#NO 10702 Stopping the buck.
UK, HAC, June 1997, p 13.
Explores the possibility that as air conditioning equipment was in more demand, the extra equipment required to provide fresh air ventilation alongside split air conditioning systems was often a casualty of the drive to cut costs. Similarly a proper maintenance regime may have been sacrificed. Consequently the rise of sick building syndrome was blamed on air conditioning systems as a whole.
air conditioning, sick building syndrome
#NO 10716 An annotated bibliography: ventilation and acoustics.
Limb M J
UK, Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre, AIVC, 1997, 50pp. NOT FOR LOAN FROM AIVC.
Gives an overview of current developments into acoustic control within buildings and their impact on current ventilation practices. Includes an examination of current design guidance and advances in acoustic measurement and calculation, as well as research into noise generation and control in buildings, with the emphasis on both noise transfer by the building itself (structural elements, design or occupants), as well as HVAC generated noise (including noise transfer from the plant room, ducts, terminal devices, etc). The report concludes with an examination of the interaction of noise related problems with sick building syndrome and its impact on the quality of the indoor environment.
noise pollution, ventilation system
#NO 10738 Photovoltaics in buildings. A design handbook for architects and engineers.
Sick F, Erge T (editors)
UK, James and James, 1996, IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, Task 16, 287pp.
Task 16 has assessed techniques for maximizing the solar share in total energy concepts as well as optimizing the economics. For system optimization all energetic aspects such as lighting, heating and cooling, or hot water production have been taken into account. Results of the findings have been incorporated into Task 16 demonstration projects which were implemented in most of the member countries. Both residential and commercial buildings, and grid-connected and stand-alone systems are included. The book's six sections are general; components; architectural integration; system design; installation and maintenance; and recommended reading.
#NO 10805 Air quality in naturally ventilated buildings.
Ciantar C, Hadfield M
"Energy and the Environment: Efficient Utilisation of Energy and Water Resources" First International Conference, proceedings, held October 12-14 1997 Limassol, Cyprus, Volume 2, pp 405-412, 5 figs, 1 tab, 6 refs.
Currently one of the most rapidly growing areas receiving attention is energy efficiency in buildings. In this context naturally ventilated buildings are an inevitable design solution. This paper reports preliminary observations of a project aimed at investigating pollution levels within these types of buildings. Due to the difficulty of predicting and controlling the amount of suspended particles entering naturally ventilated buildings an understanding of the type of pollutants, their size and their composition is necessary. Two types of pollutants were identified, those carried within the building from the outside under natural forces and/or by the occupants themselves as well as those generated within the building by the occupants. The effect of these type of pollutants on the sick building syndrome was also investigated.
naturally ventilated building, air quality, internal pollution, sick building syndrome
#NO 10816 Control is at the heart of the matter.
UK, HAC, July 1997, pp 42-46.
Compares the benefits of naturally ventilated offices versus air conditioned offices in relation to sick building syndrome problems, and introduces the new pre-standard pr ENV1752, which classified buildings into categories according to their indoor air quality, using this to specify necessary ventilation strategy.
standard, health, ventilation rate
#NO 10819 Sick building syndrome. Concepts, issues and practice.
Rostron J (editor)
UK, E&FN Spon, 1997, 186pp plus floppy disc.
Introduces the sick building syndrome and its many facets from potential causes, through to the consequences and to possible remedies. The specialist contributors consider medical, legal, architectural and management issues, offering both theoretical and practical guidance.
health, indoor air quality
#NO 10822 Indoor air pollution - the potential for litigation.
Australia, AIRAH Journal, June 1997, pp 30-31.
Discusses sick building syndrome from the legal point of view. There is likely to be an increase in lawsuits related to sick building syndrome in Australia due partly to a modification in the law which makes it easier for employees to pursue legal claims. Describes how building owners can reduce the potential for litigation in this area, and explores the variety of claims which could be made.
health, sick building syndrome, legal aspects
#NO 10823 Estimates of improved productivity and health from better indoor environments.
Fisk W J, Rosenfeld A H
Indoor Air, No 7, 1997, pp 158-172, 1 tab, refs.
The existing literature contains strong evidence that characteristics of buildings and indoor environments significantly influence rates of respiratory disease, allergy and asthma symptoms, sick building symptoms, and worker performance. Theoretical considerations, and limited empirical data, suggest that existing technologies and procedures can improve indoor environments in a manner that significantly increases health and productivity. At present, we can develop only crude estimates of the magnitude of productivity gains that may be obtained by providing better indoor environments; however, the projected gains are very large. For the U.S., we estimate potential annual savings and productivity gains of $6 billion to $19 billion from reduced respiratory disease, $1 billion to $4 billion from reduced allergies and asthma, $10 billion to $20 billion from reduced sick building syndrome symptoms, and $12 billion to $125 billion from direct improvements in worker performance that are unrelated to health. Sample calculations indicate that the potential financial benefits of improving indoor environments exceed costs by a factor of 18 to 47. The policy implications of the findings are discussed and include a recommendation for additional research.
allergies, asthma, health, indoor air quality, productivity, respiratory disease, sick building syndrome
#NO 10825 Fungal colonization and water activity studies of heating ventilating and air conditioning system insulation materials from a sick building.
Price D L, Ezeonu M, Simmons R B, Morey P R, Ahearn D G
Indoor Air: An Integrated Approach, edited by L Morawski, N D Bofinger, M Maroni, Elsevier Science Ltd, 1995, pp 321-324, refs.
Heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) duct insulation in a county government facility in South Florida USA was removed because of heavy fungal infestation of the building. Samples of these materials were examined by direct microscopy and enrichment culture. Additional insulation samples were desiccated for three weeks over silica drying gel, weighed, then placed over saturated salt in water solutions at known relative humidities. At relative humidities approaching 95%, some insulation samples on an average gained 6% of their dry weight in water. The water gain at various relative humidities ranged from a low 2% to a high 9.3% of the dry weight. The hygroscopic nature of duct insulation and mechanical insulation in HVAC systems is most likely one of the contributing factors in fungal colonization. The porous nature of the insulation is also a contributing factor because of its propensity to trap organic and inorganic particulates. Understanding which fungi colonize these substrates and under what moisture and nutrient conditions will help design engineers make recommendations on HVAC system operational parameters including relative humidity and moisture control.
fiberglass duct insulation, fungal colonisation, water activity, HVAC systems
#NO 11027 Infrasound and sick building syndrome.
Burt T S
USA, Washington DC, Healthy Buildings/IAQ '97, 1997, proceedings of a conference held Bethesda MD, USA, September 27 - October 2, 1997, Volume 1, pp 471-476, 12 figs, 1 tab, 9 refs.
