Indoor Environmental Quality

I work for a company called CETEC who work in the Built Environment and do a lot of work around how people can improve their Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) to obtain the maximium amount of labour productivity within service related industries.

This is an area where there is little knowledge over the importance of IEQ, and over the next few months I will be doing some posts to highlight what contributes towards IEQ and subsequently occupant productivity.

These posts are not designed to be comprehensive, but to give you (the reader) an idea of how complex IEQ can be, and where it fits into the picture in terms of Labour Productivity in service related industries.

 

What is Indoor Environmental Quality;

Indoor Environmental Quality is a term used to determine the quality of a buildings indoor environment. It specifically relates to the conditions of the building and how these impact the health and wellbeing of the people who occupy the building. (3)

 

What contributes towards Indoor Environmental Quality;

IEQ is determined by many factors, these typically include; Thermal Comfort, Acoustic Comfort, Lighting and Air Quality. (3)

 

So why is Indoor Environmental Quality Important;

Research by the US.EPA identified that American's spend up to 90% of their time within an indoor environment (e.g. Office, House, Automobiles) (1) and within indoor environments air pollutant levels can be between 2 – 5 times higher than outdoor concentrations (2). 

In addition to the significant amount of time spend indoors, in recent decades the indoor concentrations of some indoor pollutants have increased both due to sustainability practices (e.g. energy-efficient and sealed buildings with little mechanical ventilation) as well as the increased use of synthethic building materials, furnishings et al.

Whilst indoor environments are highly complex, understanding the sources of indoor environmental contaminants (and putting in place measures to control them) can help avoid or mitigate worker illness as a result of building-related issues (e.g. Sick Building Syndrome). (3)

 

Stay tuned to the blog, as mentioned I will be posting more detailed information on what contributes towards IEQ. This will start off with the contributing factors, before going into how it all fits into labour productivity.

 

References;

  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1989. Report to Congress on indoor air quality: Volume 2. EPA/400/1-89/001C. Washington, DC.
  2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1987. The total exposure assessment methodology (TEAM) study: Summary and analysis. EPA/600/6-87/002a. Washington, DC.
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/default.html

 

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