By Myles Quigley, TSI Product Manager, Environmental & Exposure Monitoring - EMEA
What about the effects on local air quality during the construction phase?
There are no changes expected to how a construction professional or air quality consultant would go about assessing the risk. Current guidance from the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) and the Mayor of London’s SPG (Supplementary Planning Guidance) for the control of construction dust will still be followed. Where this might change however is with the likely introduction of a stricter exposure limit for PM2.5.
Today’s guidance for dust risk assessments only covers PM10 and this is driven by two things:
A more detailed assessment will take into consideration the PM10 background levels from a local air quality monitoring station and use the guidance tables to determine the level of risk to nearby receptors. A local authority will be concerned about the potential for a breach in the 24hr limit and possibly even the annual limit for longer term projects. This level of concern on the part of the LA will increase significantly if stricter limit values are introduced for PMs. Expect to see more planning permits requesting real-time dust monitoring for construction sites in the future.
How will construction dust monitoring change?
The UK has taken a lead already in this area with the introduction of a performance standard for real-time dust monitors. This is called MCERTS and there is a specific category for these instruments where several models from different manufacturers are listed. Learn more about MCERTS on CSA Group's MCERTS Certified Products: Indicative Ambient Particulate Monitors webpage. Most of these monitors are only certified to measure PM10, only one manufacturer can simultaneously measure PM2.5 and PM10.
What about so-called low cost sensors?
For ambient air quality monitoring, these sensors have shown a lot of promise. The more sophisticated ones are using algorithms to correct for meteorological effects. PM2.5 measurements can show a strong correlation against reference performance standard instruments. Explore BlueSky, a lightweight, laser-based particle instrument designed to simultaneously measure PM2.5 and PM10 mass concentrations.
Read Part 3 of this series.
Myles Quigley is a product manager at TSI for environmental and exposure monitoring. Since joining the company in 2018 he has worked closely with both industry and government to understand the legislation and customer requirements that drive this space. Prior to joining TSI he worked as a Global Product Manager in various industries such as building automation and renewable energy. Myles started his career as a graduate Building Services Engineer before making his move into product management fifteen years ago. During this time he has worked with numerous universities and research institutes, including KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm and Dresden University of Technology, and many more.