Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

European audit project on indoor air quality and energy consumption in office buildings

Several buildings, especially offices, have been reported to have "sick building syndrome", thought to be associated with poor air quality. There is concern, however, over the pollution impact of increased energy use due to higher ventilation rates. The audit of air quality and energy consumption of offices throughout Europe conducted during this project has resulted in recommendations on how to optimise air quality without increasing energy con-sumption.

During the last twenty years indoor air quality (IAQ) has received growing attention. Many complaints with respect to IAQ occur and the causes of these complaints are often not found in spite of thorough measurements of the indoor air. This phenomenon, as well as its outcome, is now known as "Sick building syndrome" and it is becoming an increasingly common problem in offices throughout Europe. This project was initiated to try to develop a greater understanding of this "syndrome". To do this the correlation between complaints IAQ, as well as the energy impact of the pollution due to higher ventilation rates, must be quantified and studied in a systematic way. The main aim of this project was to develop a Europe-wide assessment procedure and guidance on ventilation and source control, which help to optimise energy use in office buildings while assuring good air quality. The project also intended to contribute to the preparation of a European database on IAQ and a manual of IAQ assessment procedure.

Reported by

TNO Building and Construction Research
Lange Kleiweg 5
2600 Delft
Netherlands
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