Bayesian assessments for acceptable airborne bacteria levels in air-conditioned spaces

Ling Tim Wong, Kwok Wai Mui, P. S. Hui, W. Y. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The level of indoor airborne bacteria is usually selected as a reference to identify the cleanliness of a Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning system. This study proposes an epistemic approach for assessing acceptance of air-conditioned spaces against certain acceptable airborne bacteria levels. From the thermal environmental conditions and a sample test of the airborne bacteria level, the assessment model can give a rapid estimation of the probability of an unsatisfactory indoor environment. An office having a higher risk of unsatisfactory Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) would require a lower sample test value to fulfill the IAQ acceptance at certain confidence level. The model parameters were determined from databases of 529 air-conditioned spaces in Hong Kong, with airborne bacteria levels ranging from 41 to 2304 CFU·m-3, air temperatures from 13.4 to 27.8°C and relative humidities from 29 to 88%. This model would be useful to policymakers for making a fast response to the microbiological pollutant problem while avoiding an inappropriate level of reliance on the results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008


  • Air-conditioned space
  • Airborne bacteria level
  • Bayesian assessment
  • Humidity
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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