Refurbishment and Fit Out / International / 2015 / 02 - Health and Wellbeing /

HEA 02 - Indoor Air Quality

Information correct as of 23rdJuly 2024. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.

Absence of regulated/prohibited wood preservatives - KBCN0740

This requirement for wood panels means that PCP (pentachlorophenol, a regulated / prohibited substance) must be absent. In this case, 'absent' is defined as <5 parts per million. This must be verified by testing.
11-Oct-2022 - Title amended to standard naming format for clarity and consistency. Wording clarified.

Accreditation – sampling and testing laboratories - KBCN1337

Analysis / testing laboratory NC 2016 or newer: Where an organisation used for the analysis of indoor air or emissions from building products is not accredited to ISO/IEC 17025, the organisation must be accredited, either by a national accreditation body, or by a member of any one of the following accreditation groups: European Cooperation for Accreditation International Accreditation Forum International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation The accreditation must specifically cover the analysis of indoor air or emissions from building products. Other schemes: Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 is not required in the criteria. However, this KBCN has been applied to encourage a consistent approach towards accreditation. Accreditation by a national or internationally recognised organisation helps to ensure rigorous, consistent and reliable testing results. Sampling organisation If another organisation carries out sampling on behalf of the analysis / testing laboratory, this organisation does not need to be accredited to the above. However, they must provide a brief report justifying: This report is provided to the BREEAM assessor and submitted as supporting evidence for this issue.
31-Oct-2022 Wording clarified. Scheme applicability updated.
10-Oct-2022 Title amended for clarity. Scheme applicability updated.
24-May-2022 Updated to differentiate between sampling and analysis requirements. 
07-May-2021 Added clarification regarding alternative qualifications. 
10-May-2021 Updated scheme applicability.

Applicability – industrial operational areas - KBCN1342

The aim of this issue is to encourage a healthy internal environment.  For the operational areas of industrial buildings, the internal environment is dictated by health and safety requirements.  This means that the BREEAM requirements should not be made applicable to them, and so the operational areas can be ignored in the assessment of Hea 02.
10-Oct-2022 - Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Made applicable to UK and International NC V6.

Applicability – retail asset with no office areas - KBCN0531

The compliance note regarding industrial and retail areas incorrectly suggests that the minimising sources of air pollution credits are not applicable to retail areas with no associated offices. These credits do apply to retail sales areas, although they are excluded for operational areas in industrial buildings. The 'potential for natural ventilation' credit is not applicable for retail sales areas, as it applies only to office areas. Therefore, where a retail building does not contain any office, this credit is not applicable. While the requirements apply to permanently or semi-permanently occupied offices, small admin areas, which are only used occasionally can be excluded. This also applies to shell only and shell and core new build projects, where it can be demonstrated that no office spaces will be provided as part of the fit-out. The online tool will award the credit by default in both issue 1.0 of the INC 2016 scheme and up to issue 1.4 of the IRFO 2015 scheme. When assessing against INC 2016 2.0 and V6, the online tool will instead filter this credit out.
22-Oct-2022 Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Made applicable to International NC V6.
11-Sep-2018 Clarification added in relation to spaces that are used occasionally, and shell only/shell and core new build projects. 
15-Sep-2017 Clarification added on the procedure for making the 'potential for natural ventilation' credit N/A on the online tool. Technical manual to be updated accordingly in next re-issue.

Emissions from products – ‘no formaldehyde’ declaration - KBCN1137

Where a product manufacturer’s declaration confirms that a product contains no formaldehyde, this can be used to demonstrate compliance with both the standard and exemplary level criteria. However, where a manufacturer has made a declaration of formaldehyde class E1 without testing, this can only be used to demonstrate compliance with the standard criteria. An E1 declaration only confirms that emissions of formaldehyde are ≤0.12 mg/m3, so this would not be valid evidence to demonstrate compliance with the exemplary level criteria emission limits. The manufacturer would need to provide additional information (e.g. test report) to show that emissions from the product meet the exemplary level emission limit.
11-Oct-2022 Title amended for clarity and consistency.

