Indoor air quality testing is one of the requirement in obtaining credits for Breeam projects. Breeam put an emphasis on the well being of future occupant and the developers must follow strict guidelines to unsure high quality of the indoor environment. One of the parameters that is closely monitored is indoor air quality which is ensured by three different pathways. The developers must ensure by means of voc testing that the indoor air quality is good. The developers are asked to introduce only such construction products which would emit a minimal amount of chemical contaminants. Secondly, a detailed indoor air quality plan should be prepared for each development to ensure that all the sources of contaminants are properly controlled. Thirdly, an independent verification is usually required at the end of the project to verify that the air quality is within acceptable limits.
Prior a successful verification can be completed the developer should follow certain rules to minimise the concentration of air contaminants in the indoor air. There rules are outlined in the indoor air quality plan and contain measures such as pre-occupancy flush out and restriction on certain activities.
We have carried out third party voc testing in the new up-marker office block development in central London. We have worked with the client closely and prior to the test we have discussed the projects particulars with the client. The project was being completed in two distinct phases and a bream indoor air quality assessment was required for phase 1 of the development. Unfortunately, the phase 2 of the project was under full construction with no physical separation between the two different parts of the project. We have informed our client that because the construction has not been finished the test are very likely to fail due to the contaminants from the phase 2 of the project. Our client understood our concerns and proceeded with the test.
Although the phase 1 of the project was fully completed and the pre-occupancy flush out has been done the air quality cross-contamination from the phase 2 part of the project. The volatile test is especially sensitive to chemical released from construction materials, adhesives, paint and even cleaning products. The developers must ensure that these products and activities are strictly controlled. Once the second phase of the development been completed the voc test and the sources of odours have been eliminated the development has passed the air quality test.
We work closely with our client to ensure that the air quality test are successful and the Breeam credits are achieved in every case.