INDOOR AIR QUALITY: Health in the building

A healthy environment in buildings

The health of occupants in buildings has too often been neglected in favor of energy performance. The indoor air quality is beginning to be democratized for about twenty years but the concrete actions are still few. Yet, indoor air quality is expensive according to a 2015 Senate report: 19 billion euros per year in France. If we relate this figure per capita, it corresponds to € 283.62 per year and per active to € 639.73 per year. Today, PHOSPHORIS proposes to put health back at the heart of projects by taking into account air quality and comfort in tertiary buildings:
Picto Territoire
  • Local authorities
  • Developers
  • Urban planners
  • Landscape designers
  • Programmers
Picto Bâtiments
  • Architects
  • Design offices
  • Promoters
  • Programmers and Economists
  • Companies, builders
  • Property managers
Picto Occupants
Occupants / Operators
  • Companies
  • Operators
  • Facility management companies
  • Occupants

How to take into account the indoor air quality?

To take into account the air quality in a building, it is necessary to study all the sources of pollution at all the stages of the life of a building in order to act to limit the emissions of pollutants. There are 5 main parameters to take into account regarding the indoor air quality of a building whatever it is:
Air quality: sources of pollution
PHOSPHORIS, as a project manager assistant, advises and acts to take into account these 5 major parameters in the life of a building in order to improve the health of the occupants.

How to measure indoor air quality?

Picto Passif
Passive Measures
  • Measurements averaged over several days
  • Sampling by accumulation on supports
  • Ideal for housing, schools and in some cases offices
  • Volatile organic compounds, aldehydes, ozone, nitrogen dioxide
  • HQE standard, OsmoZ
  • Regulatory method in certain establishments open to the public
Picto Actif
Active Measures
  • Measurements averaged over several hours
  • Sampling by accumulation on supports
  • Ideal in offices, industrial sites and in some cases schools and housing
  • Measurements of volatile organic compounds, particles, aldehydes, sulfur compounds, nitrogen compounds, acids, minerals, etc.
  • WELL, BREEAM, LEED standards
Picto Monitoring
  • Continuous measurements with electronic or electrochemical sensors
  • No more than a few minutes
  • Continuous monitoring of air quality in all types of buildings
  • Control and verification of air handling systems
  • Awareness of indoor air quality
  • Light volatile organic compounds, particles, temperature, humidity, ozone

How to depollute indoor air?

Trapping technique

HEPA Filtration: System for trapping gas molecules such as VOCs or NO2 on a filtrate.

Activated Carbon Filtration or Impregnated Filter: Transformation of an electrically neutral element into an ion (charged species) allowing them to be captured more easily on surfaces.

Ionization / Electrostatic Precipitation: Use of an electrical discharge that separates the oxygen atoms in the air and creates ozone. This reacts with the pollutants in the air.

Oxidation or destruction

Ozone: The use of an electrical discharge that splits the oxygen atoms in the air and creates ozone. This reacts with the pollutants in the air.

UV: UV radiation can destroy bacteria and certain pathogens in the air by breaking down the DNA of these organisms.

Photocatalysis: Compilation of a catalyst like titanium dioxide and light radiation creating oxidation-reduction reactions until degradation of the pollutants present in the air.

Plasma: Mineralization of organic molecules through oxidation reactions initiated by free radicals produced in an ionizing field.

Air quality and COVID-19 

Studies published so far have confirmed that chronic (long-term) exposure to air pollution has an aggravating role in the COVID-19 epidemic. Indoor and outdoor air pollution has a significant health impact on the respiratory system, cardiovascular, immune response, etc. This has the effect of increasing the risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19 and of dying from it. Air pollution can therefore be considered as a “co-factor of morbidity and mortality by COVID-19”, according to the Ile-de-France Regional Health Observatory: Air Quality Issues During the COVID-19 pandemic.