Health and Indoor Air Quality

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Both indoor and outdoor air quality have a fundamental influence on the health, wellbeing and comfort of building occupants. The air we breathe can contain more than 900 different chemicals, biological material, and particles, many of which may be potentially harmful to human health. In developed countries, people spend on average 90% of their time indoors and so architects and built environment professionals have a profound responsibility for creating a healthy indoor environment. Exposure to indoor pollutants of ambient origin can be minimised through building design features by reducing air infiltration, installing filters and/or through careful design and positioning of openings. Whilst improvements to building fabric performance, brought about by increased awareness of climate change, is likely to reduce penetration of ambient pollutants indoors, there are emerging concerns that mitigation strategies may have unintended consequences, particularly regarding exposure to pollutants of indoor origin. At present, knowledge and understanding of air quality principals and policies among designers remain critically lacking. In what way do the design, construction, management, operation and maintenance of buildings impact on the quality of air (both perceived and measured) and the health of building occupants? How do we ensure decarbonisation of buildings whilst ensuring a healthy and comfortable indoor environment? This forum on Health and Air Quality was a first for PLEA, reflecting the growing worldwide responsiveness and awareness to this area among architects and built environment professionals. The aim of this forum was to accelerate and strengthen the global health and air quality agenda, by providing a platform for researchers to present new research findings, stimulate debate and advance knowledge by fostering intellectual exchange.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign to Thrive
Subtitle of host publicationLegacy Document
EditorsSue Roaf, Luisa Brotas, Fergus Nicol
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Event33rd International on Passive and Low Energy Architecture Conference: Design to Thrive, PLEA 2017 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Jul 20175 Jul 2017


Conference33rd International on Passive and Low Energy Architecture Conference: Design to Thrive, PLEA 2017
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • IAQ
  • health
  • PLEA
  • forum
  • conference
  • legacy

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