Emissions from products – BS EN ISO 12460-5 standard - KBCN0118

Products tested to the BS EN ISO 12460-5 standard can show compliance with the BREEAM 'emissions from products' criteria only for the following products: These products must be made from unfaced particle board, unfaced OSB or unfaced MDF. Factory production control testing must demonstrate that the product has a formaldehyde content of ≤ 8mg/100g oven dry board.
10-Oct-2022 - Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Wording clarified.
01-Dec-2017 - Previously referenced standard EN 120 superceded by BS EN ISO 12460-5 Wood-based panels. Determination of formaldehyde release. Extraction method.

Emissions from products – earlier versions of AgBB standard - KBCN0655

Guidance Note GN22 lists the standard AgBB (2015) as a recognised scheme for emissions from building products for pre-December 2015 launched BREEAM schemes. Previous versions of the AgBB scheme are not listed as recognised schemes because earlier versions of AgBB did not include any requirement for the testing of Formaldehyde. If an earlier version AgBB has been used, further evidence will be required to provide additional information on the required Formaldehyde testing.
10-Oct-2022 - Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Made applicable to International NC V6.
 

Emissions from products – exemplary level formaldehyde requirements - KBCN1124

The exemplary level criteria for formaldehyde emission levels are not applicable to the following product types: Formaldehyde emission levels should be assessed on all other product types. This applies also to any approved alternative VOC schemes for these product types listed in GN22.
11-Oct-2022 - Title amended for clarity and consistency.

Emissions from products – Guidance Note 22 (GN22) - KBCN0719

Latest version: v2.8, January 2024 Within the Health and Wellbeing category of several BREEAM schemes, credits are awarded for specifying materials that minimise emissions from building products of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The criteria involve meeting emission level performance requirements in accordance with compliant performance and testing standards. Guidance Note 22 (GN22) lists schemes that show equivalent or better performance than the current BREEAM and HQM criteria, and therefore can be used to demonstrate compliance with the criteria. This document should be read in conjunction with the relevant assessment issue guidance provided in the appropriate BREEAM or HQM technical manual. The guidance note contains two tables: Download Guidance Note 22 View all Guidance Notes on BREEAM Projects (licensed assessors only)
01-Feb-2024 - Updated for release of GN22 2.8
31-Jan-2023 - Updated for release of GN22 2.7 
10-Oct-2022 - This KBCN merged with KBCN0646. Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Made applicable to UK and International NC V6.
25-Jan-2019 - Link to Guidance Note updated
12-Mar-2018 - Link to Guidance Note updated

Emissions from products – installations manufactured off-site - KBCN0137

Internal finishes to installations manufactured off-site such as elevators need to be assessed for the emissions from products criteria. The specification of internal finishes (regardless of whether they are installed on site or in the factory) will impact on VOC emissions. By specifying low VOC finishes, design teams will be encouraging manufacturers to consider the environmental impacts of their products.
10-Oct-2022 - Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Made applicable to UK and International NC V6.
 

Emissions from products – manufacturers’ calculations for paints and varnishes - KBCN0452

Manufacturers' calculations of VOC content, based on the constituent ingredients, can be used to demonstrate compliance with the testing requirement for paints and varnishes.

10-Oct-2022 - Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Scheme applicability updated.

Emissions from products – resin flooring - KBCN0980

Resin flooring products (such as epoxy floor coating) are assessed as ‘Resilient textile and laminated floor coverings’.
11-Oct-2022 Title updated for clarify and consistency. Wording simplified.

Emissions from products – rigid wall covering adhesives - KBCN00076

Rigid wall covering adhesives need to meet the standard listed for flooring adhesives.
11-Oct-2022 - Title renamed to standard naming format for clarity and consistency. Scheme applicability updated.
16-Jun-2015 - Published pending reissue of the technical manual UKNC2011/REISSUE UKNC2014/REISSUE UKRFO2014/REISSUE.

