Indoor Environmental Effects And Environmental Assessment Systems Construction Essay

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It has been found that the average person is spending approximately 90% of his life span in the indoor environment. In other word, an average person spend 90% of his timing in indoor environment. Therefore it is essential to have and maintain a good environment all the time. Good environment help the occupant to live healthy and safely and increase their efficiency, productivity etc. The indoor environmental effects which affect the occupant in a negative way can be listed as follows:

Ventilation Effectiveness -Indoor air quality

Acoustic Effectiveness

Thermal Comfort abilities

Lighting Effectiveness

Ventilation Effectiveness

For the well-being of the building occupants, it is essential to bring in a required

quantity of fresh air. In order to achieve the requirement of the quality air, it should be introduced to the building proper ventilation, humidity management, air filtration and contaminant source control.

Comfort is required inside offices by the increasing of fresh air, so as to make oxygen for breathing, decreasing carbon dioxide and create a sense of personal comfort and freshness.

Suitable quality and sufficient amount of fresh air should be directly provided by the mechanical ventilation system, maintain a comfortable environment, create a healthy environment, maintain a comfortable temperature, create and maintain humidity remove or reduce pollutants and also remove or reduce airborne impurities such as tobacco smoke, fumes and dusts. Therefore, necessary to provide a mechanical ventilation system in offices, because using natural ventilation is not enough.

Indoor Air Quality

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health risks

like asthma, which are triggered by indoor air quality problems, have increased by 42% between 1982 and 1992 (Wilson & Malin, 1996). Furthermore, a study by Fisk and Rosenfeld (1998) cited the annual cost of indoor air quality related problems at $100 billion. These costs are incurred due to problems like SBS, building related illness,

Some construction finishing materials such as internal painting, adhesive, sealants etc release to the indoor environment some toxic air when they are drying. In addition to the above, some carpet, ceiling tiles, insulation materials etc also emits the air which is harmful to the human body. However, it was scientifically proved that water based solvent are low emitting compared to the organic based solvents. Therefore it can be recommended as much as possible the water based solvents.


Eco problem, and noise from HVAC, light and other sources may create the discomfort living/working environment to the building users. Sometimes, this will cause to result in headaches and fatigue and rarely permanent haring loss.

The most acceptable standards for classroom noise levels are 35 decibels (dBA). A-weighted decibels are values measured by sound meters that largely ignore the low-frequency sound energy, just as the human ears do. Despite this

consequence, it was found that a person's motivation to complete certain tasks might be reduced by exposure to environmental stress. Inability to cope with such environmental stressors may also result in "learned helplessness" and negatively affect learning and performance. Over the past 25 years, there have been many studies that show that both acute and chronic exposures to environmental stressors such as noise, crowding, traffic congestion, and pollution, lead to motivational deficits among human beings. For example, Hiroto (as cited in Evans and Stecker, 2004) examined college students performing a task under escapable or inescapable loud noise, or under quiet conditions without a task. Participants who worked under inescapable noise conditions were less likely to successfully perform a subsequent task to avoid noise than those who had

previously worked in escapable noise or were in a control group who had no noise exposure. These effects were demonstrated in a separate study conducted by Krantz, Glass, and Snyder, in 1974 (as cited in Evans and Stecker, 2004).

Thermal Comfort

Excessively hot or cold environments can affect motor and cognitive behavior of

individuals. Extremely hot conditions can lead to loss of performance capacity and slow production out put, while excessively cold environments have affect on manual agility, and sometimes are associated with pain (Ramsey & Beshir, 1998).

The CBE survey was used by Brager, Paliaga and de Dear in 2004 (as cited in

Zagreus, Huizenga, Arens, & Lehrer, 2004), to study the effects of operable windows on worker's thermal comfort, in a municipal office building in California. The survey, and physical measurements of conditions at each workstation, was conducted during both, warm and cool weather. This study found that people were willing to accept variations in temperature as long as they have high degree of personal control over their environment. Furthermore, they are aware that increased air movement can affect their thermal comfort. People with higher degrees of personal control also reported more satisfaction and increased perceived productivity than those with lower degrees of personal control.

Solutions for a Better Indoor Environmental Quality

It has been identified many reasons for problems in indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and provided solutions to the same. Solutions against the indoor environment effect can mainly be categories as follows

• Design and material selection

• Construction practices

• Operations and maintenance

Design and Material Selection

An integrated design approach that takes care of the physical as well as the

psychological well being of the occupants should be implemented. Physical well-being would mean providing adequate ventilation effectiveness, thermal comfort, daylight, reduction of noise, elimination of odors and polluting sources, and selection of low emitting materials. On the other hand, psychological well-being would require the architects or designers to select materials that enhance occupant productivity, design for better quality of artificial and natural light, and provide sufficient views to the out side.

