New BSI Code of Practice set to improve IAQ standards

Image © Shutterstock

BSI has published a new Code of Practice for indoor environmental quality for non-domestic buildings, in what is being hailed as a major breakthrough for clean indoor air.

The Code BS 40102-1:2023 Health and well-being and indoor environmental quality in buildings – health and wellbeing in non-domestic buildings aligns to the World Health Organisation’s new stricter air quality guidelines for all non-domestic buildings and recommends monitoring and acting on all major air pollutants: particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10); nitrogen dioxide; carbon monoxide; ozone; and formaldehyde.

The new code, which can be purchased from the BSI, sets a higher standard for indoor air quality than previous guidance and as a result, clean air groups have called on the HVAC industry to recommend it to customers for their buildings, from construction contractors to FMs and landlords.

The code gives recommendations for measuring, monitoring and reporting on the well-being and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) performance of an occupied building and associated building services.

It provides an evaluation and rating system, the aim of which is to enhance IEQ, the BSI says:

The IEQ performance score generated as an outcome of evaluation provides organisations with a benchmark score that can be used to identify areas of below par performance and enable improvements to be made accordingly.

BS 40102-1 applies to non-domestic buildings, including existing building stock. It can be used, along with other standards and design guidance, in existing buildings, renovations and new build developments, BSI notes that it covers ‘a good practice approach’ to the evaluation and assessment of air quality, light quality, thermal comfort and acoustic and soundscape quality.

BSI says that the guide will enable measuring and reporting on health and wellbeing factors, as well as target setting and actions for improvement, in turn creating healthier buildings and improved occupant health, wellbeing and efficiency.

The guide has been welcomed by campaign groups such as Clean Air in London, whose director Simon Birkett recently wrote to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, calling for better standards of IAQ.

Simon said:

We encourage people to ask healthcare facilities, offices, shops, schools and public buildings to comply fully with the new recommendations and guidance…It is a breakthrough for cleaner air.

He drew attention to how efficiently HVAC systems can filter the indoor air, and in turn reduce energy use by preventing the accumulation of dust and fluff on heating and cooling coils.

Simon also noted that regular maintenance and monitoring of both the systems and the air quality is essential in buildings to ensure that positive outcomes are achieved, saying: “Please bear in mind that Clean Air in London has seen an open cement bag dumped in ducting on the downstream (i.e. people) side of a sophisticated HVAC system…”