Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, December 2019, Volume 2, #88
The management of indoor air quality (IAQ) is essential to reducing concentrations of indoor air pollutants, indoor occupants’ vulnerability to air pollutants, and to ensure the reduction of the potential harm inherent in the air pollutants. The management can be very challenging, considering the numerous indoor environmental quality performance and indoor systems to manage, and the impact of outdoor on the indoor environment. The management of IAQ without compromising other environmental quality performance mandates further contribute to the challenges of achieving high-performance IAQ conditions.
Managing these challenges requires IAQ management to be smart. What defines smart IAQ management? Smart IAQ management means having an accurate and right amount of information about indoor air condition. The information should be collected and processed to generate information and knowledge to be transmitted to the right person or destination at the right time to eliminate or reduce the risk associated with IAQ. How, when, and where the information is produced, transmitted, and acquired will contribute to the smartness.
Smart IAQ management means the risk of IAQ problems are solved cost-effectively, with minimum expenditure of time and effort. The smartness ensures that the required performance from the indoor systems is achieved, and contributing factors to IAQ problems are mitigated to solve IAQ problems. The smartness ensures IAQ problems are solved when and where they needed to be addressed. Smart IAQ management helps to reduce the number of decisions required to solve IAQ problems. These qualities help to keep IAQ problems at bay and prevent IAQ problems before they could cause any harm.
Thus, reducing the economic and social implications of curing IAQ problems. Remember the advice is to keep indoor air pollutants at bay, don’t trade “blows” with air pollutants, i.e., don’t make curing of indoor air pollutants your priority. The smartness is not restricted to technology (including sensors). People and processes involved should also fulfill smartness qualities. The smartness of people, process, and technology should also be integrated to enhance the productivity of IAQ management.
Efforts towards attaining and maintaining smartness should be a continuous effort. What do you think can be done to prevent exposure to indoor air pollutants that can potentially cause significant harm?
Do you want to know more about this topic? Read Kolokotsa et al. (2002), Kumar et al. (2016), and Schieweck et al. (2018) papers to learn about research efforts toward the attainment of smart indoor air quality.