New code of practice – could this be the precursor to IAQ regulations?

5 Jun 2023

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has published a new code of practice for non-domestic buildings to address the impacts of air quality on occupant health and wellbeing. 

The launch of BS 40102-1 - Indoor environmental quality by the national standards body has been devised as an entirely new standard that outlines recommendations for measuring and evaluating the impacts of air and light quality on health and wellness and the introduction of improvements. 

The new standard covers the evaluation of a building's health and wellbeing and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and includes a new best-practice approach to thermal comfort, indoor air quality and overheating in buildings. 

One of the main aims for the new publication is to align the BSI standards with the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) air quality guidelines, published in 2021. Guidelines that the UK Government has not yet adopted, although the Environmental Audit Committee has launched a new inquiry considering both outdoor and indoor air quality targets which could influence further change to align these targets. 

Among the factors considered in the code of practice that can impact the health and wellness of occupants are air and light quality, as well as issues linked to thermal comfort and the acoustic properties of a building. 

The guidance uses these different factors as the basis for an evaluation and rating system to help understand and improve indoor environmental quality (IEQ). 

The IEQ performance score generated as an outcome of evaluation provides organisations with a benchmark score that can be used to identify areas of below par performance and enable improvements to be made accordingly. 

The standards are applicable for use in the existing non-domestic building stock and are designed to work alongside other relevant standards and design guidance.