Emissions from products – scope of assessment - KBCN0212

General This issue covers any product installed or applied inside the inner surface of the building’s infiltration, vapour or waterproof membrane. Where this membrane is not present, it applies to the inside of the building envelope’s interior-facing thermal insulation layer. Only products that are installed or applied in parts of the building where their emissions are likely to affect indoor air quality need to be assessed. Paints and coatings Any decorative paints and varnishes that occupants are exposed to should be assessed. This is likely to include paints and coatings applied to walls, ceilings, floors, doors, etc. Whole products A finish applied to a product in the factory is assessed as a whole product, and not separately as a paint or coating. For instance, a wood panel has a finish applied in the factory. The whole panel, including all the elements that make up that panel, would need to comply with the requirements set for wood panel products in this issue. The finished product as a whole must meet the performance requirements / emission limits set in the manual.
11-Oct-2022 - Title amended for clarity and consistency. Content merged with KBCN871.
10-Oct-2022 - Wording simplified. Scheme applicability updated.
16-Jun-2017 - Title and general principle amended to extend the applicability of the KBCN to all finishes. Paints specified for specialist applications covered in KBCN0872.
 

Emissions from products – specialist paints and coatings - KBCN0872

Where a paint or coating falls within: then the paint or coating must be assessed. Specialist paints and coatings are exempted from meeting the emission limits where there are no alternative products available that can perform the function, and still meet the emission limits. This must be clearly evidenced.
27-Oct-2022 Wording clarified. New compliance principle added from UKNC V6.
10-Oct-2022 Title amended for clarity. Scheme applicability updated.
13-Mar-2020 KBCN amended to clarify exceptions and applicability.
16-Jun-2017 Content merged with KBCN0212.

Emissions from products – testing to ISO 16000-10 - KBCN1134

Results of testing to ISO 16000-10 can be considered compliant with the relevant testing requirements of the emissions from construction products credit where the product manufacturer can demonstrate the results generated by testing to ISO 16000-10 correlate to results that would be achieved using EN 16516 or ISO 16000-9. This is because EN 16516 classifies ISO 16000-10 as an ‘indirect method’, which means “any simplified, screening, secondary, derived or alternative method. An indirect method can be applied if it provides a result that is comparable to or that correlates with the result of the reference method under the conditions applied. The validity of the correlation with the reference method is limited to the field of application for which it has been established.
11-Oct-2022 - Title amended for clarity and consistency. Scheme applicability updated.

Emissions from products – wall covering fabric - KBCN0724

For the 'Volatile Organic Compound emissions levels (products)' criteria: Any fabric specified as part of a wall covering should be assessed as part of the 'wall covering' requirements. It should not be assessed as part of the 'resilient textile and laminated floor coverings' requirements.
11-Oct-2022 Title amended for clarity and consistency. Wording clarified.

Erratum – up to v1.4 – VOC emission levels - KBCN0442

The technical manual is missing the following requirement for the VOC emission levels for the product categories, which should follow the wording in criterion 8:

"At least five of the seven remaining product categories listed in Table 'VOC criteria by product type' meet the testing requirements and emission levels criteria for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions (listed in the table)."
11-Oct-2022 Title amended for clarity. To be amended in the technical manual re-issue.

Indoor air quality plan – Guidance Note 6 - KBCN0618

Latest version: v2.1, August 2022 Guidance Note 6 provides guidance to assessors and project teams regarding the content and rigour of an Indoor Air Quality Plan (IAQP) as required by the Hea 02 Indoor air quality criteria in the BREEAM New Construction and Refurbishment schemes. It should not be interpreted as BREEAM criteria. It is intended to provide assessors and project teams with further, flexible information and guidance regarding the rigour, content and tasks of an IAQP. Download Guidance Note 6 (licensed assessors only) View all Guidance Notes (licensed assessors only)
10-Oct-2022 - Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency.

