European Indoor Air Quality Audit Project in 56 Office Buildings



Abstract A European project started at the end of 1992, in which, in addition to current methods, trained sensory panels were used to investigate office buildings all over Europe. The main aim of this EC-Audit was to develop assessment procedures and guidance on ventilation and source control, to help optimize energy use in buildings while assuring good indoor air quality.

In each of nine countries, six or more office buildings were selected. Measurements were performed at five selected locations in each building. The buildings were studied while normally occupied and ventilated to identify the pollution sources in the spaces and to quantify the total pollution load caused by the occupants and their activities, as well as the ventilation systems. The investigation included physical and chemical measurements, assessment of the perceived air quality in the spaces by a trained sensory panel, and measurement of the outdoor air supply to the spaces. A questionnaire for evaluating retrospective and immediate symptoms and perceptions was given to the occupants of the buildings. The building characteristics were described by use of a check-list. The annual energy consumption of the buildings and the weather conditions were registered.

This paper presents results and conclusions of the audit in 56 buildings in Europe. However, the analysis and discussions of the results are a summary of the work done, and are focused mainly on comparison between sensory assessments and the other measurements performed.

Furthermore, this paper brings the results of the study based on a two-factor analysis. A paper dealing with results on a multifactorial analysis is in preparation.