Infrasound (<20 Hz) has been reported to produce symptoms of fatigue, nausea, headache and cough, which are similar to the symptoms of sick building syndrome (SBS). The hypothesis is that infrasound causes an allergic type response i.e. that repeated or long term exposure causes a person's threshold for the stimulus to be lowered. This article reports on measurements of infrasound in a office building with a high prevalence of sick building syndrome among the occupants. It was found that infrasound was produced by the supply ventilation fans.
sick building syndrome, noise pollution, office building
#NO 11058 Airing out pollution.
USA, Washington DC, Healthy Buildings/IAQ '97, 1997, proceedings of a conference held Bethesda MD, USA, September 27 - October 2, 1997, Volume 3, pp 353-356, 1 fig, 5 refs.
In Stockholm, the indoor air in a group of multistorey, newly constructed, buildings was contaminated due to destruction of carpet glue on damp concrete with a high PH level. In the same house SBS symptoms were common. In order to reduce the SBS symptoms, airing out (baking out) the contaminants from the concrete was done after removing the carpets. (1), (12), (3), (4). Measurings showed that the VOC concentration in the indoor air was dependent on indoor air temperature and on surface temperature in the emitting floor, that the emissions from the floor rose when baking out and that there was no correlation between odour strength and VOC concentration. A half year after the baking our period a questionnaire survey showed the same result as in undamaged houses. The sick buildings were cured.
sick building syndrome, pollutant, floor coverings, organic compound
#NO 11088 Relationships between the indoor environment and productivity: a literature review.
Sensharma N P, Woods J E, Goodwin A K
USA, Ashrae Transactions, Vol 104, Pt 1, 1998, 16pp, 2 figs, 4 tabs, refs.
Results of studies assessing the relationship between indoor environmental quality and productivity are often divergent. Additionally, these results provide little direction to design and construction professionals for achieving environmental quality that supports occupant performance and productivity. The objective of this literature review was to identify commonly used measures of productivity and their links with factors in the indoor environment related to HVAC system performance. This literature research identified 262 references, 53 of which were found to be relevant in addressing these issues. As a means to analysing the results reported in the literature, measures of productivity were classified in terms of traditional and nontraditional figures of merit (FOMs). It was found that office environments are the primary focus of current research and that most studies do not address the wide range of factors that may influence productivity. Additionally, contradicting results were found regarding the relationship between human responses, occupant performance, and productivity. It is concluded from these results that FOMs can be standardised for specific building functional categories (BFCs) but that site-specific modifications may be needed. To identify FOMs that are measurable and controllable, it is important to identify links between occupant performance and productivity and a set of factors including systems, exposures, and human responses. It is recommended that future research focus on defining reliable and valid FOMs, standardising FOMs for each BFC and clarifying the links in human responses, occupant performance and productivity.
sick building syndrome, occupant behaviour, health
#NO 11407 Sick building syndrome and psychosocial factors - a literature review.
Lahtinen M, Huuhtanen P, Reijula K
Indoor Air 1998, Suppl. 4, pp 71-80, 2 tabs, refs.
Sick building syndrome (SBS) with an unknown etiology has led researchers to focus on the role of psychosocial factors in the work environment as well as on individual characteristics in SBS. Recent research has suggested that psychosocial factors are quite strongly associated with SBS. The associations have been confirmed in buildings that were beforehand considered to be problem cases, and also in buildings whose condition was not known in advance. However, SBS symptoms could not be attributed to psychosocial factors alone. Most of the previous studied have supported the conclusion that SBS most likely is of a multifactorial origin related to chemical, physical, biological and psychosocial factors that interact or coincide with one another. Unfortunately, for the time being, it is not possible to characterise adequately the relationship between the various risk factors and the possible mechanisms of SBS. There is an urgent need for more empirical research, especially follow-up studies and interventions, for development of the methodology and for new theory-building in order to better understand the relations between environmental factors, personal factors and the symptoms of SBS. In this literature review, SBS is viewed from an occupational stress perspective.
sick building syndrome, review, occupant behaviour
#NO 11497 Case Study on Prevalence and Possible Causes of Sick Building Syndrome Symptoms
Taki A H, Moore T
Sweden, Stockholm, KTH Building Services Engineering, 1998, proceedings of Roomvent 98: 6th International Conference on Air Distribution in Rooms, held June 14-17 1998 in Stockholm, Sweden, edited by Elisabeth Mundt and Tor-Goran Malmstrom, Volume 1, pp 155-162.
Offices are assumed to be more healthy places to work in than factories and thus problems with occupational health ought to be minimal. However, many maladies can be attributed to the modern office environment, to include legionnaires disease, Pontiac fever, humidifier fever and one for which as yet no specific cause has been identified i.e. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). This paper assesses the prevalence and nature of symptoms of building sickness, together with possible causation of these symptoms. Incidence of SBS symptoms involving 36 occupants in their own offices were investigated in a naturally ventilated building based in Leicester, UK. Furthermore, an objective study was undertaken to include the measurements of the environmental variables within the space offices. The level of symptoms was found to be significant and strongly correlated with air temperature, stuffiness, odourless, air quality, noise and overall thermal comfort. The results suggest that indoor air pollution can be the prime causal agent behind symptoms, where source of the pollution is from within building materials. High level of dry eye symptoms was strongly associated with dust; headache symptoms were linked with noise level; and blocked nose with higher air temperatures. Air temperatures were strongly correlated with symptoms while ventilation rates were not found to be contributory factors. In addition, other possible causes for SBS symptoms are discussed.
sick building syndrome, occupant reaction, natural ventilation, building materials
#NO 11503 Displacement Ventilation and Cooled Ceilings
Sweden, Stockholm, KTH Building Services Engineering, 1998, proceedings of Roomvent 98: 6th International Conference on Air Distribution in Rooms, held June 14-17 1998 in Stockholm, Sweden, edited by Elisabeth Mundt and Tor-Goran Malmstrom, Volume 1, pp 197-204.
