UCL publishes research on air quality for home workers

IEDE (Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering)’s research on air quality for home workers has been published in CIBSE journal.

The study led by Dr Farhang Tahmasebi and his team at IEDE has investigated if, during the first Covid-19 lockdown, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in residential buildings has deteriorated.

The project, funded by EPSRC IAA and CIBSE, took advantage of the unique opportunity of remote access to a set of monitoring devices in eight occupied flats, which had been part of an investigation before the outbreak.

Unsurprisingly, analysing this dataset has revealed a substantial increase of occupancy levels in the studied flats especially on weekdays. Nonetheless, unexpectedly, occupants have relied less on natural ventilation during the first lockdown. As the article reports in detail, this higher occupancy and lower natural ventilation has resulted in a substantial increase of indoor CO2 concentration. Furthermore, the study demonstrate that, despite the lower outdoor PM10 concentrations on weekdays during the first lockdown, indoor PM10 concentrations have risen on both weekdays and weekends.

The article concludes that with the new home occupancy patterns, much more attention must be paid to the detrimental health impacts of high indoor pollutant concentrations.

In this regard, Dr Farhang Tahmasebi and his team at IEDE believe that it is particularly important that the households are made aware of the benefits of sufficient air exchange rates and the environmental control possibilities at their disposal to enhance IAQ.

To read the article in full visit: portfolio.cpl.co.uk/CIBSE/202012/24/

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