Assessment of the indoor air quality at the corporate offices of a South African mining company
The aim of the study was to evaluate the indoor air quality (IAQ) of a semi-airtight (the building only utilises mechanical means to ventilate the occupied spaces however an airtight seal is not established as a result of infiltration due to building design) office building that is situated in central Johannesburg that exclusively uses a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system for ventilation. This implies a system that only utilises mechanical ventilation to heat, cool, humidify and clean the air for comfort, safety and health of employees. This includes the control of odour levels, and also the maintenance of carbon dioxide (CO2) below stipulated levels. Methods: The building is divided into two sections; west and east. Each section has its own ventilation supply. A randomisation process was used to ascertain which offices needed to be sampled, in which section as well as on which floor. For this study, five offices per section were measured. Thus, ten offices per floor were measured and measurements were taken on every second floor. All measurements were done in accordance with the specific requirements of the manufacturer of any specific instrument used and measurements were taken over an eight hour period (full work shift). Results were compared to the available standard, as well as compared to the ambient concentrations. Results: None of the monitored contaminants’ concentration were above the provided standards (ASHRAE or ACGIH). Where standards were unavailable, the HVAC system maintained an indoor contaminant concentration that is substantially lower when compared to the outdoor air concentrations. Conclusion: The buildings’ HVAC system maintains indoor air quality at a healthy level it is unlikely that any one of these contaminants may lead to SBS amongst the employees.
- Health Sciences