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									Policy P6505                                                      OFFICE OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT
                                                                      Providing the best environment for learning

                                       QUALITY SYSTEM PROCEDURE
                                          Indoor Air Quality Policy


1.0 Introduction

It is a requirement of the Workplace Health & Safety Act 1995 that exposure to extreme thermal environments and
health risks from air contaminants are controlled and managed.

To meet these obligations, Griffith University must ensure that relevant compliance standards are followed. Staff,
students and visitors of Griffith University are entitled to an environment, which is healthy, free from pollutants
and comfortable.

By identifying potential risks and managing them in safe manner, Griffith University can fulfil its obligations under
the Workplace Health & Safety Act.

2.0 Purpose

The following policy provides information on indoor air quality (IAQ) issues and promotes awareness and
understanding. It has been prepared to inform Griffith University personnel on the factors that effect indoor air
quality and how to prevent IAQ related problems. Should a problem arise, the policy also provides guidance
relating to its rectification.

3.0 Statutory Requirements

At present, there are no statutory requirements pertaining directly to indoor air quality. The Workplace Health &
Safety Act and Building Code of Australia relate indirectly and do impose legal obligations on building owners,
tenants, maintenance staff, designers, builders and suppliers of materials and equipment to provide a safe working
environment.

4.0 Factors that Effect Indoor Air Quality

There are many factors that effect IAQ and all must be managed. Air conditioning systems are used throughout the
University to control many of the main issues effecting IAQ. Some factors however, cannot be controlled with air
conditioning and require alternative measures.

The following sections outline the main issues contributing to IAQ.

        4.1 Temperature

              Temperature within University buildings is maintained at between 21o C and 24o C throughout the
              year, which is ideal for the majority of occupants.

              During the extremes of summer (and winter), the air conditioning may not be capable of achieving
              these ideal temperatures. Inside conditions will however be maintained normally within an 8o C
              differential with respect to the outside temperature.

        4.2 Humidity

            Relative humidity levels are maintained at between 40% and 70% depending on the function and
            occupancy of the space and ambient conditions. Extremes in relative humidity (< 20 % & > 80%) are
            normally avoided.

        4.3 Air Circulation

            The level of air movement directly effects comfort levels and IAQ. Air circulation is maintained
            between .1 m/s and .4 m/s velocity depending on the function and occupancy of the space.
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Policy P6505                                                      OFFICE OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT
                                                                      Providing the best environment for learning



        4.4 Fresh Air

            Fresh air is introduced to air conditioned spaces to maintain adequate ventilation rates and to flush out
            contaminants. The level of fresh air introduced depends mainly on the type and function of the space
            and the number of occupants utilising the area at any given time.

            Griffith University provides fresh air ventilation rates in accordance with Australian Standard (AS)
            1668 Part 2, which range from 7.5 litres per second per person to 15 litres per second per person.

        4.5 Air Contaminants – Internal

            The following table outlines the major contaminants generated from within a building including their
            potential source.

                  Contaminant                                    Source

                 Carbon Dioxide                    Respiratory/Combustion Product
               Combustion Products                       Cooking and Heating
                     Ozone                    Ultra-violet light and Ionisation processes
                  Formaldehyde            Building materials eg: Plywood or Particle Board
                 Volatile Organic          Building materials, cleaning agents and carpets
                Airborne Particles    Cooking, heating, smoking, dust from paper and clothes &
                                               fibreglass from air conditioning ducting
                 Radon Products          Building materials made from some rocks and soils
                 Envir. Tobacco       Sidestream and mainstream smoke from tobacco smoking
                     Smoke
                 Microbiological                       Viruses, bacteria and fungi
                   Pollutants
                Unpleasant Odours          Building products, cooking, heating, occupants
                   Dust Mites             Air conditioning systems if unused for long periods

        4.6 Air Contaminants – External

            The following table outlines the major contaminants generated from outside the building and brought
            inside via air conditioning systems or openings.