Indoor air quality plan – later consideration - KBCN1544

Where BREEAM has been engaged at a later stage in the project (for instance, at the beginning of a Post-Construction Assessment) the IAQ plan must still be produced. The late stage plan must clearly identify opportunities to improve indoor air quality that: The plan is focused on decisions and actions that can still be practically carried out. The indoor air quality plan is an on-going consideration that extends into the operational life of the asset.

Indoor air quality plan – scope - KBCN0294

Where possible, the indoor air quality plan must cover all items in the criteria. This means the plan must be completed for: Within these requirements, there is flexibility for the design team to use their professional judgement to determine what is appropriate to meet the criteria. Any exclusions must be clearly evidenced and justified. As the basis for effective asset management, the indoor air quality plan must be written in a consistent and comprehensive manner. The report must address relevant aspects as fully as possible within the scope of the development.
11-Oct-2022 Title updated for clarity. Wording clarified. Content merged with KBCN0556. Reference to KBCN1544 added. Scheme applicability updated.

Natural Ventilation Heat Recovery Units - KBCN1126

Natural Ventilation Heat Recovery Units (NVHR) systems can be used to support a natural ventilation strategy where it can be demonstrated that openable windows provide sufficient fresh air to the building for the significant majority of the time that the space is occupied. The assessor will need to use their professional judgement to determine a 'significant majority of time' and be able to justify this within the assessment report.

Post-construction measurement – formaldehyde / VOC levels exceed limits - KBCN0258

If the measured formaldehyde / VOC concentrations were above the prescribed limits, the appropriate remedial action must be taken, as described in the IAQ Plan. The criterion requires confirmation of 'the measures that have or will be undertaken' however it does not specifically address re-testing. We would expect, however that the IAQ Plan should outline what remedial measures are appropriate depending upon the severity and type of the non-compliance with prescribed limits. Such measures may include re-testing as a matter of 'best practice'. Where levels are found to exceed these limits, the project team confirms the measures that have, or will be undertaken in accordance with the IAQ plan, to reduce the TVOC and formaldehyde levels to within the above limits.
10-Oct-2022 - Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Made applicable to International NC V6.

Post-construction measurement – sampling methodology and KPIs - KBCN0380

When testing for VOCs post-completion and pre-occupancy, a representative sample of the building needs to be carried out. Each sample TVOC and formaldehyde measurement needs to achieve the threshold levels individually, either in the initial testing or after remedial measures have been implemented. This ensures that all tested areas of the building are below the limits, and that areas of non-compliance are not ‘averaged out’. 'When providing KPI test results for air quality post-construction / pre-occupancy within scoring and reporting tool, where the limits are exceeded and remediation and re-testing are carried out, the figure should be an average for the whole building post-remediation, as this is the key figure that reflects the building at its certified state'. Where testing is not a requirement of the IAQ Plan and this is not carried out, the original testing figures should be entered and the assessment report should provide details of the remediation measures undertaken to reduce these to within the prescribed limits.
10-Oct-2022 Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Scheme applicability updated. 
06-Dec-2017 Amended to account for situations where re-testing is not required by the IAQ Plan.

Potential for natural ventilation – areas exempted - KBCN0806

For projects where the majority of a building's occupied spaces will meet the criteria to achieve the potential for natural ventilation credit, but a relatively small area will not comply due to functional requirements of the space, (e.g. a lecture theatre), the credit can be awarded where this approach can be justified. The intention is to encourage the design of buildings where a strategy of (potential for) natural ventilation has been implemented as far as practically possible, given functional constraints. 

