Should current indoor environment and air quality standards be doing more to protect young people in educational buildings?

Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and indoor air quality (IAQ) were assessed in a recently refurbished educational building at Loughborough University, through a monitoring campaign in accordance with Building Bulletin (BB) 101. A particular focus of this work was on emissions from building materials. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured using diffusive (passive) methods involving Thermal Desorption (TD), Gas Chromatography (GC) and Mass Spectrometry (MS) techniques. The results show that although the building performs satisfactorily with respect to guidelines for overheating and ventilation performance according to BB101 (2018) the current guidelines only assess Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) limits which fail to identify the source of IAQ problems. The presence of numerous VOCs indicates that quantification of individual compounds is necessary to assess long-term health risks.