The performance and effectiveness of any ventilation and cooling strategy depends largely on the method of air distribution and heat removal system. The consequences of poor air distribution and cooling systems are draughts, air stagnation, large temperature gradients and radiation asymmetry. These factors are the chief cause of the occupants' dissatisfaction with their thermal environment, and are major contributors to the so-called 'sick building syndrome'. Cooled ceilings combined with displacement ventilation, sometimes known as 'comfort cooling', has gained popularity in recent years. In the UK, the traditional cooling strategies such as fan coil and vav is now being challenged with static cooling systems in majority of the new and refurbishment projects. The increasing trend towards the use of these systems has led to a number of research programmes to study the air movement, thermal environment and condensation risk of these systems (Alamdari, et al 1993, 1996; Martin et al 1997, Butler 1997). The room air distribution and thermal environment of the combined displacement ventilation and cooled ceiling systems are presented in this paper.
displacement ventilation, chilled ceiling
#NO 11563 Building performance evaluation for indoor air quality using occupant contaminant inhalation and attribution to contaminant sources.
Takemasa Y, Moser A
UK, Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre, proceedings of "Ventilation Technologies in Urban Areas", 19th Annual Conference, held Oslo, Norway, 28-30 September 1998, pp 293-304.
The emissions of building materials like volatile organic compounds and indoor airborne contaminants such as environmental tobacco smoke expose occupants to hazardous substances. Although impacts of indoor air quality problems on human health, comfort, and productivity are quite large, no adequate evaluation methodology exists to assess contaminant source control techniques and building equipment systems. Even if instant indoor concentrations of many contaminants are not always high, continuous exposures to these contaminants may cause severe problems such as manifested by the sick building syndrome.
This paper proposes a method for evaluating long-term building performance in terms of indoor air quality. The approach applies exposure assessment but focuses on building performance. It employs the concept of using the total amount of substance inhaled by persons who occupy the room. This indicator is expressed by kilograms of each contaminant inhaled by persons ever present in the building during its operational life. The values include the effects of occupant rates. Concrete procedures for deriving variations of the indicators for both gaseous and particulate contaminants are described in detail. Another concept of contribution rates of contaminant sources is introduced both for instant values and on the inhalation basis. Evaluation examples of these indicators for a simple office geometry are shown for particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and formaldehyde. The results of the case studies strongly suggest the importance of indoor material selection and ventilation strategies. The contribution rate of contaminant sources makes it easier to plan a remedy for bad indoor air quality. The applicability of these indicators and future research requirements are also discussed.
occupant reaction, building performance
#NO 11674 Improvement of indoor air quality in four problem homes.
Shaw C Y, Salares V, Magee R J, Kanabus-Kaminska M
UK, Building and Environment, No 34, 1999, pp 57-69, 3 figs, 4 tabs, 5 refs.
The occupants of six houses suffered from symptoms which improved upon leaving their houses. In a previous study, tests were conducted in these six houses to measure various physical parameters related to their indoor environments. Four of these houses were subsequently renovated to improve indoor air quality. Tests were repeated on the four houses to assess the effectiveness of the applied remedial measures. The post-renovation tests which were identical to the pre-renovation tests, included measurements of air temperature, relative humidity, ventilation rates, air distribution patterns, levels of carbon dioxide, concentrations of formaldehyde, and concentrations of volatile organic compounds.
This paper describes the remedial measures applied to these houses. Also presented is a comparison of the ventilation conditions and concentrations of chemical contaminants in the houses before and after the renovation.
residential building, sick building syndrome
#NO 11680 Development of new volatile organic compound (VOC) exposure metrics and their relationship to "Sick building syndrome" symptoms.
Ten Brinke J, Selvin S, Hodgson A T, Fisk W J, et al
Indoor Air, No 8, 1998, pp 140-152, 2 figs, 7 tabs, refs.
Occupants of office buildings are exposed to low concentrations of complex mixtures of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that encompass a number of chemical classes and a broad range of irritancies. "Sick building syndrome" (SBS) is suspected to be related to these exposures. Using data from 22 office areas in 12 California buildings, seven VOC exposure metrics were developed and their ability to predict self-reported SBS irritant symptoms of office workers was tested. The VOC metrics were each evaluated in a multivariate logistic regression analysis model adjusted for other risk factors or confounders. Total VOCs and most of the other metrics were not statistically significant predictors of symptoms in crude or adjusted analyses. Two metrics were developed using principal components (PC) analysis on subsets of the 39 VOCs. The Irritancy/PC metric was the most statistically significant predictor of adjusted irritant symptoms. The irritant potencies of individual compounds, highly correlated nature of indoor VOC mixtures, and probable presence of potent, but unmeasured, VOCs were variously factored into this metric. These results, which for the first time show a link between low level VOC exposures from specific types of indoor sources to SBS symptoms, require confirmation using data sets from other buildings.
sick building syndrome
#NO 11681 Particulate matter intervention study: a causal factor of building-related symptoms in an older building.
Kemp P C, Dingle P, Neumeister H G
Indoor Air, No 8, 1998, pp 153-171, 6 figs, 14 tabs, refs.
Five floors of a 20-year old 6-storey office building were investigated using an integrated step-by-step investigation strategy. This involved a walkthrough inspection, an occupant questionnaire, and targeted environmental monitoring of indoor air quality and comfort parameters. The initial questionnaire survey revealed a high occurrence of building-related symptoms. The walkthrough inspection and environmental monitoring identified deposits of surface dust (indoor surface pollution - ISP) on carpets and hard surfaces, and elevated levels of carbon dioxide and respirable suspended particulate matter (RSP) throughout the building. An intervention study (blinded to the occupants) was targeted at reducing ISP levels by replacing normal carpet cleaning practices with higher performance vacuum cleaners and improved cleaning practices. The intervention reduced ISP levels and significantly lowered RSP concentrations by approx. 80% from initial values and against control floors. A follow-up SBS questionnaire revealed significant reductions in all but two of the symptoms. The most significant reductions occurred with symptoms of eye irritation, throat irritation, dry unproductive cough, and nose irritation. The study showed that in older buildings with poor ventilation, a build-up of ISP, and elevated RSP levels, using higher performance carpet cleaning practices can reduce RSP to acceptable levels and can reduce SBS symptoms.
particulates, sick building syndrome
#NO 11682 Relating sick building symptoms to environmental conditions and worker characteristics.
Ohman P A, Eberly L E
Indoor Air, No 8, 1998, pp 172-179, 4 tabs, refs.