Potential for natural ventilation – mechanically ventilated and mixed mode assets - KBCN1533

Scope of KBCN This KBCN clarifies the associated compliance note for this credit. Clarification Mechanically ventilated and mixed mode assets can potentially achieve the 'potential for natural ventilation' credit by:
  1. Meeting the relevant criteria for room depth and glazing area OR, where this is not possible:
  2. Show through modelling that the building has the potential to be ventilated entirely via a natural ventilation strategy.
For 2. the second paragraph of the CN allows flexibility in demonstrating adaptability to an entirely natural ventilation strategy. An asset can allow for mechanical ventilation for ≤ 5% of its annual operating hours to boost ventilation rates, and (for this credit) can still be considered to be a fully naturally ventilated strategy. ≤ 5% mechanical ventilation rule The focus of this credit is to demonstrate future adaptability to introduce fresh air into the asset for occupant comfort, so this requirement relates only to mechanical ventilation. Active heating / cooling is not considered. ≤ 5% is a weighted average over all of the asset's occupied spaces. The basis for the weighting will be determined by the modelling software used. Scope and time scale of modelling The modelling covers all occupied spaces. Where relevant, exclusions are allowed - see related KBCNs for details. The modelling period is one year, during the asset's operating hours. The modelling must be based on a plausible scenario that is realistic. This means that:

Potential for natural ventilation – shell only assessments - KBCN0408

Where compliance depends on a speculative layout which is unknown, it is the responsibility of the design team to demonstrate that it is feasible for a future tenant to achieve compliance in the relevant areas via the use of a notional layout. This ensures that the shell allows the potential for compliance, and if this can be demonstrated the credit may be awarded.  

Potential for natural ventilation – use of doors to comply - KBCN0690

Doors can only be used to demonstrate potential for natural ventilation where: In all cases, the use of doors must be clearly and robustly justified by the Assessor.
19-Oct-2022 - Wording clarified. Scheme applicability updated.
 

Scope of product assessment for VOCs - KBCN0871

For the purpose of this Issue, this covers any product installed or applied inside of the inner surface of the building’s infiltration, vapour or waterproof membrane or, where not present, inside of the inner surface of the building envelope’s interior facing thermal insulation layer. Only products that are installed or applied in parts of the building where their emissions are likely to affect indoor air quality need to be assessed.

Thermal modelling – full dynamic thermal analysis - KBCN1250

The software used to carry out the thermal modelling simulation at the detailed design stage needs to provide full dynamic analysis. For smaller and more basic building designs with less complex heating/cooling systems, an alternative less complex means of analysis may be appropriate. Further guidance on thermal modelling can be found in CIBSE AM11 Building energy and environmental modelling.

Ventilation – applicability to Part 1 assessments - KBCN0974

The Ventilation credit is applicable to Part 1 assessments because there may be instances where the decisions made for the fabric and structure can have an impact on the ventilation strategy. For example, if a natural ventilation strategy is to be used, the criteria related to ventilation standards and the distance between openable windows and sources of external pollution would be relevant.
11-Oct-2022 Title amended for clarity and consistency.

Ventilation – distance between air intakes and exhausts - KBCN0638

The minimum distance required between the building's air intakes and exhausts is described by r. Where the distance does not meet r, the design team must either:
12-Jan-2023 - Value r clarified to account for different requirements in applicable schemes.
18-Nov-2022 - Requirements clarified. Title amended for clarity.
11-Oct-2022 - Scheme applicability updated. Wording clarified. Reference to EN13779 removed for international assessments, see KBCN1054.

Ventilation – E-cigarettes - KBCN1014

The use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers is considered equivalent to smoking. A smoking ban must also include a ban on e-cigarettes and vaporizers.
11-Oct-2022 - Scheme applicability updated.

Ventilation – external requirement for window opening restrictors - KBCN1032

Opening restrictors to windows may sometimes need to be installed to meet: Where such external requirements are in force, these requirements cannot be used as a mitigating factor for meeting the BREEAM ventilation criteria. Even with window restrictors, adequate ventilation can still be achieved.

