On 28th and 29th of September FEDECAI (Spanish IAQ association), ATECYR (HVAC engineers association) and AFEC (HVAC manufacturers association), celebrated an Indoor Air Quality Congress. Main conclusions were the following:
1st section: IAQ & health
New challenges on Indoor Air are impact of nanoparticles, and so called “forever chemicals” like PFAS and others, those are a well-known problem outside but there is lack of knowledge about indoor
Due to geological conditions, radon is a problem in west and northwest of Spain, new construction codes aim to enhance control of such pollutant are now compulsory.
Metagenomic is a new technique available for microbiological airborne control.
2nd Section: Building Refurbishment & IAQ
Solutions for IAQ in residential buildings, mainly based on mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, were introduced.
Installations must be regulated according to the real use, CO2 based control is, not new, but is a technology implemented in most new and refurbished building.
3rd section: New IAQ Technologies
Photocatalysis, ionization, free radicals, UV lamps, etc., several technologies, claimed new, although more properly simply updated, were showed. Consensuses indicate that regulation and standardization is needed to assess effectiveness and safety of such technologies.
4th section: IAQ & Energy Efficiency
Indoor air quality and energy efficiency must be addressed at the same time, one cannot compromise the other. New regulations are aimed at that direction. Spanish climate allows free cooling/heating about 30% of yearly hours.
Natural ventilation by simply opening the windows was considered a poor solution. A comparison in several residential units showed worse IAQ and higher energy expenses in window ventilated versus mechanical with heat recovery.
5th SECTION IAQ AND REGULATION
Spanish HVAC regulation (RITE) is being review specifically in IAQ aspects (energy was previously addressed) Standard UNE 16798 is the basis for the new ventilation requirements. The basis is to have several aspects to consider, occupation (as it is now) but also some minimum ventilation to dilute building emissions.
6th section: IAQ in Hospitals
Hospitals are probably the most critical indoors the need to ensure air quality, life threating risk is derived of lack of air control in such spaces. Spanish Hospital HVAC regulation is too old (2005). New ideas and regulations based on new risk areas (radiology therapy, in-vitro fecundation labs, etc.) were showed by participants.
> More information (in Spanish) is available here: https://congresocai.es/