It is the first consortium to combine:
- Technologies to measure indoor air quality: AZIMUT MONITORING
- The sociology of energy: BESCB
- Planning and design: BOUYGUES IMMOBILIER
- Air treatment systems: CIAT
- Property and building management: GECINA
- Health consulting, training and engineering for the building industry: MEDIECO
- Building systems and construction materials: SAINT-GOBAIN
INSPIR aims to analyse the impact of building use and operation on indoor air quality and to test the Manag'R indoor air quality management method during the construction process. It is a response to a call for projects from Ademe, the French environment and energy management agency, entitled "Responsible buildings for 2020".
A PROJECT CENTRAL TO CURRENT CONCERNS ABOUT HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN BUILDINGS
Indoor air quality is now a major concern because of its impact on comfort, health and well-being. Indoor air is often five to ten times more polluted than outdoor air1, even though people spend over 80% of their time indoors. The presence of pollutants in buildings may therefore be at the root of health problems experienced by occupants, such as asthma and allergies.
An industry has grown over the last 15 years around an issue which has been the subject of many technical and regulatory initiatives, such as:
- creation of the Observatoire de la Qualité de l’Air Intérieur (Indoor Air Quality Observatory, OQAI) in 2001, which carried out its first measurement campaign in homes in 2003, followed by schools and nurseries, then offices in 2015;
- publication of decree No. 2011-1728 of 2 December 2011 on the monitoring of indoor air quality in public buildings, including schools and nurseries (amended and deferred to 2018);
- the future 2020 responsible building regulations (RBR 2020), incorporating health prerogatives;
- standardisation initiatives including the NF EN 13779 standard (Ventilation in non-residential buildings – Performance requirements for ventilation and air-conditioning systems) and NF EN 15251 (Indoor environmental input parameters for design and assessment of building energy performance addressing indoor air quality, temperature, humidity, lighting and acoustics);
- trends in environmental certification schemes, with more stringent indoor air quality requirements and greater emphasis on measurement and monitoring;
- the arrival of new environmental certification schemes focusing on health and quality of life.
Various events are also devoted to the subject, such as Les Défis Bâtiment & Santé, an annual conference on the health challenges facing the construction industry, and Les Assises de la Qualité de l’Air, a national symposium on indoor air quality.
INSPIR, A TWO-STAGE PROJECT
The INSPIR consortium's work until 2017 will involve two periods of experimentation.
An initial evaluation phase will consist in mining feedback data from four buildings in operation (an apartment building, two office buildings and a school) where indoor air quality was incorporated into the design phase.
The findings, based on data analysis, interviews with those responsible for building operation and maintenance, air quality measurements and user satisfaction surveys, will be analysed in order to assess best practice and factors which drive or hamper the improvement and enhancement of indoor air quality.
At the same time, Ademe is developing Manag'R, a scientific method for managing indoor air quality during the construction process.
During the second phase, from 2016, the empirical approach of the INSPIR project will be compared with the Manag'R method in order to test and apply the latter on six property development projects of different types (housing, offices and public buildings) at different stages of completion from planning and design to construction, handover and operation.
Feedback from the pilot projects will also help to validate and enhance the proposed approach and suggest improvements where relevant. Within three years, this pragmatic approach will result in better management of air quality in the places where people spend much of their lives.
A communication about the INSPIR project will be made at the next Défis Bâtiment & Santé on 2 June at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris.
1Source: Observatoire de la Qualité de l’Air Intérieur