Ventilation – filtration – non-residential assets - KBCN0797

Relevant specialist required The design and specification of air filtration for mechanical ventilation requires the input and review of a relevant ventilation designer or specialist. It is their responsibility to interpret the requirements of this KBCN to align with local conditions. Referenced standard The requirements for air filtration in mechanical ventilation systems follows EN 16798-3:2017 Section B4.2. This standard replaces EN 13779:2007. See KBCN1054. Supply air quality Outdoor air quality The filtering required to achieve SUP2 is affected by outdoor air quality. Outdoor air quality (ODA) in both EN 16798-3:2017 and EN 13779:2007 are defined as: As ODA definitions are relative to national air quality standards, these will depend on local regulations and the location of the asset. Please refer to the relevant specialist on how to correctly classify ODA for your asset.
18-Nov-2022 Title amended to differentiate between residential and non-residential filtration KBCNs.
06-Sep-2022 KBCN re-written and re-named to clarify BREEAM ventilation filtration requirements in relation to new ventilation standards.

Ventilation – single room MVHRs - KBCN1042

Single room mechanical ventilation heat recovery units do not need to show that the air intake and exhaust are a suitable distance apart. However, the air intakes of these units must be located to minimise intake of other potential external pollutants.
11-Oct-2022 - Title amended for clarity and consistency. Wording simplified. Scheme applicability updated.

Ventilation – withdrawal of EN 13779:2007 - KBCN1054

Standard EN 13779:2007 has been withdrawn (01/02/2018) and in its place the following should be used: Non-residential buildings: Both standards provide three methods for selecting design ventilation rates: Dwellings (only applicable to the BREEAM International New Construction scheme): Both standards provide different options for selecting design ventilation rates: It is the design team’s responsibility to determine and apply the most appropriate method or option(s) for the project undergoing assessment. Existing projects can continue to use EN 13779:2007 where applicable. Any new assessment registrations should use the replacements above.
11-Oct-2022 - Scheme applicability updated. 
03-May-2020 - Typo corrected to clarify that 'EN 16798-1:2019 Annex B.3 'either Category I OR Category II default design values' are to be used. 
10-Jan-2020 - KBCN updated to clarify methods for complying with new standards. 
01-Sep-2019 - KBCN updated to reference new standard.

[KBCN withdrawn] ~ Areas assessed for formaldehyde and TVOC - KBCN1008

This KBCN is no longer applicable. Please refer to KBCN0871 for scope of 'Emission levels (products)' and 'Other information' section of the technical manual for scope of 'Emission levels (post-construction)'. Superseded text: Products applied or installed in parts of the building likely to affect the indoor air quality and impact the wellbeing of building users need to be assessed. Areas are not excluded on the basis of how long building users are present in those areas.
27-Feb-2018 - KBCN N/A due to ambiguity of applicability to criteria

[KBCN withdrawn] ~ GN22 – Scheme version applicability - KBCN0646

Table 1 is for the use of any version of a scheme where the first version was released pre-December 2015, and table 2 is for the use of any version of a scheme where the first version was released post-November 2015.
10-Oct-2022 This KBCN has been merged with KBCN0719. KBCN withdrawn.

[KBCN withdrawn] ~ VOC product types – other - KBCN0698

Where a product does not appear to fit into any of the defined VOC product types listed in the manual this does not mean it is automatically exempt from being assessed. If it is similar to one of the listed product types and clearly could have an impact on VOC levels it should normally be assessed. In such cases the supplier/manufacturer should seek to demonstrate that their product meets the equivalent standards required for the closest matching product type.
19-Oct-2022 - KBCN replaced by KBCN0872.

[KBCN withdrawn] ~ VOC testing – alternative methods for compliance for paints and varnishes - KBCN0492

Manufacturers' calculations of VOC content, based on the constituent ingredients, can be used to demonstrate compliance with the testing requirement for paints and varnishes instead of ISO 11890-2:2013.
11-Oct-2022 - KBCN is withdrawn because it is a duplicate of KBCN0452.

Information correct as of 23rdJuly 2024. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.