NEW IAQ REGULATIONS

As of January 1, 2023, one million establishments open to the public will be affected by air quality regulations.

We spend more than 80% of our time on average in closed environments: housing, transport, workplace, schools… The sources of pollution inside buildings are multiple, whether they come from combustion appliances, building materials, decorative products (paint, glue, varnish …) … Thus the quality of indoor air (IAQ) would be 5 to 10 times worse than that of the outside. 

The renewal of indoor air has a direct influence on the quality of indoor air. Indeed, an interior whose air is not renewed exposes its occupants in a much stronger way to the interior pollutants and a stagnation in the atmosphere of those and thus a stronger concentration.

The challenges of good IAQ

We know today the consequences of poor indoor air quality: headaches, fatigue, irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and skin, dizziness, or respiratory allergies and asthma. According to a study by the French National Health Security Agency (ANSES), indoor air pollution causes the death of nearly 20,000 French people per year.

The monitoring of indoor air quality is a major public health issue, especially in times of health crisis when the transmission of the COVID19 virus is done by aerosols and therefore by air.

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Regulations to improve IAQ in buildings

In 2013, the Ministries of Environment and Health launched the Medium and Long Term Indoor Air Quality Action Plan to improve air quality in enclosed spaces. The subsequent law made it mandatory to monitor indoor air quality in certain establishments receiving a sensitive public (Articles L. 221-8 and R. 221-30 et seq. of the Environmental Code).

Decree No. 2015-1000 of August 17, 2015 set the following deadlines:

January 1, 2018 for nursery schools, elementary schools and day care centers,

January 1, 2020 for leisure centers and secondary schools

January 1, 2023 for other establishments.

This regulatory device framing the monitoring of the indoor air quality includes :

  • an evaluation of the means of ventilation (e.g.: presence of a VMC in the sanitary facilities). This evaluation can be carried out by the technical services of the establishment;

 

  • the implementation of a choice of :
    • a pollutant measurement campaign by an accredited organization. These pollutants can be CO2, formaldehydes (present in agglomerated wood), benzene or even perchloroethylene for establishments adjacent to a dry cleaner).

If the limit values are exceeded, action must be taken to comply with the safety thresholds.

    • a self-assessment of the air quality by means of the practical guide, allowing to establish an action plan for the establishment. The purpose of this practical guide is to provide operational assistance to the various categories of stakeholders in childcare facilities (management team, person in charge of activities in the occupied room, technical services and maintenance staff) in order to initiate a proactive and coordinated approach to improving indoor air quality. Its use is intended to quickly identify actions that will improve indoor air quality.  As part of the implementation of this guide, facilities may use sensors to measure air quality.

IAQ: good practices

  • AERATE all rooms daily for at least 10 minutes to remove pollutants and humidity accumulated during the day;

 

  • VENTILATE
    • Regularly clean the extract units, filters and air inlets;
    • Maintain the ventilation equipment every year (or at least every three years) by a professional in order to check their good functioning;
    • Leave the ventilation system running continuously for better efficiency;
    • Do not block the air inlets or the extract units;
    • Respect the standards imposed by the law in terms of ventilation, in particular the obligation to provide air inlets in each room of the dwelling as well as the establishment of minimum air flow rates in the dwellings.
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  • IDENTIFY & ACT

    • Do not smoke indoors, even with windows open.
    • Have combustion appliances and installations checked by a professional every year before the beginning of winter.
    • Avoid using mobile fuel-burning space heaters and generators indoors.
    • Respect the doses of use of the products of maintenance, hygiene and do-it-yourself advised on the label.

Measure and analyze Indoor Air Quality with IoT

IoT sensors are one of the solutions for monitoring air quality in buildings. Smart Building solutions offer the possibility to monitor the risks related to indoor air quality in buildings in real time and thus: 

  • Control the various health risks: by quickly identifying ub the beginning of an epidemic;
  • Ensure the comfort of building users by offering optimal working conditions;
  • Respect the legal obligations of air quality monitoring;
  • Act quickly on identified risks thanks to real-time alerts.

How the IoT solution works

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