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Title: Continuous IAQ monitoring with low-cost monitors : protocol development, performance and application in residential buildings
Author: Moreno Rangel, Alejandro
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 8844
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: Glasgow School of Art
Date of Award: 2019
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Over recent decades, dwellings have become more energy-efficient. While many studies have focused on looking at energy conservation and decarbonisation of the housing stock, very few had a look at the indoor air quality (IAQ). The current approach to IAQ and occupational health studies is limited by current knowledge on ventilation, indoor air pollutants and the instruments to measure them. The ventilation and indoor pollution measurements required are expensive and invasive; therefore, these studies tend to be small and isolated. Perhaps one of the most significant barriers for IAQ studies is the instrumentation needed for current approaches. Their cost, size, process control and required specialised training makes them unfeasible. For these reasons, IAQ studies tend to be based on short-term or spot measurements. Recent developments in technologies and communications have led to the development of low-cost IAQ monitors, that have the potential to be used in IAQ studies. This study aims to develop, test the performance and application of a method to measure the IAQ using low-cost (< £200.00) monitors and remote data collection. After assessing the capabilities of several low-cost IAQ monitors, the Foobot was selected for this study. The Foobot data were compared to traditional IAQ monitors to address accuracy and quality concerns. Foobot has the potential to be used in IAQ studies; however, it is limited by the range of parameters to measure. While it is capable of measuring the most common air pollutants, the Foobot may not be ideal to established IAQ assessment routines, such as the CIBSE KS17 or the EPA. The methodology presented in this work uses online surveys to collect qualitative data about the perception of the IAQ, thermal comfort and selfreported illnesses. The methodology was tested in seven dwellings located in Mexico City, San Francisco and Dunfermline. Air temperature, relative humidity, particulate matter and total volatile organic compounds were collected at five-minute intervals in three rooms of each of the dwellings. The analysis of the data suggests that IAQ is mostly related to occupant's behaviour, outdoor pollution and ventilation rates. While the methodology presented in this work may have some limitations, it nevertheless provides an alternative and innovative method for IAQ monitoring. This should encourage IAQ data collection, enhancing our knowledge on IAQ and promote healthier indoor environments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available