Recent concern has centred on "sick buildings" in which there has been an unusually high percentage of health complaints by the building's occupants. Typically, these symptoms are thought to be tied to indoor air quality characteristics, such as high levels of respirable particles or volatiles, thermal conditions, etc. In addition, recent studies have drawn connections between "sick building syndrome" (SBS) symptoms and non-environmental variables, i.e. personal and occupational factors. This paper presents a brief review of a study by Hedge et al. (1995) and additional analyses of their data. In a study of 27 air-conditioned office buildings, Hedge et al. Measured nine indoor environmental conditions at various locations within each building and concurrently questioned workers on sixteen SBS symptoms and a number of other personal factors. The additional analyses presented in this paper attempt to draw formal statistical connections between SBS symptoms and both personal worker characteristics and indoor air pollutants simultaneously. The analyses were based on symptom severity response variables which include information not only on the frequency with which an individual experienced a symptom, but also on how much the symptom disrupted the individual's work. Results from sixteen linear mixed effects models indicate that significant predictors are primarily personal and occupational in nature rather than environmental. For a number of the symptoms, additional variability attributable to buildings exists. However, any physical explanation of this variability remains unclear.
sick building syndrome
#NO 11683 Air sick - getting fresh on board.
UK, Heating and Air Conditioning Journal, November 1998, pp 24-26.
Considers lack of fresh air and the increasing use of recycled air on commercial aircraft as a possible cause of sick building syndrome-like symptoms among passengers. The amount of fresh air circulated within aircraft cabins has been dramatically reduced from 100% to a 50/50 mix of fresh and recycled air, as a result of cost cutting measures.
aircraft, air conditioning
#NO 11684 Investigators link building IEQ and environmental illness.
USA, IEQ Strategies, September 1998, pp 8-10.
Describes a case involving a hospital complex where IEQ problems went on for more than six years and affected hundreds of workers, causing what physicians described as environmentally induced dysfunction (EID). Despite the correction of the problems that caused the illnesses, 85 workers from the hospital still suffer from adverse health effects, keeping them out of work on long-term disability. It was discovered that a steam heating system was common to the three buildings on the site, and steam from the boiler was used in a common humidification system. The complex used anticorrosives in the boiler water that was eventually used for humidification. Instead of adding the anticorrosives in a steady feed, workers would add them in batches, often 5-10 times above the recommended levels. Investigators were able to recover amines from the anticorrosives in condensation in the ductwork. Reports of new illnesses have ceased following upgrading and balancing of the ventilation systems and replacement of the humidification system in favour of one using a totally separate water supply without the anticorrosives.
sick building syndrome, ventilation system
#NO 11685 Natural ventilation and automation with manual overriding are health solution.
van Paassen A H C, Lute P J
TVVL-REHVA Symposium: Healthy Buildings in Relation to Building Services, 17-21 February 1992, Utrecht, The Netherlands, pp 79-92, 8 figs, 1 tab, refs.
The need for individual control with manual overriding combined with controlled natural ventilation is discussed. It is made plausible that with these two facilities problems related with the Sick Building Syndrome can be avoided.
This principle is applied in a so-called passive climate system. A system is devised setting the level of heating and ventilation by controlling motors fitted to radiators, ventilation openings in window, Venetian blinds and outside shading. Moreover, it will switch on the lighting when natural lighting is inadequate. The system comprises a weather station on the roof, a network of sensors and controllers in each room hooked up to a control computer. The room controllers can be overridden manually by the occupants.
With computer simulations it has been demonstrated that through nocturnal air cooling with opened windows and predictive control a comfortable indoor climate can be realised year round, provided that the internal load lies between 15 and 20 W/m2. Higher loads require additional mechanical cooling. Moreover, it is shown that a proper combination of controlled natural ventilation and mechanical cooling leads to an enormous reduction in energy consumption. It can be reduced to 20% of the amount that is normally required in buildings with closed facades. Moreover, the capacity of the cooling room unit can be reduced with 50%. The ability to remove internal heat and the costs of the passive climate system is compared with that of more conventional systems. It has been shown that the passive system is very promising and that the option with the additional cooling unit is superior to all the other systems.
#NO 11686 The sound of sickness.
UK, Heating and Air Conditioning Journal, July 1998, pp 24-29.
Discusses possible links between low frequency noise and sick building syndrome. Relates claims by one researcher that British building professionals may be working with noise data that is out of date when using current CIBSE guidelines for noise control. Describes a research project to investigate the possible link between low frequency noise in systems and sick building syndrome. The one-year project would seek to build on research which has already identified two main risk factors in SBS, namely the presence of small particles and a persistent statistical association in affected buildings with low frequency noise from HVAC systems. A Swedish researcher states that so-called "infra" sound - frequencies below 20 Hz can make people feel physically sick. This level of sound often occurs in ventilation systems.
noise pollution, sick building syndrome
#NO 11793 Environmentally induced dysfunction: the Camp Hill Medical Centre Experience.
Fox R A, Shires D B, Fox H M, et al
Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, No 6, 1996, pp 351-358, 32 refs.
In 1987, workers in the kitchen of one of the teaching hospitals in Halifax, Nova Scotia began to experience symptoms of pruritus, folliculitis, wheezing, conjunctival irritation, sore throat and headache, all suggestive of an indoor air quality (IAQ) problem. Approximately 127 of 160 kitchen workers were affected over a 2-year period and the complaints included cognitive difficulties and reactivity to environmental irritants. Workers in other parts of the hospital developed increasingly serious problems, including bronchial hyper-reactivity, nausea, diarrhoea, weight loss, hair loss, recurrent infections, myalgia and arthralgia as well as more sinister neurotoxic effects of memory loss, poor concentration, visual perceptual losses, peripheral paraesthesia, Raynaud's phenomenon, severe fatigue, dizziness and neuromuscular incoordination. Between 1991 and 1993, more than 700 workers, out of a total workforce of 1250, reported symptoms. Over 300 workers were off work for periods of from 3 months to 3 years and, at the time of writing, over 100 workers remain disabled and unable to work. During the course of this epidemic, it became clear that the clinical features did not readily fit into any widely accepted single disease category or syndrome. However, the ill health appeared to be related to IAQ problems in all buildings. It also became apparent that much of the symptomatology was similar to the condition known as multiple chemical sensitivity. The sick workers became intolerant of the hospital environment and their symptoms appeared to be precipitated by incitants such as chemicals, mould, dust, food, light or electromagnetic radiation. This state of ill health is described as environmentally induced dysfunction and the essential clinical features include chronic ill health for at least 3 months with evidence of dysfunction in multiple organ systems. The symptoms wax and wane, are provoked by exposure to certain environments (e.g. the workplace) and improve upon removal of triggers or irritants. Many of the workers improved when they stopped work and created a very clean environment at home. Most patients have cognitive impairment and evidence of autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Chemical sensitivity is an important part of this problem and recognition of the importance of this has to occur to allow research to take place and to assist in the treatment of those already afflicted and incapacitated by these problems. As a greater understanding is gained, it should be possible, in the future, to prevent problems of the same magnitude as reported here.
sick building syndrome, indoor air quality
#NO 11806 Study on environmental quality of a surgical block.
san Jose-Alonso J F, Velasco-Gomez E, et al
UK, Energy and Buildings, No 29, 1999, pp 179-187, 5 figs, 7 tabs, 9 refs.
