Indoor air quality
Indoor air pollution, caused by many factors, can harm the health of the users of the building (skin irritation, nausea, respiratory and neurological diseases, headaches, cancers, etc.).
The main indicators of IAQ are carbon dioxide (CO2), an indicator of air confinement, carbon monoxide (CO), an indicator of malfunctioning combustion devices, particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), an indicator of pollution transfer from outdoor air to indoor air, volatile organic compounds (VOC), an indicator of point emissions and of ventilation efficiency, formaldehyde, a very volatile compound, classified as carcinogenic, present in many CPE, temperature and humidity in the building, bacterial and fungal flora. There are also other indicators: nitrogen dioxide (NO2), benzene, asbestos, radon, etc.
The FDES include a health declaration section in which indoor air quality occupies a prominent place. Thus the following emissions or sources of pollution (see Appendix D of the national supplement NF EN 15 804/CN) must be declared :
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Nitrogen and sulphur oxides (NOx, SOx)
- Radon and radiation
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
- Viable particles including microorganisms such as small insects, protozoa, moulds, bacteria and viruses
- Non-viable particles, such as fibres and respirable and non-respirable airborne particles
If the product is not concerned by these emissions, the declarant must put it down in writing when he issues his file. They must be assessed according to the methods defined in appendix E of the national supplement NF EN 15 804/CN. The results of this product health characterisation are included in the verification of the FDES by an independent third-party. They constitute input information in the same way as ventilation, outdoor air quality, etc. to improve IAQ at the scale of the building.
In addition to the environmental information from the LCA, since the beginning, the FDES have included information on the contribution of the product to health quality of interior spaces and water, as well as to the quality of life in the building (hygrothermal, acoustic, visual and olfactory comfort).
The FDES include in particular the “VOC” label. Since 1 September 2013 (decree 2011-321), all construction and decoration products made available on the market must bear this label reflecting VOC emission levels.
This label, just as the environmental indicators, is digitised in the INIES database, which now allows users to search for products according to a chosen class.
Since these data are present in the INIES Database, it is time to develop compatible tools to have quality of life indicators in buildings in the near future and thus meet the requirements of the Elan Law.