidance and there is a need for some scientific rigour.

"People are able to buy air quality sensors from internet retailers for a relatively low price but they don't understand the sensor's limitations," says Mr Wealend.

He says he expects the guidance to take the form of an article in a magazine, which will explain the different sensor types, what they can and cannot measure and an explanation of each sensor's limitations.

Alongside the guide to sensors the group also has plans to update the CIBSE Technical Memoran-da 21: Minimising Pollution at Air Intakes, which Mr Wealend admits will be "quite a body of work".

In addition, he says the group will be putting together a timeline for air quality best practice. "This will involve taking a project from inception to completion and explaining what should be considered at each stage in relation to air quality and where designers can find appropriate guidance," he says.

"The guidance is already out there, it's just that people don't know where to find it so we're trying to create a road map to say where to look," he adds.

The group will also help CIBSE respond to the review of Part F of the Building Regulations. "We'll help CIBSE prepare their representation to government in relation to air quality," Mr Wealend says.

"If people have an opinion on how Part F can be improved they can direct it to us or to CIBSE via the CIBSE website" he says.

Those wishing to join the CIBSE Air Quality group should email Edwin Wealend e.wealand@cundall.com in the first instance.


Print this page | E-mail this page

http://www.fsifm.com
https://www.heatraesadia.com/products/drinking-water/wall-mounted-boiling-water


MOST VIEWED...

View more articles
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...
Article image

Major role of outsourced services in saving Whaley Bridge homes

Last week saw prolonged national media coverage of the plight of residents of Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, due to the Toddbrook Reservoir becoming unsafe....
Article image

Concerns raised over growth of facial recognition technology use

Data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said it is "deeply concerned" over the growing use of facial recognition...

Benchmarking maintenance

BSRIA has just published this year's operation and maintenance benchmarking report as a guide for building operators to evaluate their performance against ...
Article image

Adhesive free, hassle free office installation using Forbo's Modul'up

Offering the unique ability to reduce downtime while providing cost and time savings, Forbo Flooring Systems’ innovative adhesive-free sheet vinyl collecti...
Article image

Create a new workspace with a free fit-out guide

A workspace interiors company has launched a free fit-out guide to help businesses reduce the time, money and stress of refurbishing or relocating their wo...
PFM