Research Articles and White Papers


Indoor Air Quality Index for Preoccupancy Assessment

Published: January 10, 2018
By: Dalia Wagdi
Indoor Air Quality Index for Preoccupancy Assessment

The purpose of this study is to document the potential impacts on indoor air quality associated with different types of building materials (wall and floor finishes) through the development of an Indoor Air Quality index. The study first identifies pollutant sources and their corresponding health impacts due to short-term and long-term exposures. The study also quantifies levels of certain pollutants within a steady-state controlled environment, comparing the results of this study with previous studies conducted in different regions. It also proposes an IAQ index as an assessment tool which can be utilized pre-occupancy. The field studies were conducted in residential buildings during January and February in Cairo to monitor volatile organic compounds(VOCs), formaldehyde (HCHO), ammonia (NH3), radon gas, and particulate matter (PM). The indoor air was monitored in nine locations: four during the construction process and five following completion of construction. For this investigation, three rooms under construction within a Cairene building site were utilized to test the finishing materials. Chemical analysis and direct reading devices were used for air sampling and monitoring. The results revealed that the concentration of some pollutants decreased within the first year of construction, while others remained above target limits. The results of this study offer recommendations for engineers regarding the selection of appropriate materials through the implementation of source control strategies and an IAQ index which can be used as an assessment tool to ensure that the Indoor Air Quality meets recommended standards. Based on the conclusions and limitations of this study, recommendations for future work are documented such as the screening of materials and monitoring of Indoor Air Quality.

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