Have you ever wondered what good indoor air quality actually is? Have you thought about if the best air quality is inside or outside? We all know the feeling when sitting in a room with bad indoor air and having no possibility to change or view how the situation actually is. We want to change this. And we believe it starts with awareness and knowledge.

So let’s start the journey towards more awareness!

Did you know…

…that we spend 90% of our time indoors?

  • On average we spend 21.6 hours indoors each day (and on average 628 992 hours in a life time).
  • We spend 58 years of our life at home – 27 of those years are spent in the bedroom.
  • You breathe around 8 to 10 liters of air every minute. You breathe 6 liters of air per minute when you rest, and around 100 liters when you work out.
  • You could live 3 Weeks without food, 3 days without water, but just 3 minutes without air.
  • Indoor air can actually be up to 5 times more polluted than outside air.

…how much indoor climate affects health and comfort?

  • Poor indoor air often causes headaches, loss of concentration, and other short-term effects such as eye, throat and skin irritation. Long-term effects can be allergies, respiratory disease and cancer.
  • Sick leave can decrease by up to 50% by improving the indoor climate.
  • Most people experience comfort when the temperature is between 20-24 degrees C.
  • How you experience the indoor climate depends on quite a few variables; choice of clothing and activity, temperature, air speed, humidity of the air, as well as the temperature of the surrounding surfaces.
  • When the air in a room is moving at 0.2 m/s we already experience a draught.

…that a good indoor climate has huge effects on our cognitive skills and productivity?

  • Your ability to understand and use information can increase by 172% in a good indoor environment.
  • Your ability to handle crises can increase by 97% in a good indoor air environment.
  • Studies have shown that in “green” certified buildings employees were treated 30% less for headaches and respiratory problems than employees in regular office buildings. This combined with a 26% increase in performance, and better sleep at night.
  • Investing in clean air for employees pays off quickly. New research suggests that spending around $ 40 per person per year on indoor air quality results in a productivity increase of $ 6500.

…that indoor air quality is affected by humans, furniture and building materials?

  • Thousands of different types of household products emit pollutants (VOCs) in our indoor air come from humans and building material (too high VOC levels might increase risk of cancer and liver, kidney and nerve damage)
  • Another type of pollution is particles. They vary in size (from PM1, PM2.5 to PM10) and harmfulness. With the right type of filters in the ventilation system these particles can be removed.
  • Too high levels of CO2 often headaches and loss of concentration.
  • An occupied conference room without ventilation reaches a too high CO2 level in 10 minutes. (recommended maximum level equal to 1000 ppm)
  • A single office room without ventilation reaches the recommended maximum level of CO2 in just 15 minutes.

If you want to dig into the world of science when it comes to indoor air quality and indoor climate we have gathered reports, publications and references below.

A world of science

Insights are the starting point for innovation. We need to have insights in order to identify real problems, that can become ideas, value propositions and eventually – if successful – a new offering to a customer who is willing to pay for it. We are gathering insights in many different ways – through interviews, workshops, market analysis, monitoring trends, and last but not least through studies and research.

Leading test centres
Lindab has some of the industry’s largest and most modern technical laboratories for the testing and measurement of indoor climate and ventilation solutions in Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia and Italy. These laboratories carry out full-scale testing in conjunction with customers to test installed systems. Given the increased focus on indoor climate, which also includes sound and light. These test centres are critical competence centres for the different customer segments.

We have close cooperation with University of Lund, Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University Copenhagen and other universities around Europe. And we are very proud that Göran Hultmark is on the Lindab team. Göran has many years of experience within the field of indoor climate, and he has an impressive CV when it comes to research and studies:

Göran Hultmark, Adjunct Professor, Danish Building Research Institute, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University Copenhagen, Department of Energy Performance, Indoor Environment and Sustainability of Buildings (EIS) Research Group of Heating Ventilating and Air-Conditioning and previous R&D Manager at Lindab has participated in numerous studies within this field.

You can find them here:

Publications and References

The impact of green buildings on cognitive function / http://naturalleader.com/thecogfxstudy/
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Joseph G. Allen, DSc, MPH, Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor of Exposure Assessment Science John D. Spengler, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator, Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation. Piers MacNaughton, MS  roject Manager, Doctoral Candidate Syracuse University Center of Excellence—The Total Indoor Environmental Quality Laboratory (TIEQ) Suresh Santanam, ScD, PE, Co-Investigator, Deputy Executive Director, Syracuse CoE. SUNY Upstate Medical School Usha Satish, PhD, Director, Strategic Management Simulations Institute for Human Performance.

Sick Leave – IAQ Risk of Sick Leave Associated with Outdoor Air Supply Rate, Humidification, and Occupant Complaints. Indoor Air 2000:10. ISSN 0905-6947

Productivity – IAQ Wargocki P., Wyon D.P, Sundell J., Clausein G. and Fanger O. The effects of outdoor air supply rate in an office on perceived air quality, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) Symptoms and Productivity, Indoor Air, 10, pp 222-236.

M. Frontczak, P. Wargocki, Literature survey on how different factors influence human comfort in indoor environments. Build. Environ. 46, pp. 922-937, 2011.

S.P. Corgnati, M. Gameiro da Silva, R. Ansaldi, E. Asadi, J.J. Costa, M. Filippi, J. Kaczmarczyk, A.K. Melikov, B.W. Olesen, Z. Popiolek, P. Wargocki, Indoor climate quality assessment – evaluation of indoor thermal and indoor air quality. Rehva Guidebook 14. Rehva, Brussels, 2011.

T. Witterseh, Environmental perception, SBS symptoms and the performance of office work under combined exposures to temperature, noise and air pollution, PhD Thesis, Technical University of Denmark, 2001

EN 15251:2007-08,Indoor environmental input parameters for design and assessment of energy performance of buildings addressing indoor air quality, thermal environment, lighting and acoustics. European Committee for Standardization, 2007.

J. Varjo, V. Hongisto, A. Haapakangas, H. Maula, H. Koskela, J. Hyönä, Simultaneous effects of irrelevant speech, temperature and ventilation rate on performance and satisfaction in open-plan offices. Journal of Environmental Psychology 44, pp. 16–33, 2015.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1989. Report to Congress on indoor air quality: Volume 2. EPA/400/1-89/001C. Washington, DC.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1987. The total exposure assessment methodology (TEAM) study: Summary and analysis. EPA/600/6-87/002a. Washington, DC.