Simplified assessment of indoor air quality in air-conditioned offices in Hong Kong

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Simplified assessment of indoor air quality in air-conditioned offices in Hong Kong


Author: Leung, Chung-ho Jacky
Title: Simplified assessment of indoor air quality in air-conditioned offices in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Eng.
Year: 2009
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Office buildings -- Air conditioning -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Department: Dept. of Building Services Engineering
Pages: xv, 73, lxxx leaves : ill. ; 31 cm.
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: It is too costly to sample all air pollutants of a general community, air sampling should be conducted based on a practical assessment strategy and monitoring plan. Assessment methods of taking some representative pollutants were proposed under different circumstances. In Hong Kong, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) launched an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) certification scheme to grade the IAQ in workplaces as 'Excellent Class' or 'Good Class'. As according to the Guidance Notes for the Management of Indoor Air Quality in Offices and Public Places. IAQ is defined by measuring the levels of twelve indoor environmental parameters, i.e. carbon dioxide (CO₂), carbon monoxide (CO), respirable suspended particulates (RSP), nitrogen dioxide (NO₂). ozone (O₃), formaldehyde (HCHO), total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), radon (Rn), airborne bacteria count (ABC), temperature (T), relative humidity (RH) and air velocity (V). This study investigated 2248 Hong Kong offices measured in 2008 were used as a reference of the simplified assessment protocols, dominant contributors and the performance of the proposed protocols in assessing the associated IAQ problems in an office environment.
This study purposed three simplifying assessment protocols for IAQ assessment; an Express Assessment Protocol (EAP) for IAQ problem quantification by assessing some 'dominant' contributors of an unacceptable IAQ prior to any detailed assessment for the benchmark purposes; the feasibility of a simple 5-star IAQ benchmark derived from the exposure concentrations of three 'representative' common indoor air pollutants; and IAQ on-site questionnaire surveys for identify associations between occupant responses and the conditions in the office environment were used to compare to the HKEPD 2-Levels IAQ objectives and the simplified assessment of IAQ in air-conditioned offices purposed in this study. Comparing with the parameter measurements in the certification scheme, these results showed that, TVOC, RSP and CO₂contributed most to the unsatisfactory rate as compared to the other six pollutants parameters. The EAP showed that, for the 'Excellent' IAQ level, 93%of the 'unacceptable' offices could be identified from the measurements of TVOC, RSP and CO₂. The simple 5-star IAQ benchmark showed that there was none 5-star offices were considered to have unsatisfactory IAQ, but for 1-star offices, 100 percents of offices in the group have the air pollutant level(s) exceeded the HKEPD 'Excellent Class Limit'. In the IAQ on-site questionnaire surveys, the on-site assessment of 60 offices illustrated the overall IAQ at 80% sampling locations were complied with the IAQ objectives "Good Class" requirements. And in the IAQ questionnaire survey, the result suggested that 80% of respondents were considered the IAQ at their workstations were acceptable or good in condition. The EAP, the simple 5-star IAQ benchmark and the on-site questionnaire surveys can effectively distinguish offices IAQ as identified by comprehensive IAQ assessment. The proposed simplified assessment and benchmark would be useful for policymakers, premises owners and professionals to quantify the IAQ problems in offices, and make decisions on resources and manpower management for IAQ investigations elsewhere in order to achieve best mitigation actions.

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