Monitoring Office Air – New Building Air Quality Monitoring Confusion

Technology is moving on in leaps and bounds. We are now able to switch on our home TV on whilst traveling in our car. All so that Twicki your pet hamster can watch Brooklyn 911.

We are now capable of building an array of sensors that can measure all manor things. These sensors are now being fully integrated into our home and work place. From heater controls, HVAC controls, security cameras and much more in the intelligent building.

The field of Indoor Air Quality Monitoring has become a real eye opener. Where does this requirement come form ? Many of the Millenials want instant data, acquired to a phone App. Instant gratification. Knowing what the air in the room you are in consists of

The other drivers are things like BREEAM, WELL and LEED. These certification schemes afford credits to buildings that are built with the ability not only to minimise the amount of hydrocarbon in the building but also to monitor total hydrocarbons and other parameters such as fine particulate (pm2.5 – fine particulate has a diameter of less than 2.5micron, which means it is respirable). Other items include:

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC)

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Carbon Monoxide (CO0

Relative Humidity (RH)

Temperature (T)

 

The huge issue here is that there are no standards or certification for Indoor Air Quality Monitors. Most companies purchase an unvalidated products to put in their “Smart Building” These are simply not viable. Most of this type of product is garbage purchased on line.

To put a simple perspective on it, if you felt unwell you would go to a doctor, you wouldn’t go to Asda and ask the person in groceries to provide help? They would sell you an apple!

So why would you do it for incredibly specialised equipment.

Airmite Em-monitors
Airmite Smart monitr

A recent study identified shortfalls in the mass market air quality sensors

Formaldehyde and Total VOC (TVOC) Commercial Low-Cost Monitoring Devices: From an Evaluation in Controlled Conditions to a Use Case Application in a Real Buildingby

It states the response of the sensors was in many cases a lot lower than required , linearity was poor as was repeatability and reliability. For example Formaldehyde is a very specific hydrocarbon. There are specific iso methods as to how it is monitored. To identify it amongst a range of other hydrocarbons using low cost sensors may be duplicitous

There are new sensor which, are primarily used for the air quality market but also good for the indoor air quality market.

Environmental Monitoring www,em-monitors.co.uk and www.airquality-monitoring.co.uk have spent a long time looking at these issue. Working with partners at the HSE and SCS. We now have Mcerts Accredited air quality monitors. As well as an accreditation, they have been co located and type tested again Government run reference monitoring systems ( reference systems cost in the region of £100, 000)

Good  professional install air quality monitors cost between £3,000 and £6,000 . They are accurate and precise.

However these units have to be carefully installed, at the correct height, with power and the data must be managed. Not only the data but the servicing and validation of the equipment.

For information of types of monitor and

 

 

Airmite mini Dust plus 1 gas
Airmite Mini Smart compact remote dust and gas monitor

 

 

 

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