Green Building Solutions International

indoor Air Quality

Why is indoor air quality important?
Another compelling reason why Building Envelope Integrity is of prime importance is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). In our 24-hour air-conditioned environment, the air we breathe has a profound  effect on occupant health, satisfaction and performance. Building Envelope Integrity and sustainable building codes focus primarily on energy use; however, a high degree of indoor air quality and its impact must be considered for any building to be a sustainable and viable contribution to the built environment over the long term.

Poor outdoor air quality
The traditional means of dealing with IAQ is through ventilation standards such as ASHRAE Standard 62.1; however, this approach assumes that the outdoor air is cleaner than the indoor air. Here in the GCC this is not the case, and insufficientlytreated ventilation air can actuallymake IAQ worse. Poor outdoor air quality in this region includes a high level of suspended particulates, respirable dust, Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) as well as above average levels of air-bourne bacteria and fungi.

Moisture and Dirt in Ventilation Systems
Dirt accumulation in ventilation systems can lead to biological growth and serious IAQ problems.These conditions generally result from inadequate levels of particle filtration; poor filter maintenance, and problems with cooling coil condensate, humidifiers or other sources of moisture. Our region’s geographic location naturally results in a high level of air-bournepollutants, which requires increased attention on appropriate and effective filtration and air cleaning.

Moisture in buildings
Many notable cases of IAQ problems have been associated with excessive moisture in building assemblies, particularly in the building envelope. Such situations can lead to mold growth that can be difficult to fix without major renovation efforts and costs. Moisture problems arise for a variety of reasons, Building Envelope Integrity is critical because the humid desert air is corrosive effects of water inside buildings particularly the building wall assembly.

Other regions stress protection from rain-induced water infiltration; the high level of humidity in our region’s climate means that water infiltration is usually in the form of water vapour in our humid exterior air. Once this warm moist outside air meets the cool dry indoor air of our air-conditioned interior, condensation into liquid water occurs and the corrosive effect of water in the wall assemblies begins. A molecule of water vapour is much smaller than a molecule of liquid water (such as rain); therefore, our region once again must pay extra diligence to our Building Envelope Integrity.

IAQ, Local Green Building Codes and GBSI Services
The IAQ considerations mentioned above are considered in local codes in differing ways:

LEED IEQ Credit 3.2 “Construction IAQ Management Plan—Before Occupancy Option 2: Baseline Air Testing.”

GBSI has the training, certification and the state of the art equipment to measurethe  in-situ particle count of the following contaminants and compare the site samples with the contaminant required maximum concentrations. The LEED IEQ Credit 3.2 “Construction IAQ Management Plan—Before Occupancy Option 2:Baseline Air Testing.”maximum IAQ pollutant levels are listed below:

Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC)

Estidama / Pearl Building Rating System
Credit: LBi- 3: Construction Indoor Air Quality Management
The Estidama / Pearl Building Rating System Credit: LBi- 3: “Construction Indoor Air Quality Management” requires that fresh air will be provided continuously, post occupation, for a period of no less than twenty-four consecutive days and at a fresh air rate of 2 ACH to all spaces or until an additional 3,160m3 per m2 internal floor area of fresh air has been delivered.

GBSI can greatly reduce the time required for this required Pre- Occupancy Flush Out by using our high capacity, infinitely variable speed fans (each single fan is capable of continuously producing 15,000m3/hour @50 Pascal) to set a continuous flow rate well in excess of the 2 ACH until it would equalthe required flush out volume, reducing the number of days at the time sensitive final phase of construction. Our fansdirectly connect to each AHU with flexible tubing to provide therequired flow in much shorter amount of time.

Dubai Green Building Regulations & Specifications Section 400: 401.6 Indoor Air Quality Compliance – New Buildings and 401.07 Indoor Air Quality Compliance – Existing Buildings.

GBSI provides inspections and assessment to verify compliance with the mandatory Dubai Green Building Regulations & Specifications, Section 400, 401.6 “Indoor Air Quality Compliance – New Buildings” and 401.07 “Indoor Air Quality Compliance – Existing Buildings”.

GBSI provides indoor air quality testing that must be carried out prior to occupancy.GBSI’s state of the art equipment will measure the maximum contaminant levels as outlined by  401.06 Indoor Air Quality Compliance – New Buildings,shown here:
Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC)
Suspended Particulates

Additionally, GBSI provides the additional contaminant  testing that must be carried out to ensure the air quality in aexisting building according to DBGR&S 401.07 Indoor Air Quality Compliance – Existing Buildings:
Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC)
Suspended Particulates
Carbon Dioxide
Carbon Monoxide

IAQ Measuring Equipment:

INDOOR AIR QUALITY METER GreyWolf Sensing Solutions Advanced Sense IAQ PLUS systemIndoor Air Quality InstrumentTG-502 probewith sensors for relative humidity, temperature and up to 3 specific gas electrochemical sensors

IAQ PARTICULATE COUNTERS GrayWolf 6 channel handheld particle counters with Thermo Scientific™ pDR particulate concentration meters

FORMALDEHYDE METERGreyWolfTG-502 probe also includes sensors for relative humidity, temperature and up to 3 specific gas electrochemical sensors and off-gassing sensors

VIABLE PATHOGENS DETECTOR HYGENIA SystemSURE Plus Hygiene Monitor for immediate onsite mould , bacteria and virus detection and measurement

AIRBOURNE PARTICULANT SAMPLER PUMP Zefon Z-lite High Capacity Linear Pump Kit withAir-O-Cell cassettes for air sample testing of viable and non-viable particle air sampling.

ELECTRONIC LAMINAR FLOW SAMPLING PUMP Zefon Escort ELF Sampling Pump with 10mm respirable dust cycloneElectronic Laminar Flow (ELF) sensor to provide a constant flow control with ± 2.5% regulation of flow rate

For a complete GBSI equipment listing  please click on “QUALIFICATIONS