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Assessing the relationship between outdoor air pollution and indoor air quality in naturally ventilated classrooms: A case study from Chile

Caceres, C; Altamirano, H; Shrubsole, C; (2017) Assessing the relationship between outdoor air pollution and indoor air quality in naturally ventilated classrooms: A case study from Chile. In: Proceedings of Healthy Buildings 2015. International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ): Eindhoven, Netherlands.

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Abstract

This paper presents the findings of a research study on the influence of outdoor pollution on the indoor air quality (IAQ) in naturally ventilated classrooms. The study was carried out in a school located in Rancagua (Chile), a city where annual average concentrations of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) have been found to exceed several times the maximum levels as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Classrooms were monitored and occupants surveyed to gain an understanding of the conditions affecting IAQ. In addition simulations using CONTAM, a validated software package, were carried out to predict the movement of pollutants within classrooms. The simulations considered two scenarios of outdoor PM10 and PM2.5, five ventilation rates (ACH) with no indoor sources of particulate matter (PM) and/or re-suspension effects. Results show that indoor concentrations of PM represent at least 40% of the outdoor levels even when all doors and windows are closed and ventilation is provided purely by infiltration (0.5 ACH). Ventilations rates above 6 ACH resulted in high indoor concentrations of both PM10 and PM2.5 (67 µg/m3and 45 µg/m3respectively), which are similar to concentrations found in smokers’ apartments in Germany (Fromme et al. 2005). This study suggests that natural ventilation may not be a good strategy for educational buildings located in areas with high levels of pollution, since penetration of pollutants was found to be high even in buildings with low infiltration rates, leading to negative health impacts.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Assessing the relationship between outdoor air pollution and indoor air quality in naturally ventilated classrooms: A case study from Chile
Event: Healthy Buildings 2015
Dates: 07 May 2015 - 09 May 2015
Publisher version: https://hb2015-europe.org/abstracts-papers/
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10067152
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