American Society of Civil Engineers

Assessment of Air Quality and Performance of Central Ventilation System

by K. H. Chan, (Consultant, Superasia Development Group. E-mail:

Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, Vol. 25, No. 4, July/August 2011, pp. 326-335, (doi:

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Central HVAC is a critical constructed facility in the built environment, yet polluted air quality has been causing environment, health, and safety problems to end-users worldwide, particularly in multistory commercial buildings with such systems installed. An index system was introduced in Hong Kong to measure the external air quality, but no system has yet been introduced for measuring internal air quality, nor the legislation to control it. The Hong Kong government states that more than 32% of commercial buildings and 37% of shopping arcades have sick building syndrome, which leads to nausea, dizziness, headaches, sore throats, nose irritation, sinus congestion, and other symptoms in the occupiers. In this study, the major causes, design, construction, users’ habitual modes, and mitigating measures will be investigated, with supporting case studies in Hong Kong. A preliminary investigation, air sample analysis, and end-users’ feedback from questionnaires will be gathered and analyzed to establish a long-term solution for air quality problems.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Indoor environmental quality
Air quality
Hong Kong

Author Keywords:
Central HVAC system
Sick building
Air source control
Air quality management
Ventilation improvement