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Indoor air quality is the focus

6070060_sUSA: Indoor environmental quality is the focus of a new group formed through an alliance of a number of leading air conditioning and ventilating associations.

Members of the Indoor Environment Quality Global Alliance are ASHRAE, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC), the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA), the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) and the Federation of European Heating and Air-Conditioning Associations (REHVA).

The alliance was created at ASHRAE’s 2014 Annual Conference in Seattle at the end of June and will serve as a global source for information, guidance and knowledge on indoor environmental quality.

“In the built environment, indoor environmental quality must be our first concern,” said ASHRAE president Bll Bahnfleth. “Before we address impacts of buildings and transportation systems on energy consumption and the environment – which, make no mistake, are also critically important – we must ensure that we are providing indoor environments that are safe, healthy, productive and comfortable for occupants.

“Today, and for some time, we have strongly emphasised energy conservation and protection of the environment to such an extent that the need for progress in indoor environmental quality has been obscured. A broad, coordinated effort is needed to fill gaps in research, transfer the results of science to practice, advocate for higher standards and better educate both the built environment professions and the public. I believe that formation of this Alliance is a key to meeting those objectives.”

In November, the European association REHVA prepared a position paper on indoor air quality and climate addressing policy makers and authorities, warning the European Commission of the potential conflict between energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

On signing up to this new alliance, REHVA president Karel Kabele said: “Contemporary European architecture is undergoing fundamental changes caused by increased pressure to reduce energy consumption of buildings. Modern approaches, methods and technologies are capable of saving energy, but also affect other functions of the building ie indoor environmental quality. In energy efficient buildings we can resolve problems with thermal comfort, air quality and other components of IEQ. I firmly believe that joint efforts of IEQ-GA will contribute not only to saving energy but also to improve IEQ in buildings, we build for next generations.”

The Alliance will provide guidance on the definition of acceptable indoor environmental quality, with an emphasis on thermal conditions and indoor air pollution, to ensure that the knowledge gathered from indoor environmental quality (IEQ) research is promulgated to and implemented by IEQ practitioners and regulatory bodies worldwide.

The mission of the alliance IEQ-GA is to provide an acceptable indoor environmental quality (thermal environment-indoor air quality-lighting-acoustic) to occupants in buildings and places of work around the world and to make sure the knowledge from research on IEQ gets implemented in practice.

The establishment of the Alliance is supported by the World Health Organisation and the US Environmental Protection Agency, who will cooperate with the Alliance in the future.

Bahnfleth said the Alliance will also seek cooperation from other organisations whose work directly impacts the indoor environment on people’s well-being and health.

More information can be found at www.ieq-ga.net.

REHVA calls for action on indoor air qualityNovember 10, 2013
BRUSSELS: Representatives of some of Europe’s most influential associations and institutes have warned the European Commission of the potential conflict between energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Read more…

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