This article presents the study of a surgical block with serious deficiencies of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) located in the Hospital del Rio Hortega (Valladolid, Spain). Block characteristics were identified and symptoms reports collected from 118 workers. At the end of the initial investigation, it was concluded that there was Sick Building Syndrome. Measurements of ventilation and contaminants were made of indoor air (CO, CO2, TVOC, anaesthetic gases, at six different points simultaneously) and outdoor air (hospital incinerator). Studies with trace vapors (Xylene) were also performed on installations which crossed the surgical area to see whether a relationship existed between the different surgical areas studied and other areas of the health centre. Actions on contaminating foci, climatisation-ventilation and personnel training were finally recommended to Administration to solve the problem.
hospital, indoor air quality, sick building syndrome
#NO 12005 The sick building syndrome in offices.
Burt T S
Sweden, Kungl. Tekniska Hogskolan, Climate and Buildings Nr 1-2:1993, Thesis for Licentiate of Engineering, 134 pp.
Consists of a review of the factors associated with the sick building syndrome and an investigation of a "sick" building. The investigation concentrated on the thermal aspects, since the literature suggests that the thermal factors may be the most significant. Temperatures were monitored at 24 points around occupied zones for one week. The results showed fluctuations and instabilities in temperatures, with large variations over small distances. The results of the study from a self-administered questionnaire showed that people with allergic-type problems were those affected the most, and that air quality was most often blamed. Other factors associated with sick building syndrome were: being female, having little control over the work pace, length of occupancy, dust, noise, static electricity, high temperatures, draughts and small rooms. Factors with little or no association included: humidity, air recirculation, tobacco smoke, working with VDUs, high CO2 levels, age, season, and having an allergic family member.
sick building syndrome, biological pollutant, chemical pollutant, thermal performance
#NO 12006 The sick building syndrome: thermal, acoustic and other aspects.
Burt T S
Sweden, Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Energy Technology, Division of Heating and Ventilation Technology, Thesis for Ph.D. in Engineering, March 1999, 155 pp.
This investigation consisted of an intervention study of a single office building. The focus was on physical factors, including thermal aspects, and aspects relating to air quality, lighting and acoustics. The report contains the results of a second study, carried out after intervention measures had been implemented. The most prevalent physical factors were reports of dry air, stuffy air and noise, but the factors most strongly associated with SBS symptoms were ventilation noise, static electricity and dust. The acoustic environment was examined because of the strong association found between complaints of ventilation noise and SBS symptoms. Measurements showed that many occupants were being subjected to over 70 dB of noise produced by the ventilation system. Much of this was in the infrasound region below 20 Hz and inaudible. The biological effects of infrasound have been reported to include symptoms such as headache, fatigue, nausea and lack of concentration. Other factors considered in this study are allergy, circadian rhythms, electromagnetic fields, individual control and lighting. Evening types had more SBS than morning types, which is a new finding in SBS studies. The most effective remedial measures in this building would be to lower the supply air temperatures to give improved air distribution, to filter the air at the supply terminals to reduce the dust, and to install an active noise control system to reduce levels of low frequency noise and infrasound.
sick building syndrome, thermal performance, noise pollution
#NO 12142 Dusty, dry air and sick building syndrome.
Burt T S
EPIC '98, Volume 1, pp 315-320, 3 tabs, refs.
This investigation was carried out on a mechanically ventilated office building with a high prevalence of occupant symptoms. The commonest complaints were of dry air, stuffy air and noise. Occupant symptoms, however, were most strongly associated with reports of dusty air and static electricity. Allergic and asthmatic people suffered the most. Cleaning standards were high, and upgrading the air filters failed to give improvements in occupant symptoms. Air flows to the rooms were adequate, but air movements in the rooms were poor. Remedial measures should focus on improving air distribution, rather than increasing air flows.
dust, sick building syndrome, mechanical ventilation, occupant reaction
#NO 12174 Building acoustics and sick building syndrome.
Burt T S
EPIC '98, Volume 3, pp 856-861, 4 figs, refs.
The acoustic environment was examined in an office building with a high prevalence of symptoms typical of the sick building syndrome (SBS). Levels of ventilation noise exceeded 70 dB in many rooms. The peak was often found in the region below 20 Hz, which is the infrasound region and generally regarded as inaudible at these levels. Symptoms attributed to exposure to low frequencies include nausea, headache, choking, coughing, visual blurring and fatigue, which appear to overlap with some of the symptoms of SBS. Reducing fan speeds provided reductions in noise levels mainly in the audible region. Closing windows and doors to the rooms gave more effective reductions, but interfered with working routines.
sick building syndrome, noise pollution
#NO 12357 Playing the field.
UK, HAC, June 1999, p 38.
Describes how a US company is using electric fields to remove airborne contaminants.
air purification, particle, sick building, static electricity, dust
#NO 12363 Allergic and non-allergic students' perception of the same high school environment.
Denmark, Indoor Air, No 9, 1999, pp 92-102, 9 figs, 1 tab, refs.
The aim of the study was to describe how allergics and non-allergics perceive the same environment. All high school students in a town in southern Sweden were invited to answer a questionnaire concerning allergy, subjective symptoms, annoyance reactions and perception of the environment (response rate: 81%). The results show that only 45% of the students were non-allergic (n = 1,715). Since the symptom frequency among non-allergic students were normal, the schools were classified as healthy. However, compared to the non-allergic students, a higher percentage among the allergics suffered from symptoms every week, a lower percentage was satisfied with the air quality and the cleaning, and a higher percentage was bothered every week by temperature, stuffy/stale air, bad odour, passive smoke, bad lighting, noise, dust and dirt (ANOVA, P<0.05). The findings could indicate that allergics note discomfort earlier than non-allergics by being more critical in general and especially critical to factors that could effect their health. The findings could also indicate that awareness of ones own sensitivity could lead to stress/anxiety, which could make symptoms worse. The conclusion is that it is important to take allergy into consideration when the environment is assessed.
allergies, sick building syndrome, school
#NO 12364 Sick building syndrome in an office building formerly used by a pharmaceutical company: a case study.
Engelhart S, Burghardt H, Neumann R, Ewers U, et al
Denmark, Indoor Air, No 9, 1999, pp 139-143, 1 fig, 2 tabs, refs.
