What is indoor climate and why is it important?

We spend 90% of our lives indoors, and the role of the indoor climate in our well-being and well-being must therefore not be underestimated.

In Denmark, we have the most well-documented indoor climate. At ÅBN, we continuously seek to gather knowledge in areas such as CO2, indoor climate, humidity and more, with the clear aim of providing an overview of what, for example, CO2 and indoor climate are, what effect it has on us humans, as well as what rules and laws exist .

Danish schoolchildren spend 22% of their waking time at school and more than half a million Danish children and young people and around 50,000 employees spend a large part of their time at school (source: Realdania ).

More than 80% of the areas in Denmark's schools were built before 1982, when requirements for the degree of insulation were first introduced, and only 10% of the schools were built after 1995, when requirements for ventilation in the buildings were introduced (source: Realdania ).

It is therefore clear that the indoor climate is an incredibly important part of our lives, society and economy, and can influence to a greater extent than you think. Read below about the most essential indoor climate areas and how they affect your life.

  • CO2

  • Temperature

  • Noise

  • Moisture

  • Volatile organic substances

  • The importance of the indoor climate for the economy

  • The importance of the indoor climate for well-being and health

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  • That's how high the CO2 level must be

    The building regulations set a limit value of 1000 ppm for normal operation in schools and daycare centers as well as in offices

    BR18 
  • That's how much CO2 you produce

    A sedentary, adult person produces around 17 l of CO2 per hour, while children i
    the smallest classes will produce somewhat less.

    The indoor climate portal 
  • Over half of Danish schools have increased CO2

    53% of the classes that participated in the "Mass experiment 2021" measured a CO2 value of over 1,000 ppm when they simply do as they usually do in terms of ventilation etc.

    The mass experiment 
  • A year's lost curriculum

    Studies from, among others, DTU have established that CO2 damages school pupils' concentration and learning ability. Children in classrooms with increased air supply do five to ten percent better than in normally stuffy classrooms.

    DTU 
  • Illustration af hvordan ydeevne falder samtidig med SKYEN måler dårligt indeklima

    The ability to concentrate decreases when CO2 increases

    When the CO2 level exceeds the recommended level of 1,000 ppm to 1,250 and 1,600 ppm respectively, students' ability to concentrate decreases by 5 and 10 per cent.

    Realdania 
  • Forklaring af forhøjet CO2-niveau på en almindelig skoledag

    Too high CO2 for more than half of the school day

    The CO2 level exceeds the Norwegian Working Environment Authority's limit value of 1,000 ppm over 3 hours per school day in the Danish classrooms.

    Implementation 
  • Sick building syndrome

    Research on "sick building syndrome" (SBS) in office environments has documented that poor ventilation and high CO2 concentrations are associated with symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and difficulty concentrating. When CO2 levels exceed 800 ppm, people often notice a lack of fresh air, leading to fatigue and dissatisfaction.

    Study from University College London 
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  • Which temperature is right?

    A temperature of 20-22 °C is suitable for light physical activity in e.g. schools, day care centers and offices. The temperature during sedentary work and normal climatic and working conditions must not exceed 25 °C.

    TO 
  • Illustration af en person der mister koncentrationsevnen når temperaturen stiger

    The concentration decreases as the temperature increases

    When the temperature exceeds the recommended 22 °C to 23.5 and 25.5 °C respectively, school pupils' ability to concentrate drops by 5 and 10 per cent.

    Realdania 
  • Heat makes us tired - cooler air increases productivity

    Research shows that people work faster with cool and fresher air in offices, whereas heat makes us tired and leads to decreased performance.

    The indoor climate portal 
  • 93 per cent school classes have too high a noise level.

    93% of the classes that participated in the "Masseksperiment 2021" measured a sound pressure level of over 60 dBa

    The mass experiment 
  • High sound level weakens

    Especially teachers and pedagogues in schools and day care centers are at risk due to the often poor acoustics and high sound levels. However, there are several possible measures to reduce it.

    The indoor climate portal 
  • Changing behavior can contribute to less noise

    When the sound level becomes noise and has consequences such as restlessness, noise, headaches and the like, behavior change can play a big role when it comes to removing disturbing noise.

    The indoor climate portal 
  • What is an optimal moisture level?

    The humidity usually does not cause problems if the relative humidity is between 25 and 60 per cent. However, microfungi and house dust mites live best in high humidity.

    TO 
  • Moisture can lead to allergies

    If you stay in damp buildings, it can in rare cases lead to allergies and asthma. It is therefore important to monitor the indoor climate and measure e.g. the air humidity.

    Sundhed.dk 
  • Humidity in office

    According to the National Research Center for the Working Environment, employees become more tired and have headaches, irritated eyes, nose and throat to a greater extent when the air humidity is poor.

    The National Research Center for Work Environment 
  • Bioeffluents at typical indoor concentrations can have harmful effects on humans.

    Moderate concentration of bioeffluents negatively affected perceived air quality, increased headache, fatigue, sleepiness and thinking ability, as well as reduced speed and accuracy in cognitive tests.

    PubMed 
  • Volatile organic substances (VOC) can lead to nuisance

    Furniture and building materials give off VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), and are therefore commonly present under normal conditions in the indoor climate.
    They do not pose a direct risk, but can contribute to e.g. irritation with dryness, redness in the eyes and dryness of the mucous membranes in the nose and throat.
    The best precaution against VOCs is good ventilation.

    Sundhed.dk 
  • The social economy is good for school renovations

    Advisers have made calculations which show that society can reap a financial gain of between DKK 15 and 26 million. DKK over a 30-year period by improving the indoor climate at a school with 650 pupils.

    Realdania 
  • Buildings globally account for approx. 40% of the annual CO2 emissions

    Realdania 
  • Educators' absence due to illness may be due to poor indoor climate

    23% of Danish educators' total sickness absence can be explained by poor air quality

    BUPL 
  • Double sick leave for educators in poor indoor climate

    The average sickness absence for an educator who works in a workplace where the air quality is 'always' so bad that it causes discomfort is 1.9 times higher than the average sickness absence for an educator in a workplace where the air quality is 'never' so bad that it causes discomfort

    BUPL 
  • Indoor climate and asthma

    Research shows that indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality, and that poor indoor air quality can worsen asthma and other respiratory diseases. Particles such as dust, pollen, mould, animal dander and tobacco smoke can irritate the airways and worsen asthma symptoms. It is especially the small particles (PM2.5) that can penetrate deep into the lungs and bloodstream, which are particularly harmful for asthmatics.

    Allergy Asthma Network 
  • The indoor climate affects your energy level

    A comprehensive review of studies on indoor climate and its impact on human health and productivity shows that pollutants in indoor environments, such as particle pollution, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and high levels of CO2, can cause significant health problems, including reduced energy levels.

    MDPI 

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