Redmore Environmental was commissioned to undertake a programme of Indoor Air Quality Monitoring to address credit Hea02 of the BREEAM certification at the newly constructed Allied London XYZ Building in Spinningfields, Manchester.
BREEAM and Indoor Air Quality
The Building Research Establishment Assessment Method (BREEAM) allows assessment of the environmental, social and economic sustainability performance of buildings and infrastructure. The Building Research Establishment have produced a suite of Technical Standard documents which serve as guidance suitable for different project types, such as the construction of new buildings or the refurbishment of existing buildings. Each standard is split into categories such as ‘Health and Wellbeing’ which is designed to improve the comfort, health and safety of buildings for occupants and ‘Energy’ which focuses on promoting energy efficient solutions, systems and equipment within a development.
Pollutants such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which include formaldehyde, are found within fit-out products such as paints, varnishes and carpets. Once a building has been furnished, these compounds may be released into the internal environment resulting in high concentrations within the building. The accumulation of these VOCs along with chemicals from other sources, can lead to a deterioration in indoor air quality. Exposure to an environment with poor air quality have been shown to lead to adverse health effects. As such, BREEAM requires monitoring of these compounds to allow for comparison against criteria set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Building Regulation requirements.
The XYZ building, an innovative mixed-use property in the heart of the Manchester central business district, was registered to pursue BREEAM certification in accordance with the ‘New Construction 2014’ Technical Standard. Redmore Environmental prepared a programme of Indoor Air Quality Monitoring designed to satisfy the requirements of the Health and Wellbeing category Hea02 ‘Indoor Air Quality – VOC emission levels (post-construction)’ credit.
Monitoring of VOC and formaldehyde concentrations was undertaken at seven locations within the building. These were selected to represent the varying internal environments featuring different construction and fit out products. Samples were collected in accordance with the methodology outlined in ISO 1600-6 and ISO 1600-3. VOC tubes were exposed for a period of 8-hours, and formaldehyde tubes for a period of 1-hour, as required by the BREEAM guidance. The samples were subsequently sent to a UKAS accredited laboratory for analysis, where the total VOC and formaldehyde concentrations were quantified.
The results of the laboratory analysis were included within an Indoor Air Quality Monitoring report which was submitted in support of the Hea02 credit to the BREEAM assessor. The completed XYZ building achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and is one of few Manchester buildings to receive BREEAM certification.
Redmore Environmental has substantial experience in the provision of BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Assessment related services and can provide support to address all elements of Hea 02 ‘Indoor Air Quality’. If your project is registered to pursue BREEAM certification, contact us today to discuss how we can help you achieve these credits.