Air quality

BRE provides a wide range of air quality testing and advisory services to ensure that the air in and around your buildings is of optimum quality and meets regulatory and environmental requirements.

Why work with BRE?

BRE’s technical experts have substantial training, skills, experience and knowledge of monitoring and assessments in a wide range of indoor environments. We offer a flexible approach to testing with a variety of work patterns and testing protocols available to suit your organisation.

Our reports provide you with impartial findings and assurance, allowing you to commission testing of the air within an indoor space, or to demonstrate the safe and effective operation of an air treatment/cleaning product carried out in a real-life environment.

Our services include monitoring air quality, minimising outdoor air pollution impacts, investigating pollutant emissions, measuring ventilation improving indoor air quality and testing of monitors and air cleaning devices.

Monitoring air quality

  • Measuring air pollutants, including gases, particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), to demonstrate compliance with health-related and environmental standards and certification schemes (e.g. WELL, BREEAM), and develop solutions to air quality problems.

Minimising outdoor air pollution impacts

  • Advising on the operation of buildings and ventilation systems to minimise the impact of outdoor pollution on indoor air quality.
  • Dispersing and mitigating pollutants from process emissions.
  • Monitoring air pollutants and controlling dust from construction and demolition sites.

Investigating pollutant emissions

  • Identifying, measuring and minimising VOC and/or formaldehyde emissions from building components, materials, paints, office equipment, furnishings, combustion appliances and consumer products – measurements can be carried out to ISO Standard 16000-10 to show compliance with relevant legislation as needed.

Measuring ventilation

  • Quantifying building ventilation rates for to compare them with standards and requirements for health.
  • Measuring inter-zonal airflows, for example to prevent the spread of infections.

Improving indoor air quality

  • Identifying and quantifying pollutants, their sources, health risks and the action required.
  • Dealing with odour,  poor ventilation, excess moisture and other air quality problems.

Testing of monitors and air cleaning devices

  • Testing and validation of air quality monitoring and air cleaning equipment in controlled environmental chambers.
  • Equipment van be challenged with various volatile organic compounds, inorganic gases (e.g. CO, CO2, NO2, O3) and particles as required.

Testing to meet your needs

  • Bespoke monitoring and testing in: real buildings (e.g. homes, schools, hospitals, workplaces); our controlled chambers; or mock-ups of indoor areas.

Example project – investigating a school’s indoor air quality

Following complaints from staff concerning a new build school, BRE was commissioned to evaluate the environmental conditions in the school. We carried out comprehensive four week programme of surveys, inspections, monitoring and testing to investigate the factors that may have led to ill health among building occupants, assess occupant comfort, and establish whether the school building complied with Building Regulations and contractual and statutory air quality requirements.
The programme included:

  • Thermal comfort assessment (temperature and relative humidity).
  • Inspection of heating and air handling systems (including controls).
  • Air quality monitoring (CO, CO2, particulate matter, SO2, NO2, VOCs, formaldehyde).
  • Airtightness and air change rate measurements.
  • Lighting assessment (daylight; electric lighting; glare; task-based lighting).
  • Background noise assessment.


The findings were presented in a full technical report, and later in person to senior educational officers at the local authority. The main findings and recommended remedial actions were also presented in layman’s terms to school staff and to maintenance staff working for the school’s contracted facilities management organisation. This included guidance on use of features such as trickle vents and HVAC controls.

BRE was later commissioned to undertake follow-up monitoring to verify that remedial actions had been effective.

Enquire now

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