                  Contaminant                                    Source

                Airborne Particles             Motor vehicle exhaust, construction dust
               Combustion Products       Burning of fuels in industrial processes and bushfires
                Volatile Organics         Solvents or incomplete combustion from Industrial
                                                               Processes
                 Microbiological                       Spores, fungi and pollens
                     Agents




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Policy P6505                                                      OFFICE OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT
                                                                       Providing the best environment for learning

5.0 Managing Indoor Air Quality

Griffith University implements a managed process to control and identify indoor air quality problems. Concerns
regarding IAQ are addressed in accordance with the flowchart shown in figure 1. Poor indoor air quality can lead to
various problems including eye and skin irritations, headaches and fatigue.

        5.1 Investigation

            Once a complaint has been received, University staff will investigate the problem. The initial
            investigation will include the sampling of temperatures, humidity, airflows and fresh air supply. If
            these factors are measured to be within acceptable levels, contamination levels are directly measured.


        5.2 Removal or Substitution

            The most effective way of eliminating or reducing contaminant levels is to remove or substitute the
            contaminant source e.g. substitute solvent-based paints with water-based paints. The Office of
            Facilities Management regularly undertakes reviews of the products and processes that make up our
            built environment. Where possible, materials and processes are substituted to reduce the risk of
            problems concerning IAQ.




                        No                                                 Yes
                                                IAQ
                                              Complaint




         Review Relevant                                                              Investigate
           Information                                                                Complaint



                                                                                         Identify
                                                                                          Cause


          Review
        Materials and                                                                 Action and
          systems                                                                     Response


No

                                Yes                               No

          Identify                                                                     Complaint
          Concerns                                                                     Resolved
                                                                                          Yes


                                                                                       END


                             Figure 1 - Managing IAQ within Griffith University


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Policy P6505                                                       OFFICE OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT
                                                                       Providing the best environment for learning

        5.3 Modifications to Work Practises

             Another successful way to reduce exposure to contaminants is to change the work practices associated
             with certain activities, eg moving photocopying room away from occupied areas or changes to the way
             activities are undertaken.
             University staff should continually monitor their work practices, identifying any concerns.

        5.4 Ventilation

             Ventilation rates including the manner in which fresh air is introduced to a space significantly
             influence indoor air quality. Increasing ventilation rates and the quantity of fresh air improves the
             dilution of airborne particles and can increase overall levels of comfort. Relocating fresh air intakes
             away from nearby industrial processes, loading docks or main roads can also improve indoor air
             quality.

             When air is recycled via the air conditioning system, high efficiency filtration can be employed to
             remove a larger quantity of airborne particles. In addition, local exhaust extraction can be employed to
             remove contaminants and/or odours at the source prior to them mixing with the general air.

             Ventilation rates, extraction systems and filtration levels employed throughout the University are
             designed and installed to meet the requirements of Australian Standard (AS) 1668 Part 2.

        5.5 Preventative Maintenance

             Regular and effective maintenance of all air conditioning and ventilation equipment ensures University
             assets operate at peak efficiency and in accordance with the rules and regulation in effect at the time of
             construction.

             Griffith University undertakes a comprehensive maintenance program designed to ensure all equipment
             operates efficiently under normal operating conditions. Equipment that functions correctly aids the
             indoor air quality process and reduces complaints.

        5.6 Administrative Measures

             The following additional measures must be undertaken to ensure acceptable indoor air quality. The
             majority of these procedures are concerned with general “house keeping” and on-going building
             maintenance.

                Developing effective channels of communications with between staff, students and the Office of
                 Facilities Management
                Keeping the workplace clean and free from potential sources of contamination
                Regular maintenance of office equipment and building ventilation systems
                Organise processes that have the potential to cause problems, such as carpet cleaning, outside of
                 normal working hours
                Monitor control measures regularly to ensure effective operation


    Version         Description of Change           Date               Author               Approved
     No.
      1.03       Initial policy prepared         8 Sept 03     Nathan Atkinson            Sam Ragusa




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