Sick Building Syndrome is a series of symptoms such as eye irritation, headache, and throat ache caused in newly built or remodeled buildings. The major causes of sick building syndrome are suspected to be volatile organic compounds (VOCs) indoor air. To solve this problem fundamentally, we built a model town called “Chemiless Town” in the university campus.
In all, 78 indoor air samples were collected at 8 rooms in 4 experimental houses for over 3 years of period, and 116 VOCs (63 VOCs, 42 SVOCs, and 11 aldehydes) were analyzed and calculated. The structural and interior materials of House A are light gauge steel and gypsum plaster. Those of House B are wood and spruce treated with high temperature. Those of House C are wood and plaster, and those of House D are wood and spruce.
The total of 116 VOCs (TVOCs) in the House A were 520 μg/m3 in April 2007, 225 μg/m3 in April 2008, and 37 μg/m3 in May 2009. The TVOCs in the House B were 1178 μg/m3 in March 2007, 560 μg/m3 in April 2008, 133 μg/m3 in May 2009. The TVOCs in the House C were 2151 μg/m3 in April 2007, 661 μg/m3 in April 2008, 296 μg/m3 in May 2009. The TVOCs in the House D were 14,776 μg/m3 in April 2007, 1046 μg/m3 in April 2008, 306 μg/m3 in May 2009.
It became clear that the effect of structural and interior material of a house on TVOC is extremely big. The TVOC of House A was the lowest among the 4 houses because the structural material is steel, and the wall is made of gypsum plaster. The highest TVOC was found in House D since the structural and interior materials are all spruce. On the other hand, in the House B, the spruce of interior was treated with high temperature and the TVOC was decreased.