In the past two decades, a group of health problems related to the indoor environment - generally termed sick building syndrome (SBS) - has emerged. We present an investigation of SBS in employees of a ministry working in a naturally ventilated office building that formally had been used by a pharmaceutical company. A preceding environmental monitoring had failed to identify the cause(s) for the complaints. We conducted a questionnaire-based investigation and categorised the building sections and rooms according to their renovation status and their former use, respectively. The highest level of complaints was found among the employees working in rooms that in the past had been used for the production or storage of various pharmaceutical products suggesting that pharmaceutical odours may be a risk factor for SBS. Clinical laboratory tests did not show any unusual results. We conclude that the former use of a building for production and storage of pharmaceutical products should be considered as a possible risk factor for complaints about indoor air quality, e.g. when advising about or planning for renovations of buildings formerly used for production, handling, or storing of chemicals.
sick building syndrome, odour, renovation
#NO 12373 Renovations, disrepair cause numerous courthouse IEQ problems.
USA, IEQ Strategies, May 1999, pp 7-11, 3 tabs.
The case study involves a Massachusetts courthouse, which had undergone numerous renovations over the years. As a result of the many changes, the original ventilation design no longer functioned, and the only source of outdoor air for most sections of the building was doors and windows. This led to numerous complaints from occupants about symptoms commonly related to IEQ complaints. Gives a building description and discusses exhaust motors, unit ventilator, mould and mildew, pollutant sources, and reports long- and short-term recommendations.
refurbishment, sick building syndrome
#NO 12394 Modern ventilation techniques. Case studies scenario.
Booth W B
UK, Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), Technical Note TN 3/99, 26 pp, 13 figs, 6 tabs, 5 refs.
Reports on an assessment of three headquarters type buildings which use mixed mode ventilation, to determine whether concerns about buildings which use passive ventilation and cooling techniques with some mechanical ventilation for peak loads will provide acceptable comfort conditions. The building indoor environment was assessed in a monitoring programme over two two-week periods (one winter, one summer). An occupant questionnaire was distributed. BRE building sickness index was determined for each building with one building being in the cause for concern category, and one in the cause for further investigation category, and one showing minimal problems.
sick building syndrome, occupant control, thermal comfort, noise
#NO 12559 Indoor Air 99. The 8th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate. Volume 1.
Raw G, Aizlewood C, Warren P (eds.)
UK, Garston, BRE, 1999, proceedings of Indoor Air 99, the 8th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, and the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC) 20th Annual Conference, held Edinburgh, Scotland, 8-13 August 1999, Volume 1, 940 pp.
The papers in this volume are in the following sections: ventilation and energy; studies of sick building syndrome; IAQ standards and regulations; indoor air biologi: non-domestic buildings; ventilation guidelines, operation and comfort; VOC sources and sinks; IAQ codes and guidelines; thermal comfort; modelling, simulation and prediction: temperature, air flow and moisture; sick building syndrome research methods; indoor air biology: homes.
indoor air quality
#NO 12563 Indoor Air 99. The 8th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate. Volume 5.
Raw G, Aizlewood C, Warren P (eds.)
UK, Garston, BRE, 1999, proceedings of Indoor Air 99, the 8th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, and the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC) 20th Annual Conference, held Edinburgh, Scotland, 8-13 August 1999, Volume 5, 506 pp.
The papers in this volume are in the following sections: ventilation components; VOCs: material emissions and emission chambers; modelling, simulation and prediction of indoor air pollutants; indoor/outdoor comparison; studies of sick building syndrome; asthma and allergy.
indoor air quality
#NO 12620 Association of ventilation rates and CO2 concentrations with health and other responses in commercial and institutional buildings.
Seppanen O A, Fisk W I, Mendell M J
Indoor Air, No 9, 1999, pp 226-252, 7 tabs, refs.
This paper reviews current literature on the associations of ventilation rates and carbon dioxide concentrations in non residential and non industrial buildings (primarily offices) with health and other human outcomes. Twenty studies, with close to 30,000 subjects, investigated the association of ventilation rates with human responses, and 21 studies, with over 30,000 subjects, investigated the association of carbon dioxide concentration with these responses. Almost all studies found that ventilation rates below 10 Ls-1 per person in all building types were associated with statistically significant worsening in one or more health or perceived air quality outcomes. Some studies determined that in creases in ventilation rates above 10 Ls-1 per person, up to approximately 20 Ls-1 per person, were associated with further significant decreases in the prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms or with further significant improvements in perceived air quality. The carbon dioxide studies support these findings. About half of the carbon dioxide studies suggest that the risk of sick building syndrome symptoms continued to decrease significantly with decreasing carbon dioxide concentrations below 800 ppm. The ventilation studies reported relative risks of 1.5-2 for respiratory illnesses and 1.1-6 for sick building syndrome symptoms for low compared to high low ventilation rates.
carbon dioxide, sick building syndrome, commercial building
#NO 12621 A tale of six cities.
Lauerman J F
USA, collection of features on the Harvard Six City Study, www.hsph.harvard.edu/review, 1999.
Collection of material about the Harvard Six Cities Study, in which public health researchers directly correlated environmental exposure to toxins with health impacts. The work set a standard for research in air pollution. Evolving from this study, the Environmental Epidemiology Program examined the effects of fossil fuel emissions - specifically sulphur dioxide and respirable particulate air pollution - on the respiratory health of thousands of American citizens. Finding air pollution related health problems among children and adults exposed to levels below current standards, the investigation prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to revise existing air quality standards. The wealth of data collected also yielded numerous studies on smoking, indoor air pollution and the respiratory growth of children. Also includes a list of relevant material, with abstracts.
sick building syndrome, epidemiological study, sulphur dioxide
#NO 12667 Why ventilation systems should be clean.
Proceedings VHExCo 99, International Ventilation Hygiene Conference and Exhibition, Solihull, UK, March 24-25 1999, 5pp, 1 tab, 8 refs. BSRIA/Criterion Publishing Ltd.
Cites Scandinavian studies showing that dirty exhaust ducts are a fire hazard, dust in ducts can contribute to the sick building syndrome, some types of dust irritate the shin and mucous membranes and can be source of sensory pollution and can pollute return air. Describes the pre-study of a ventilation system before it is cleaned, and the equipment used, plus a tool for the control of cleaning quality. Presents a table showing industrial quality standards developed in Norway for the regulation of the cleanliness of different surfaces.
ventilation duct cleaning, sick building syndrome, fire hazard
#NO 12724 Ventilation strategies for good indoor air quality and energy efficiency.
in: USA, ASHRAE, 1999, "IAQ and Energy 98: Using ASHRAE Standards 62 and 90.1", pp 257-276, 9 figs, 5 tabs, refs.
