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A global benchmark for air

An international certification programme for indoor air quality has been launched
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Measuring indoor air quality

AirRated has launched a global benchmark for indoor air quality. The goal is to help owners and occupiers of residential new build, public sector and office buildings to better understand, improve and communicate air quality information with their occupants.

5 million premature deaths are caused by breathing poor air, and air quality is a vital determinant of our overall health and wellbeing. Today, indoor air quality is more important than ever.

Taking action and responsibility

Several factors pose relatively new risks to indoor air quality, such as energy conservation measures to make buildings more airtight and the introduction of many new materials and sources of indoor pollution.

A recent study by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Physicians highlighted that children in the UK are being exposed to harmful levels of pollutants throughout their daily lives in the indoor spaces where they live, breathe and learn.

‘Indoor air quality can affect so many elements of our lives from sleep and allergies to productivity at work and overall health. For example, the pollutant PM2.5 is so small that it can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause serious implications for the body; the longer you are exposed to high concentrations, the worse it can be.

‘It’s now time for property developers and management companies to take action and responsibility for the air that their residents and occupiers are breathing and take necessary steps to ensure it’s the best it can be for the health of future generations.’

Head of environmental research at AirRated

The AirRated certification is underpinned by peer-reviewed academic research and is aligned to global building standards and health guidelines.

An AirScore is generated following a monitoring period of three weeks and is valid for a period of 12 months. The three-week AirRated environmental survey gathers information about indoor air quality (IAQ) using high-specification sensor technology.

Outdoor data from local, in-situ monitoring stations is also gathered, analysed and taken into consideration, as this heavily influences indoor air quality.

Once collected, AirRated’s in-house environmental scientists test these datasets against the AirRated Scoring System to generate an AirScore.

Improving indoor environments

The AirScore comprises five fundamental parameters: PM2.5, CO2, TVOCs, temperature and humidity.

The three most impactful (PM2.5, CO2 and TVOCs) must meet a minimum threshold requirement for 95% of survey hours in order to pass.

The ratings are tiered, ranging from ‘AirScore Certified’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’ up to the highest level, ‘Platinum’. Following the certification, AirRated can also advise clients on strategies for improving their indoor environments and on communicating this to prospective, buyers, tenants or building occupants.

‘Our aim at AirRated is to create an internationally accepted industry standard for classifying Indoor Air Quality across all use classes in the built environment.

‘At AirRated, we support our clients in promoting healthy environments by raising awareness of Indoor Air Quality and providing bespoke strategies for improvement. Air quality is arguably the single greatest determinant of our overall health and well-being in buildings, and it is paramount that we begin to map and quantify this in order to develop better strategies for improving Indoor Air Quality and creating better living, working and leisure environments.’

CEO of AirRated

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