New IAQ guidance described as “a turning point”

Alan Macklin, Technical Director at Elta Group and Chairman of the FMA (Fan Manufacturer’s Association) has hailed recent guidance from the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) as a turning point for IAQ:

The document is designed to assist anyone involved in identifying and subsequently addressing air quality issues within both existing and new builds.

The importance of IAQ is rapidly gaining prominence, as the adverse health effects of pollutants become more widely known. Equally, the positive impact that high-quality air can have on health and productivity is increasingly informing internal building design.

The IAQM’s new guidance document is a great supplement to existing protocol and legislation. It is indicative of a steady improvement of awareness of IAQ, with ongoing consultation around Part F of the Building Regulations including proposals for increasing ventilation rates and monitoring air quality.

Historically, there has been a reliance on natural ventilation to provide fresh air to indoor spaces, especially in public buildings such as offices. However, there is now a general acceptance that mechanical ventilation is the primary means by which acceptable levels of ventilation can be achieved.

Mechanical ventilation is the only certain means of ensuring that the correct ventilation rates are always maintained and facilitates the usage of suitable filtration to remove external contaminants. A correctly functioning ventilation system is dependent on correct commissioning as well as adequate maintenance.

Air quality monitoring through appropriate sensors is an essential part of the ventilation management system, which is something that the IAQM’s new guidance document stresses. As an industry, we are on the right path in promoting the critical role of ventilation in ensuring our buildings are fit for purpose, and the more we can emphasise the importance of good IAQ, the healthier our structures will be.

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