The air quality in any structure is of vital importance to the occupants of the building. Taking the time to properly assess and determine what a structure needs in terms of indoor air quality filtration systems is very important to the long-term use and life cycle of the building. Indoor air quality is impacted by a variety of naturally occurring elements, pollutants, vapors, and gases. These factors can have detrimental impacts on the occupants of the building and the physical assets that are located in the building.
When it comes to actually determining what type of indoor air quality filtration system you need, enlisting the help of an MEP engineer is vital to project success. With their expertise, they will be able to effectively and efficiently assess and determine what is needed for the structure. there are a variety of ways to achieve indoor air quality that is livable. Your MEP engineer we'll know which direction to go in when it comes to designing and installing an indoor air quality filtration system.
Understanding Indoor Air Quality
While it may seem simple to understand what indoor air quality is there are some nuances to it and ways to measure indoor air quality. As stated above, indoor air quality is impacted by naturally occurring elements, pollutants, vapors, and gases. These pollutants can be created by the occupants themselves, the processes that happen in the building, and other factors. Vapors and gases can occur when the ground beneath the structure after time.
According to the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) “indoor air quality Is the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce the risk of indoor health concerns for occupants.” They also state that “the four most dangerous indoor air pollutants in developed countries are cigarette smoke, formaldehyde, radioactive radon-222 gas, and very small fine and ultrafine particles.”
The EPA offers A variety of suggestions on how they believe you can improve indoor air quality and maintain acceptable indoor air quality over the life of the structure. Over time the soundness of the systems may lessen and you will need to continuously measure the air quality to ensure the safety of the occupants. If you will not be in contact with the owners, then providing this information with the owner’s manual at the time of startup will be recommended.
According to the EPA here a few ways to determine if there is a problem with your ventilation once the structure is built
- moisture condensation on windows or walls
- smelly or stuffy air
- dirty central heating and air cooling equipment
- and areas where books, shoes, or other items become moldy
It may also be necessary to test the air quality periodically. Occupants may exhibit health symptoms that aren’t immediately apparent that they are related to indoor air quality. Additionally, some health effects may show up right after exposure or only after repeated exposures. These are a few of the health effects that may be observed in occupants who are exposed to inferior air quality; difficulty breathing, skin reactions, lethargy, fatigue, brain fog, inability to focus. This is not an all-inclusive list.