INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INSPECTIONS FOR BUILDINGS FOR PUBLIC USE
Indoor air quality has traditionally been ignored for several reasons:
- First, it does not affect the environment.
- Second, from a risk prevention standpoint, there are other risk factors that are more important.
However, approximately 60% of the population works in the service sector and more than 80% of the working day is spent indoors. In addition, 60% of medical leaves are due to respiratory tract conditions, in which environmental conditions are a key factor.
In 1982, the WHO defined the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) as: a set of diseases caused or stimulated by air pollution in these enclosed spaces that produces in at least 20% of the occupants, a set of symptoms such as dryness and irritation of the respiratory tract, skin and eyes, headache, mental fatigue, persistent colds and nonspecific hypersensitivities, without their causes being perfectly defined. It is characteristic that the symptoms disappear when leaving the building. Among these ailments, allergies play an important role.
As a result of all these findings, the study of Indoor Air Quality has been gaining importance in recent years, as good air quality improves the health and therefore the performance of workers.
The RITE, Reglamento de Instalaciones térmicas, underwent an update on April 5, 2013 regarding air quality regulations in buildings.
Finally, Royal Decree 238 on Modifications to the RITE, Regulation of Thermal Installations in Buildings, was approved. With regard to clinics and hospitals, the section referring to Preventive Maintenance includes as follows mandatory review of indoor air quality on a yearly basisall according to UNE 171330, UNE 171340 and UNE 100012 standards, for all buildings with installations with a useful power greater than 70 kW.
This Royal Decree makes it mandatory to carry out appropriate environmental controls in accordance with these UNE standards. Verifications must be made according to UNE 171330 (parts 1 and 2). Hygiene inspections of air conditioning systems shall be carried out in accordance with the UNE 100012 standard. The UNE 171340 standard defines the verifications to be carried out in the critical areas of healthcare centers.
Eurolab offers an indoor air quality verification and inspection service to hospitals and healthcare centers, as well as to any public building.
In both services we take care of the compliance, as an independent external company, of what is required for our clients by the RITE and its rules of application in each case.
Services to hospitals and the healthcare sector are focused on compliance with RITE and its application standards, which vary according to the criticality of the hospital areas to be validated.
On the other hand, our services to non-health public buildings provide solutions to the mandatory indoor air quality studies (CAI) and the demonstration of compliance with the requirements of the RITE and the applicable standards. The RITE (Royal Decree 238/2013) makes it mandatory to carry out air quality and air conditioning duct studies for buildings with a thermal power greater than 70 kW.
The basic parameters that are measured in any Indoor Air Quality inspection are the following:
Additionally, at the discretion of the technical specialist, other parameters can be determined, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone (O3), radon gas, noise and electromagnetic fields, among others.