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Post-construction Air Quality in sustainable building programs

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Several programs for sustainable buildings specify indoor air monitoring after finishing a building project, for showing the achieved indoor air quality. Eurofins teams perform such services in several countries.

Here you find listed the requirements of some sustainable building programs, regarding post-construction indoor air quality after finalizing a building:

Specifications of low emitting interior products are specified elsewhere; use of complying products will facilitate reaching these targets.

LEED version 4 (since November 2013)

Source: Most recent version, as in the Webpage in November 2013

Air measurement: Post construction, but pre-occupancy, during normal working hours with normal operation of ventilation system, performed by a lab using ISO 17025 accredited testing methods, selected from below list of ASTM, EPA or ISO standards.

ContaminantMaximum concentrationMaximum concentration (Healthcare only)ASTM and U.S. EPA methodsISO method

Formaldehyde

27 ppb

16.3 ppb

ASTM D5197; EPA TO-11 or EPA Compendium Method IP-6

ISO 16000-3

Particulates (PM10 for all buildings; PM2.5 for buildings in EPA nonattainment areas, or local equivalent)

PM10: 50 micrograms per cubic meter
PM2.5: 15 micrograms per cubic meter

20 micrograms per cubic meter

EPA Compendium Method IP-10

ISO 7708

Ozone (for buildings in EPA nonattainment areas)

0.075 ppm

0.075 ppm

ASTM D5149 - 02

ISO 13964

Total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs)

500 micrograms per cubic meter

200 micrograms per cubic meter

EPA TO-1, TO-15, TO-17, or EPA Compendium Method IP-1

ISO 16000-6

Target chemicals listed in CDPH Standard Method v1.1, Table 4-1, except formaldehyde

CDPH Standard Method v1.1-2010, Allowable Concentrations, Table 4-1

CDPH Standard Method v1.1-2010, Allowable Concentrations, Table 4-1

ASTM D5197; EPA TO-1, TO-15, TO-17, or EPA Compendium Method IP-1

ISO 16000-3,  16000-6

Carbon monoxide (CO)

9 ppm; no more than 2 ppm above outdoor levels

9 ppm; no more than 2 ppm above outdoor levels

EPA Compendium Method IP-3

ISO 4224

 

LEED version 2009

Source: Most recent version, e.g. LEED for Commercial Interiors, October 2013

Air measurement: Post construction, but pre-occupancy, during normal working hours with normal operation of ventilation system, all finishes installed and all moveable funishing in place.

Contaminant

Maximum Concentration

EPA Compendium method 

ISO method

Formaldehyde

27 parts per billion

IP-6

ISO 16000-3

Particulates (PM10)

50 micrograms per cubic meter

IP-10

ISO 7708

Total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs)

500 micrograms per cubic meter

IP-1

ISO 16000-6

4-Phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH)

(This test is required only if carpets and fabrics with styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) latex backing are installed as part of the base building systems)

6.5 micrograms per cubic meter

IP-1

ISO 16000-6

Carbon monoxide (CO)

9 parts per million and no greater than

2 parts per million above outdoor levels

IP-3

ISO 4224

 

BREEAM International

Source: e.g. BREEAM 2011 for New Construction, © BRE Global Ltd 2011, Criterion Hea 02 "Indoor Air Quality", available from BRE Global.

Air measurement: Post construction, but pre-occupancy.

ContaminantMaximum concentrationTesting methods
Formaldehyde 100 µg/m³
(30 minutes average)
ISO 16000-3
ISO 16000-4
TVOC 300 µg/m³  *
(8 hours average)

ISO 16000-6
ISO 16017-2

* BREEAM NL: TVOC shall not exceed 8 µg/m³, see BREEAM-NL Nieuwbouw en Renovatie 2014 versie 1.01. But this looks likes a typo error because all other national BREEAM programs require 300, not 8 µg/m³

DGNB

Source: "Sociocultural and Functional Quality SOC1.2, Indoor Air Quality" (2014), available from DGNB.

Air measurement: Maximum 4 weeks post construction. The number of rooms to be tested is specified in a table, depending on the size of the building.

ParameterMaximum air concentrations in all tested rooms, µg/m³Testing Methods
TVOC
(plus reporting and evaluation of individual VOCs)
500  1000 3000 > 3000 ISO 16000-6
Formaldehyde 60 60 120 > 120 ISO 16000-3
Points achievable 50 25 10 0  

The document also contains an appendix with "New Construction Benchmarks (NOW) for evaluation of individual substances as part of VOC measurements" with related air concentrations of some 150 substances, copied over from a 2010 publication of the German EPA (Umweltbundesamt). There is also an example of a test report table. 

Contact to Indoor Air Monitoring Laboratories

Please see here contact information of Eurofins IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) testing laboratories in Europe and in the USA:
www.eurofins.com/IAQ.

Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories

Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing laboratories in Europe, China and Japan:
www.eurofins.com/voc-contacts.