Not too long ago we were called to carry out an assessment of indoor air quality for the purpose of the BREEAM Assessment scheme. Our analysis would reveal whether or not there was an air quality problem, and if there was, seek to implement a HEA-02 air quality plan to rectify it. The building we were commissioned to assess consisted of a number of rooms with numerous laboratories dedicated to natural science and information technology. The overall objectives were to measure the concentration of formaldehyde in the indoor environment, measure the concentration of total volatile organic compounds and to evaluate the site compliance against the BREEAM indoor air quality requirements.
After conducting a thorough investigation, the results of our indoor air quality measurements revealed that the site is compliant with the requirements set out in the official document “Hea-02 Indoor Air Quality”. Our test proved that the concentration of formaldehyde and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) is below the maximum permissible concentration limits. As a result, no further measurements needed to be taken to reduce the concentration of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds across the development.
Formaldehyde and VOC’s Analysis
In order to make sure that building was safe for habitation, we needed to conduct an analysis of the indoor air quality before initiating a BREEAM air quality plan. Specifically, we were looking to measure the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds and Formaldehyde in the air. In order to collect the data we used Casella/Gillian Personal Samplers fitted with TENAX anasorb thermal absorption tubes and SKC 226-119 glass tubes. Next, we need to analyze the recordings that we obtained. Then we analyzed the Volatile Organic Compounds by Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry and the samples of formaldehyde were analysed by high performance liquid chromatography. High performance liquid chromatography is a method used to separate components from a mixture.
After conducting a thorough investigation and assessing whether a BREEAM air quality plan needed to be implemented, we found that the indoor air quality safe. More specifically, the indoor air quality with regard to the concentration of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds meets the requirements set out in the HEA-02 document entitled “Indoor Air Quality”. As a result, no further measures needed to be taken to reduce the concentration of indoor air contaminants. For the owners this will have been good news, as they will have avoided having to make adjustments for local exhaust ventilation and implementing a pre-occupancy flush