This paper shows that the cost of space conditioning of buildings is in the same order of magnitude as at cost caused by deteriorated indoor air quality. The requirements for good indoor air quality and energy efficiency have often been considered to conflict with each other; however, buildings with low energy consumption in Europe seem to have also a lower rate of building-related symptoms. This indicates the importance of power design and installation and qualified well-trained operational personnel who understand both the requirements for good indoor air quality and energy efficiency. Several strategies for ventilation are described in this paper by which, at the same level of energy consumption, the indoor air quality is improved or, at the same level of indoor air quality, the energy consumption is reduced. These include the following; proper target and design values of indoor air quality and climate, proper location of fresh air intakes, cleaning of intake air, efficient air distribution in rooms with improved ventilation efficiency, heat recovery from exhaust air, control of ventilation rates by air quality, proper selection and control of airflows, correct balancing of airflows, source control and efficient removal of contaminants, controlling indoor climate locally, and natural ventilation and free cooling
sick building syndrome, ventilation strategy
#NO 12818 Menschliche Anforderungen an zukuenftig zu klimatisierende Umgebungen. Human requirements in future air-conditioned environments.
Fanger P O
Germany, KI Luft- und Kaeltetechnik, No 3, 2000, pp 114-119, 4 figs, 20 refs, in German.
Although air conditioning has played a positive role for economic development in warm climates, its image is globally mixed. Field studies demonstrate that there are substantial numbers of dissatisfied people in many builidng, among them those suffering from Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms, even though existing standards and guidelines are met. A paradigm shift from rather mediocre to excellent indoor environments is foreseen in the 21st century. Based on existing information andon new research results, five principles are suggested as elements behind a new philosophy of excellence.
air conditioning, occupant reaction, sick building syndrome, individual control
#NO 12819 Potty idea.
UK, HAC, Spring 2000, p 6.
Describes Australian research which states that potted plants in buildings have no effect on sick building syndrome.
indoor air quality, vegetation, air cleaning
#NO 12856 Fungal growth on air filtration media in heating ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Neumeister H G, Kemp P G, Kircheis U, Schleibinger H W, Ruden H
paper from "Healthy Buildings/IAQ '97", proceedings of a conference held Natcher Conference Center at National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA, September 27-October 2, 1997, Vol 1, pp 569-574, 3 tabs, 5 refs.
In an ongoing study on the relationship between fungi and the sick building syndrome, three different filtration material (synthetic, fibreglass, and cellulose) were installed in the HVAC system of a large Berlin library for 1 month. Samples were analysed for fungal contamination and were also installed in a climatic chamber to manipulate humidity and air flow. Maximum numbers of fungi were extracted from synthetic material. Contamination from fibreglass and cellulose material was significantly lower. The climatic chamber samples significantly reduced cfu and number of genera (except for yeasts) from all media types. Highest colonisation in the chamber occurred at 60% RH and 100% RH. The study suggest that filtration is an important factor controlling fungal contamination, with relative humidity and air flow rate being less important.
fungi, filter, air conditioning
#NO 12860 Improved health after intervention in a school with moisture problems.
Ahman M, Lundin A, Musabasic V, Soderman E
Indoor Air, No 10, 2000, pp 57-62, 2 figs, 1 tab, refs.
In a school with floor moisture problems, the personnel had complaints consistent with the sick-building syndrome (SBS). Interventive measures including the laying of a ventilated floor were undertaken to eliminate the emissions. To examine if the intervention resulted in positive health effects, 34 personnel and 336 pupils were interviewed just before the intervention and also 7 months after. Also were interviewed 21 personnel and 224 pupils at an adjacent school serving as a control. Compared with the control school, the problem school showed more complaints, more general symptoms and more symptoms from the eyes, air-ways and skin, both among the personnel and the pupils. In the post-intervention examinations, the excess of symptoms among the personnel had almost disappeared. Among the pupils, the frequency of eye irritation was reduced but a general improvement of other symptoms was not obvious. However, after adjustment for a recent common cold, atopy and stress among the pupils, only one symptom ("stuffy nose") remained significantly elevated. In conclusion, the intervention was followed by positive health effects, supporting the hypothesis that emissions from building material had contributed to the excess of symptoms. A recent common cold was highly related to the symptoms and should be considered in future SBS studies.
health, school, moisture
#NO 12965 Fungi as allergens in indoor air: a difference in species range between the return and supply air side of HVAC air filters.
Kircheis U, Neumeister H G, Kemp P C, Martiny H
in: "Healthy Buildings/IAQ 97" edited by J E Woods, D T Grimsrud and N Boschi, proceedings of a conference held Natcher Conference Center at National Insitutes of Health, Bethesda, USA, September 27 - October 2, 1997, Volume 3, pp 443-448, 1 tab, 8 refs.
Fungi on filters of HVAC systems are being increasingly suggested as a causal factor of sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms. Differenciation of fungi is critical to understanding any relationship as a different fungi species have different allergic potential and produce different by-products. The HVAC system of a large Berlin library was used to analyse airborne fungi before and after the filters using a six stage Andersen sampler and three different types of agar media. After the filters, both the airborne fungi counts were reduced (by 60 % to 90%) and the range of species were significantly reduced with several species absent including Trichoderma harzianum, Chrysonilia crassa, aureobaidium pullulans. The type of agar media also altered which fungi appears to be most useful for detecting airborne fungi. DG 18 was shown to be less effective when used in the Andersen sampler. The allergic potential of the fungal genera differenciated illustrates the possible role for fungi in SBS.
fungi, allergic disease, filter
#NO 13107 The introduction of ventilation efficiency in the Italian standard UNI 10339.
Joppolo C, Giorgiantoni G
UK, Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre, proceedings of "Innovations in Ventilation Technology", 21st AIVC Annual Conference, held The Hague, Netherlands, 26-29 September 2000, paper 58. This paper not available from AIVC.
