Feasibility study of a simple IAQ index for assessing air-conditioned offices

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: It is costly to sample all air pollutants of a general community for continuous indoor air quality (IAQ) assessments. To optimize the resources for IAQ baseline monitoring for general facilities management, this study aims to investigate the feasibility of using a simple IAQ index as a screening parameter of a screening test to identify an asymptomatic air-conditioned office with probable unsatisfactory IAQ. Design/methodology/approach: The IAQ index is determined from the fractional dose of some representative common indoor air pollutants of unsatisfactory IAQ, either by taking equal importance of the pollutants as a weighting factor or weighted by the regional failure rates with respect to the corresponding air pollutants. Specifically, a database of regional IAQ assessment results of 422 air-conditioned offices was employed to justify the selected screening levels for the IAQ index. Findings: The proposed IAQ index of a screening assessment was used for verifying, respectively, 58 and seven air-conditioned offices of Hong Kong with satisfactory and unsatisfactory IAQ. The results showed that 57 satisfactory offices and two unsatisfactory offices were correctly identified by the unweighted and weighted IAQ indices respectively. Evaluation of the proposed index in further IAQ improvements of some offices showed that it would be a practical tool for preliminary IAQ screening assessment. Research limitations/implications: The screening test itself could not identify all the IAQ problems but could identify the office groups with higher risk of unsatisfactory IAQ with reduced effort. Practical implications: The study shows the usefulness of the proposed IAQ index to identify the unrecognized IAQ problems for air-conditioned office environments. It could be adopted as a routine screening measure in facility management of which a wide-ranging set of IAQ measurement is undesired. Originality/value: This study presents a useful reference for policymakers, building owners and professionals for indoor environmental assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-134
Number of pages11
JournalFacilities
Volume30
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Air-conditioned offices
  • Indoor air quality
  • Office buildings
  • Representative indoor pollutants
  • Screening strategy
  • Working conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics

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