Construction Practices

For the benefits from the design phase to reach the occupants, it is imperative that the construction phase is carefully executed. First and foremost, materials must be protected from contamination and exposure to moisture. While installing, especially the HVAC system, care must be taken so that no pollutants or contaminants are trapped between the materials/systems. As a "green" practice, only the required amount of materials must be ordered to avoid waste. The practice of using recycled materials and recycling waste should be carried out. A final commissioning would ensure quality control (Kibert, 2005).

Operations and Maintenance

Once the building is in operation it is advisable to carry out a post-occupancy

Evaluation to get feed back from the users, and to find out the scope of building

Improvements. Periodic maintenance and monitoring of the building should also be carried out.


Designing and building environmentally-responsible buildings is fast becoming the necessity of the day world over, and people are willing to pay the extra initial cost for such building techniques and materials (Levin, 2005). In the United States, the founding of USGBC in 1993 and the development of "Leadership in Energy and Environmental

Design" (LEED) to evaluate building's resource efficiency and environmental impacts, showed the government's commitment to the green building process. Since then, more than 1000 buildings have been registered under different versions of LEED (USGBC, 2005).

Furthermore, the EPA & the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (1995)

stated that people spend more than 90% of their time indoors, and a good IEQ is

imperative to them. Though LEED and green buildings are relatively new topics, many studies have been carried out to find the causes and solutions for better IEQ. The easiest way to have a better IEQ is to exercise caution during the design process and material selection, construction and construction practices, and the operations and maintenance phase of the building.

This study informs the design community on the occupant's perception on IEQ

between a LEED certified higher education building and a higher education building that

is not LEED certified. The following chapter discusses the methods used in the study.


Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Establish minimum indoor air quality performance to enhance indoor air quality in building

Contribute to the comfort and well being of this occupants

Mechanical ventilation system shall be designed using the ventilation rate rate procedure or the applicable local code

Natural ventilation should be adopted as much as possible

Minimize the exposure of building occupants, indoor surfaces and ventilation air distribution system to Environmental Tobacco smoke

Prohibit the smoking inside the building and locate the exterior smoking area at least 25 feet from entries, outside air intake and and operatable windows

Install permanent monitoring system that provide feed back on ventilation system, maintain design minimum ventilation requirements,

Configure system to generate alarm when condition vary by 10% of ste point.

\For mechanical vented spaces, monitor carbon dioxide concentration in densely occupied space - 25 peoples per 1000 sq.f.

Non densely occupied spaces , provide direct out door air floor measuring device to measure the minimum out door air flow rate to detect when system is 15% below the design rate.

For naturally vented spaces, monitor the co2 within all naturally vented spaces.

Install co2 and airflow measures such as pitot tubes, venture meters, and rotating vane anemometers and feed the info to the HVAC system and BAS

Provide the additional outdoor air ventilation to improve indoor air quality for improved occupant comfort well being and productivity

Reduce the indoor air quality problems resulting from the construction renovation in order to help sustain the comfort and well being of construction workers and building occupant.

Devalop and implement an indoor air quality management plan for construction and pre-occupancy phase of the building.

2. Task 2: Assessment program:

2.1 Introduction:

There are several programs in the world dealing with building and environment, such as: Breeam (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), Breeam is a program organized in United Kingdom by a building research establishment (BRE) to evaluate the environmental performance of new and existing buildings. Built Green is a program organized and developed by Master Builders Association in USA and its established to develop a high quality building and affordable homes for families. Green Built Home is a program for green building founded by Madison Area Builders Association to improve indoor air quality, resource conservation and encourage energy efficiency. Green Globes, this program based in Canada and supported from federal and provincial representatives for development and it's based also on Breeam to assess and rate properties and promotes the integration of green design principles during the construction process. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), this Program provides direction for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings, this program was developed on U.S. green building council to provide fixed and measurable green building standards in the sectors of construction.

In this task, I choose to evaluate BREEAM.


The building manager and designer initially looking toward Breeam to Evaluate the environment performance of new building and existing building, Improving the most effective action, reducing energy and reducing other costs. Therefore, the manager can be using Breeam to assess and evaluate the different type of building in the range of performance in management, energy use, health, pollution, Transport, land use, energy, Materials and water. In Breeam there are established award "credits" each type are added together to produce one result, which in turn result as a pass ≥ 25%, good ≥ 40%, very good ≥ 55% and excellent ≥ 70%. Therefore, the certificate granted and then used a lot towards marketing. Breeam provide a professional review of the characteristics of the environmental impact of new construction, or major reconstruction projects supply, ideally during the various stages of the process of building. The values of this program will allow buildings for various agencies, practices, or members of the evaluation is estimated to be used for different purposes; use planners, developers and agents and the ownership of the design teams and managers to identify large numbers, pretending, promoting, or measures to improve the environmental performance of their buildings continuity, and thus improve marketing.