Designers, professionals and practitioners are currently making evaluations and sizing ventilation systems and apparatus in Italy on the basis of the Italian standard UNI 10339. This prescriptive standard is relatively recent, being issued in June 1995. Industrial buildings are not considered. As far as IAQ is concerned, systems must ensure that known contaminants concentrations will not be harmful to the health and well-being of the occupants. This is a general criteria, i.e. concentration limits are not defined. On the contrary, fresh air flowrates per occupant are fixed (or related to the room net surface or to achs). These flowrates are prescribed on the basis of the building typology or on its final destination. Our perception is that this standard needs improvement in some of its aspects. Firstly, the standard does not show the concentration limits for the pollutants, for each compound of which the harmful effects are acknowledged or the cross interaction among these substances. Also the standard does not define the difference between harmful conditions and comfort perception. Furthermore attention is not given to the conditions which are likely to occur to a percentage of the occupants such the famous SBS (Sick Building Syndrome). An aspect of great importance which is overlooked in the standard is also "Ventilation Efficiency". In September 1999 the Italian Thermotecnical Committee founded a working group aimed at the so-called "maintenance" of the standard. ENEA (The Italian Committee for the New Technologies Energy and the Environment) is actively participating with the authors of the works, under the leadership of the Energy Department of Politecnico of Milano. The intermediate scope is the introduction in the norm of the ventilation efficiency, formulating the corrective coefficients to the standard ventilation flowrates. This aims to match, in a better way, the Italian reality of the offices and other public buildings. For example, it is known that our country is a wide market for systems such primary air fan-coils. The state of the work at the moment is in the undertaking of CFD simulations for 5 typical systems configurations. A standard 50 m3 building cell with two occupants is under investigation.
standard, ventilation efficiency
#NO 13166 What causes sick building syndrome - sick workroom or sick dwelling?
Finland, SIY Indoor Air Information Oy, 2000, proceedings of "Healthy Buildings 2000", held 6-10 August 2000, Espoo, Finland, paper 199.
The cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted in spring 1998 among indoor workers of 6 buildings in town Tartu, Estonia. The goal of this pilot study was to evaluate magnitude of possible problems related to indoor air quality in Estonian non industrial workrooms as well as in those workers' dwellings. Therefore, the questionnaire included questions about perceived indoor environment for both workplaces and homes. It merits consideration that prevalence of SBS symptoms was rather high (up to 64%) in Estonian offices and libraries though some variance between buildings also exists. The associations between symptoms and indoor environment demonstrate that the symptoms of sick building syndrome may often be result of combination of workroom-related factors as well as factors related to indoor environment in workers' homes. It could be concluded that in case of sick building syndrome, role of possible synergistic effects of factors occurring in and beyond workroom might remain underestimated if only workrooms are investigated.
SBS, residential building, workplace, building-related symptoms
#NO 13167 Pesticide use around a rural medical centre associated with health problems in patients and staff.
Joffres M, Pennell M, Fox R
Finland, SIY Indoor Air Information Oy, 2000, proceedings of "Healthy Buildings 2000", held 6-10 August 2000, Espoo, Finland, paper 348.
On a morning of July 1999, the lawn of a rural medical facility was sprayed with an organophosphate (Chlorpyrifos) without any warning to staff and patients. Patients waiting to enter the building were exposed due to proximity of spraying and windy conditions. A physician walked through a cloud of spray. Details about the concentration of pesticide used were not available but use of a high concentration was probable. Exposure was suspected to have continued inside the building through opened windows, air exchanger, and people movements through the doors. Within one to two hours all the staff experienced different levels of eye, throat and skin irritation, dry burning lips, metallic taste, nausea, lightheadedness, headaches, chest tightness and difficulty concentrating. People were too sick to return to work in the afternoon and had to leave the next day after two hours in the building. During the following days, the physician most exposed experienced increased symptomatology and one asthmatic person bringing a patient was severely affected. Discontinuation of patient services, extensive and costly cleaning followed. The most affected physician kept experiencing symptoms upon reentry into the building and took a month of sick leave. The second physician also experienced symptoms inside the building. Inspection of the building showed an inadequate ventilation system and presence of carpets in heavily used areas that may have exacerbated the problem. Recurrence of symptoms among the staff and in some sensitive patients raised questions about safety of the building. Open discussion about options, further cleaning and improvements took place. Testing for residual levels of Chlorpyrifos in air and swab samples was negative. The most affected physician re-experienced symptoms after cleaning of ventilation ducts. Six months after the initial event, there is no complaint outside some very sensitive patients who experience symptoms. This event showed that affected individuals may continue to experience symptoms after initial exposure due to a combination of factors, and that such events could have been easily prevented.
pesticides, contamination, symptoms, hypersensitivity
#NO 13169 Ranking of selected indoor chemical pollutants.
Finland, SIY Indoor Air Information Oy, 2000, proceedings of "Healthy Buildings 2000", held 6-10 August 2000, Espoo, Finland, paper 150.
Numerous scientific studies show that indoors are the source of potentially harmful substances called indoor air pollutants. They come from various sources. Indoor levels are often much higher than outdoor level and most people spend the bulk of their time indoors. As indoor air pollution is relatively new problem, health and comfort problems are associated with it. The starting point for studies on constituents of the indoor environment is to realize that the problem to be solved is complex. Facing the number and variety of physical, chemical and biological pollutants in indoor environment urgently needs strategies to distinguish severe from less severe health hazards. The term sick building syndrome has come into vogue during the past several years and refers to a range of occupant complaints and illnesses. The cause of sick building syndrome remains unknown, although it is likely that there are connections between psychological factors, inadequate ventilation and the level of hygiene in the building. Classification of health effects of indoor air pollution is introduced from comfort point of view. Factor identified as possible causative agents are as conclusion of several research reports indicated in the paper. In order to determine the priorities the ranking of selected indoor chemical pollutants in Slovakia was made on the base of measurements carried out. Frequency of exposure for selected substances was estimated.
SBS, radon, VOC, risk assessment
#NO 13184 Optimised indoor air quality and energy saving strategies for quality buildings in Mediterranean climates: compatible objectives with comfort and environment issues?
Malheiro da Silva I
UK, Oxford, Elsevier, 2000, proceedings of Roomvent 2000, "Air Distribution in Rooms: Ventilation for Health and Sustainable Environment", held 9-12 July 2000, Reading, UK, Volume 1, pp 13-22, 9 figs, 5 tabs, refs.
The sick building syndrome is a growing concern in terms of health and is an important factor in occupancy behaviour. The building sector takes up more than 35 % of the global primary energy use in developed countries. Those two main concerns in building services design are closely related, demanding an accurate balance between strategies focused on energy consumption reduction and indoor air quality improvement, whereas controlled natural ventilation potential must be considered as an important contribution. Designers must be aware of these facts and integrate, in the final solution for buildings, the global environment concerns and comfort standards leading all together to the quality (Q) building label. The aim of this paper is to establish, in a consistent way, that those main aspects are compatible between them and can play an important role in comfort and environment issues. This approach has been used in the design of several buildings in EXPO'98 and, from one of them, field measurements are reported, confirming design estimations.
indoor air quality, energy saving, natural ventilation, air conditioning, thermal comfort