Quality assurance for a good indoor environment! Guide for clients!
News
April 30, 2019

Quality assurance for a good indoor environment! Guide for clients!

Quality assurance for a good indoor environment

Quality assurance of buildings and their functions is not a clear-cut concept. Some people think that quality assurance to get good indoor environment just means extra paperwork and the creation of pages of documentation to be filed away and not used for any practical purpose. Hopefully, most people regard quality assurance as a way of ensuring that the goals that have been set are actually reached. The idea behind quality assurance is to reach one’s goals in the most efficient way possible, by improving work and production methods, technical solutions, etc. An important aspect of the quality assurance process is that goal fulfilment can be checked and verified.

An example of quality assurance work in the building and property management sector is the following up of goals to ensure that the indoor environment in a building is, or will be, acceptable. One of the most important aspects of the indoor environment is the quality of the air. Other important aspects include acoustics, lighting and thermal comfort. A good indoor environment is assured by carrying out quality assurance work throughout all the phases of a building project, i.e. when drawing up the building program, when carrying out planning and construction work, and when managing the finished building.

The foundations for a good indoor environment are laid down at an early stage in the building process, although this can then be ruined by poor management. On the other hand, good management can, over time, improve a building with a poor indoor environment through structured activities aimed at clearly defined goals. In this case, management, operation and maintenance are planned based on an inventory of the faults that are in most need of remedial action.

Management, operation and maintenance for a good indoor environment

The foundations for a good indoor environment are laid down at an early stage in the building process, although this can then be ruined by poor management. On the other hand, good management can, over time, improve a building with a poor indoor environment through structured activities aimed at clearly defined goals. In this case, management, operation and maintenance are planned based on an inventory of the faults that are in most need of remedial action.

The client’s work

The client is the player who, throughout the building process, makes the final decisions regarding the execution of the quality assurance work. The client’s work to quality assure a good indoor environment mainly involves:

Competence in the field of indoor environment

Ensuring that there are people in the client’s own organization who have the necessary competence in the field of indoor environment. In some instances this competency could be held by one of the project managers, while in others there could be one or more specialists who are responsible for and who monitor indoor environment issues. How this work is organized depends of the size and complexity of the building project.

Clear requirements for a good indoor environment

Stipulating clear requirements for a good indoor environment. The level of ambition will vary from building project to building project. In a rebuilding project, the requirements should be made based on what is feasible after carrying out a survey of the building. Note that it is the client’s responsibility to comply with official regulations and, consequently, requirements regarding good indoor climate. Clients sometimes choose to go beyond the standard requirements for good indoor environments.

Clarifying how responsibility has been assigned with respect to fulfilment of the requirements. The responsibility for fulfilling the client’s requirements lies with those involved in the project. They must be able to verify that the stipulated requirements have been fulfilled. The client must demand that the consultant’s and contractor’s documentation and reports be comprehensive and complete.

Checking that those involved are sufficiently competent or by ensuring that relevant competency is available. This can be done by evaluating their previous experience, reference projects and routines for self inspection as well as by looking at how much they have cost.

Following up the requirements and checking that verification work has been carried out and reported and that the requirements have been fulfilled. The client should also carry out random checks and measurements.

Read more!

Health and well-being in indoors!

AIR: Health, well-being and productivity!

Passivhaus for contractors: Building services and sequencing!