Material emissions and indoor air quality
People spend most of their time indoors. Buildings and construction products, despite the variety of materials used to make them, must be as environmentally friendly and as non-detrimental to health as possible. The emission characteristics of construction products are tested according to recognized methods and standards (AgBB, ISO 16000 series). If they have an adverse effect on user well-being, it is possible to perform an analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and particulate (PM) emissions indoors to discover the structural causes or sources triggering the complaints. If necessary, the indoor air composition is analyzed for its odor-active compounds. In order to identify and quantify these substances, scientists use a combination of classic VOC analysis and flavour chemistry methods (gas chromatography-olfactometry, also known as GC-O or GC sniffing). The main objective is to localize the source of the emissions and to remove the cause of mostly unpleasant malodors.
The odor characteristics of construction materials, technical materials and raw materials, or of building and vehicle interiors (automobiles, airplanes) are evaluated using odor panels according to national and international standards and industrial guidelines.