Indoor Air Quality testing to BREEAM Standards

What is BREEAM?

BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. When a building is built or has undergone extensive restoration, it is important that the sustainability of the building is assessed, rated and certified. 

In this instance we were invited to a food distribution centre in Warrington. An office block had recently been constructed on the site so this would be our area of interest. Our sole purpose of this visit would be to make an assessment of the indoor air quality for the purpose of the BREEAM assessment scheme. The assessment would consist of taking measurements of formaldehyde and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) within the indoor environment. We will then be able to evaluate the site compliance against the BREEAM indoor air quality requirements. 

Indoor air quality assessment to BREEAM standards

Carrying out an assessment of the indoor air quality

Our surveyor begun the assessment by taking samples of volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde. He did this using Cassella Ipex personal samplers which were fitted with TENAX anasorb thermal absorption tubes and SKC 226-119 glass tubes. Sampling flow rates were calibrated prior and after sampling using a primary calibrator BIOS Defender 510-M (5-5000ml/min) flow meter. 

Indoor air quality assessment to BREEAM standards

What did air monitoring reveal?

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 indoor air quality 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 in order to reduce the concentration of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds across the development. 

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