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Indoor Environmental Quality

* 01. Background

  Nowadays buildings are getting more airtight and HVAC-dependent, associated with excessive interior finishes many health risks in the indoor environment may thus emerge. In general, people stay indoors for about 90% of the time, so the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is directly influencing the health of building occupants. An inadequate indoor environment has been cited as the contributing factor to sick building syndrome of which people working or living in such a sick building may complain. In order to improve the indoor environmental quality, the ABRI has conducted a long-term IEQ research and a series of improvement projects for more than a decade.

* 02. Improvement procedure

  The unnoticeable characteristics of the indoor environment issue necessitate a systematic and scientific methodology and evaluation to solve relevant problems. The ABRI has consecutively undertaken a series of research on the establishment of the IEQ evaluation indicators and diagnosis mechanism (shown as Figure 1) since 1999. The procedure consists of documentation review (preliminary and in details), field and occupant survey, and a prolonged on-site measure (more than 8 hours up to 24 hours). The consideration factors for the IEQ include indoor thermal comfort, air, biology, acoustics, and lighting. The following is listing its measuring items: temperature (°C), humidity (%), air flow speed (m/s), HCHO concentration (ppm), TVOC (ppm), PM10 (μg/m3), CO (ppm), CO₂ (ppm), bacteria (CFU/m3), fungi (CFU/m3), noise (dB(A)), and illumination (Lux). Through the integration of actual measuring data and survey results, a comprehensive diagnosis can be induced to in-depth explore the IEQ problem and propose concrete suggestions for creating a better indoor environment with health and amenity.

(Figure 1) Procedure for the IEQ improvement

Figure 1 Procedure for the IEQ improvement explain:
1. Self-examination:Complain of problems.
2. Preliminary field survey:consulting architectural doctor, building structure survey, equipment system survey, occupant survey, and instrumental measuring.
3. Building check:Professional diagnosis and intuitive evaluation on environmental factors (including acoustic, lighting, thermal, air, and electromagnetic, etc), further evaluation and analysis, improvement and tracking, etc. 

* 03. Accomplishments

  (1) “Indoor Environmental Quality Improvement Projects (2002-2007)”
  A total of 18 demonstrative projects were completed including the CPAMI, National Library, and other central governmental buildings. A simple self-evaluation manual for the IEQ was also published for further reference and application.

  (2) “Healthy indoor environment diagnosis and consultation service projects (since 2008)”
  For widely expanding the service scope and performance, the project converted the previous prevention concept into treatment to provide the IEQ diagnosis and consultation services. From 2008 to 2011, a total of 44 projects were completed, including 15 daycare centers, 11 elder care centers, 10 residential units, and 4 schools. Concrete suggestions were also proposed for participating parties as a reference. In addition, for promoting a healthier indoor environment, the ABRI hosted two seminars annually for both northern and southern areas with an accumulation of 1,734 participants covering about 20% from the general public.

  (2) “Healthy indoor environment quality promotion projects (since 2012)”
  According to the ‘Intelligent Green Building Promotion Program” effective since 2010, the project is implemented following the development of the intelligent green building defined as one that, “based on green building design, introduces the application of advanced high-tech products and materials into a living space to achieve safety, health, convenience, comfort, energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and environmental protection.” In addition, in accordance with the “Act of Indoor Air Quality Management” officially announced on November 23, 2011 (Letter Hua-Tzung-One-Yi No.10000259721), the relevant research findings and latest information are being extensively promoted. In 2012, the ABRI continuously conducted three seminars with adding the central session in Taichung in addition to original two sessions in northern and southern areas. A total of 368 participants attended the seminars with active participation and responses (as Figure 2). Moreover, the “Guidance for Indoor Environmental Quality diagnosis and Improvement Techniques” is completed for professionals and now available for downloading for further practical references. Beside, for the cooperation of promoting the Act of Indoor Qir Quality Management, the indoor environment diagnosis project for office buildings is currently in progress as well.

* 04. Major Tasks in 2013 

  1. Continually host the healthy IEQ seminars to facilitate people’s understanding of IEQ through in-depth exploration and explicit introduction.
  2. Plan the digital educational courses about the IEQ diagnosis and improvement techniques that can be available for the public to download for more extensive promotion.
  3. Draft the experiencing space for healthy IEQ to aim at providing a quality space for the public to actually experience and become better informed on the importance of the IEQ to people’s health.

(Figure 2) An IEQ seminar held in 2012
(Figure 2) An IEQ seminar held in 2012

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