BSRIA urges the industry to take responsibility for indoor air quality

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The construction industry is being urged to ensure indoor air quality in buildings is of a high standard…

The importance of good indoor air quality (IAQ) in buildings should not be overlooked. It has an impact on the overall health of the occupants and indoor pollutants can reduce life expectancy.

Now, the BSRIA is calling upon the industry to take responsibility for IAQ.

BSRIA compliance manager Chris Knights said: “Indoor Air Quality in buildings is closely linked to the health of its occupiers.

“A study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare reveals that exposure to indoor pollutants is linked to reduced life expectancy and burden of disease.

“57 per cent of the burden relates to cardiovascular, 23 per cent to lung cancer and 12 per cent to asthma.

“The study suggests improved ventilation could improve the burden of disease by up to 38 per cent.”

Spore produced by moulds can cause sneezing, red eyes, skin rashes, and asthma attacks. Controlling mould is achieved through good moisture control. Ventilation must be sufficient and in line with the design air permeability.

Building Regulations requirement F1 (1) states that there should be good ventilation in buildings. Knight outlined the regulation, stating: “There shall be adequate means of ventilation provided for people in the building.

“Buildings can affect our wellbeing. Light, thermal comfort, IAQ, odours and acoustic comfort must be considered at the design stage.”

He said that the current system is not achieving good quality air control. He added: “It is one based upon trust, a trust that is being abused, and as a result, the unknowing occupier is being subjected to a non-compliant property.”

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