Managing Air Quality During Construction: A Comprehensive Guide
Construction projects, whether they’re renovations or new builds, can significantly impact indoor air quality. Dust, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other pollutants can pose health risks to construction workers and building occupants. This blog article will detail the importance of air quality management during construction and present the requirements and measures to control air quality during this critical phase.
Why Air Quality Management is Vital During Construction
In the construction phase, many activities such as sawing, sanding, painting, and even moving materials can release pollutants into the air. These pollutants can degrade indoor air quality and have immediate and long-term effects on health, including irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Certain pollutants may also exacerbate conditions like asthma and can lead to serious illnesses over time.
Moreover, pollutants can contaminate the HVAC system, leading to further spread and long-term air quality issues. Therefore, managing air quality during construction is crucial for both worker and occupant health and for ensuring a clean, healthy building upon completion.
Construction Pollution Management Requirements
Here are the key requirements for managing air quality during construction:
- Duct Maintenance: The ducts must either be sealed and protected from potential contamination during construction or cleaned prior to installing registers, grills, and diffusers.
- Ventilation System Filters: If the permanently installed ventilation system operates during construction, media filters with an average removal efficiency of ≥70% for particles 3-10 µm in size (e.g., MERV 8 or M5) should be used to filter return air. All filters should be replaced prior to occupancy.
- Moisture and Dust Management Procedures: These include isolating active work areas from other spaces, using walk-off mats at entryways to reduce the transfer of dirt and pollutants, and ensuring tools like saws have dust guards or collectors to capture generated dust.
The table below summarizes these measures:
|Measures for Controlling Air Quality During Construction||Description|
|Duct Maintenance||Sealing and protecting ducts from potential contamination during construction or cleaning them before installing registers, grills, and diffusers.|
|Ventilation System Filters||Using media filters with an average removal efficiency of ≥70% for particles 3-10 µm in size if the permanently installed ventilation system operates during construction. Replacing all filters before occupancy.|
|Moisture and Dust Management Procedures||Isolating active work areas, using walk-off mats at entryways, and using tools with dust guards or collectors.|
Maintaining air quality during construction is crucial for the health and safety of workers and building occupants. Following these outlined measures can significantly reduce pollution and ensure the end result is a building that not only looks good but also promotes a healthier indoor environment. By prioritizing air quality management during construction, we can contribute to healthier, more sustainable built environments.