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First British Standard for Indoor Air Quality Launched

First British Standard for Indoor Air Quality Launched
31 August 2023

BS40102 Part One is the first British Standard for indoor air quality, and has been praised by The Building Engineering Services Association.

The standard gives recommendations for building and facilities managers, to help them measure, monitor, and report indoor environmental quality in commercial buildings. It includes an evaluation and rating system for air quality, lighting, thermal comfort, and acoustics.

The standard was partly inspired by the widespread realisation that building retrofit work carried out to improve energy efficiency had, in many cases, led to poorer quality ventilation. To meet the new standard organisations will need to tackle conditions that have a direct impact on human health including humidity, and excessive levels of CO2, CO, NO2, volatile organic compounds (VOC), airborne particulates and mould.

Swansea-based environmental and building services firm, EFT Consult, helped to create the standard, laying the groundwork through its development of a publicly available specification (PAS 3003) prompted by the 2015 Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act.

“The launch of BS40102-1 marks a major milestone in the assessment and improvement of indoor environmental quality in the UK,” said EFT Chair Dave Kieft. “We are proud to have played a key role in the development and delivery of this new standard, and we are confident that it will make a significant contribution to the health, well-being, and productivity of building occupants around the world.”

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) IAQ Group Chair Nathan Wood said that the standard was an important step forward in the battle to get “the government and building owners to focus more attention and investment on the indoor environment.”

He continued: “Setting IEQ performance benchmarks will make it easier for facilities managers to target problem areas and demonstrate how conditions directly affect health and productivity. However, we must continue to keep pushing standards upwards as current government targets do not reflect the latest WHO guidance and lack real ambition.

“In time, we also hope to see the BS being tightened up to include the more stringent 2021 WHO guidelines so that we can start making real inroads into the IAQ problems that threaten the health of building occupants up and down the country.”

Picture: a photograph of a desk, with an open window behind it. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 31 August 2023


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