This program can assess different types of building such as offices, residential eco homes; new industrial unites, retail, schools, prisons, bespoke for all building and for Olympics. Breeam office is version in evaluating new offices, existing, occupied offices and vacant offices. The assessment use two tools to evaluate development are new or refurbished in design and procurement and the (existing/occupied) management and operation standards. Breeam also assesses industrial buildings, industrial units, distribution and storage of each volume estimating in a two-step design and evaluate of post-construction. Two types following for industrial building assessment are speculative, evaluate the developed buildings speculatively with out knowing end occupier; Fitted out, covers the assessment of buildings designed and equipped for a defined end of the occupier, the occupier or where unknown, but the operational area eventually be processed. This is can be carried out for a new building, design stage and post construction stages.

Retail is more flexible to assess different type of retail building which include general sales, food and customer service establishment.

Residential Ecohomes is a version for homes to evaluate rating for new, flats and apartments. The assessment can be used on the design stage and post construction for new build and major refurbishment projects.

Breeam schools are to evaluate a new or refurbished schools based on the compliance of environmental performance rather than specific design elements. For example, at the very least a very good Breeam assessment rating is required for a new school in UK in order to provide flexible, inclusive, attractive learning environments that teachers want to teach in and pupils want to learn in.

2.3 Advantages of using Breeam:

It is very easy to make changes to a building in the design stage to improve their environmental performance, from the existing building. It is in use to focus on the features and performance operational use restriction, this compares to the performance potential of the building. The Breeam covering, the main environmental issues and affects, the buildings including the energy, greenhouse gas emissions, radiation, water, waste, air quality, noise, lighting and protection of property. Breeam in use maintains the building itself (given the wealth estimated), the process of building (working estimate), and the road, which runs the occupiers of the building activities (organizational assessment). The system is flexible enough to be building to submit to the individual or a group of buildings, or to the entire portfolio of property or small parts of it. Information gained will allow for the construction of the shares of the founding of the continuity of their buildings - including the manufacturers of all non-local business, the sale of individual and institutional buildings - and their operation and their activities. This in turn will help them to reduce both costs and environmental performance of cost is unclear.

AppendixesCase study:

From the graph attached, the 16 Noel Street, London, achieve the maximum score attained in management, land use and ecology; 85% for water; 75% in energy and transport, health and well-being; 77% in material and waste.

Management: The implementation of the project in an inclusive and coordinated approach and work performance carried out under the terms of the actual work.

Lend use and ecology: Developed or land reused in project, all the current features of the environmental value were fully protected from damage during site preparation and construction work, the change in not negative in the value of the current site a result of environmental development and Implementing the recommendations of the professional and general improvement of the ecology protection of the site.

Water: For Water Consumption, Water shut-off feature in the toilet room in the building, leak detection system installed on the supply of water in the building,

Materials: Used building materials with a low environmental impact of the life cycle of a building, of the elements of living in the building, identifying the source of the responsibility of the following Structural Frame, Ground floor, Upper floors (including separating floors), Roof, External walls, Internal walls, foundation/substructure, Staircase and in Additionally 100% of any timber must be legally sourced and the presence of thermal insulation products used in building.

Waste: There was a plan to manage the waste site, which contains signs of the efficiency targeting the source and the other words:. m 3 of waste per 100 m 2 or tons of waste per 100 m 2, actions and commitments to reduce non-hazardous waste in line with the mark, actions to reduce hazardous waste, control procedures, measurement and little hazardous waste site and non-hazardous, the procedures for the classification and use again and repeat the construction waste to the waste of knowledge groups (the view of the additional guidance), while on the site or through a contractor approved externally.

Energy: Reduction of CO2, all electricity purchased from sources of renewable.

Health and well-being: At least 80% of floor space in each room occupied by daylight; lighting is appropriately zoned and occupant controllable. Indoor air qualities in the quantities of air that serve the occupied areas avoid major sources of external contamination and re-distribution of the exhaust air.

3. Conclusion:

In conclusion, research on the environment has a twofold objective, on the one hand is to promote the ongoing management of the environment and its sources by increasing knowledge about interactions between climate and the area around the vital systems and environmental and human activities. In the other hand, is also to develop new techniques, tools and services which global environmental issues. Emphasis placed on the tools and techniques to control the prediction, prevention, mitigation and adaptation to the pressures and environmental hazards. Particular attention should also give information to decision makers in their determination of the environmental policy, as well as senior businessmen and ordinary citizens on the challenges and opportunities that they may face.