Building pollutant

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Building pollutants is a catchphrase for pollutants with which components or technical building equipment can be contaminated. Under certain circumstances, these can also contaminate the indoor air and thus endanger building users, require protective measures when processing or dismantling contaminated parts and to protect workers and the environment , as well as requiring special disposal of the contaminated material .

Typical building pollutants are for example asbestos , polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), wood preservatives ( PCP , lindane , carbolineum ) and heavy metals , especially lead . In a broader sense, other non- volatile organic compounds , in particular dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and short-chain chlorinated paraffins (must be taken into account by the legislature in some cantons of Switzerland in particular) are referred to as building pollutants. But also solvents , formaldehyde , respirable and bio-resistant artificial mineral fibers ( artificial mineral fibers manufactured before 2006 must be taken into account by law in Germany) are also included. Mold damage and pigeon droppings are considered biogenic building pollutants. Depending on the author, radon , a radioactive gas that mainly penetrates the building from the ground , as well as fine dust and other air pollutants that pollute interior spaces through ventilation, are also assigned to building pollutants or because they pollute the building from the outside.

Legal Aspects

Which building pollutants are included in the investigation depends on the legislator at the state or sub-national level as well as on the desired building certifications and customer requirements.

Situation in Germany

In Germany, occupational health and safety is based on the EU-compliant Occupational Health and Safety Act (ArbSchG). This obliges employers to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of employees at work. In doing so, hazards should be avoided or fended off at the source and protective measures should be taken according to the TOP principle. The risk assessment plays an important role here. But this law also derives rights and obligations for employees, in particular the intended use of occupational safety equipment and the obligation to report dangers and defects. This forms the basis for the ordinances relevant to building pollutants described below.

The Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (GefStoffV), which protects workers from exposure to hazardous substances, should be mentioned. All activities in dealing with these substances (related to building pollutants, cleaning, processing, dismantling, transport, disposal) are to be regarded as the use of hazardous substances within the meaning of the GefStoffV. Therefore, a risk assessment must be carried out by the employer (in the case of construction work, the contracted craft or renovation company) before such work is started. The Technical Regulations for Hazardous Substances (TRGS) were created to assist the GefStoffV.

Similar to the GefStoffV, the Biological Agents Ordinance (BioStoffV) stipulates the protection of workers, but with regard to biological hazards. In buildings, employees can come into contact with mold and germs in faeces. The technical rules for biological agents (TRBA) are the implementation aids for the BioStoffV.

The construction site ordinance also makes a significant contribution to occupational safety. This calls for increased coordination of the construction processes and also obliges the client, as the initiator of a construction project, to initiate and implement the construction site-specific occupational safety measures. Depending on the scope and the level of danger (which is always the case when handling hazardous substances), this should be included in the planning phase, at the latest in the execution phase.

During construction work, the regulations of the German statutory accident insurances must also be complied with. a. the following regulations are important:

  • DGUV regulation 1 "Principles of prevention"
  • DGUV regulation 6 + 7 "Preventive occupational medicine"
  • DGUV Rule 100-001 "Principles of Prevention"
  • DGUV rule 101-004 "Contaminated areas"
  • DGUV rule 112-189 "Use of protective clothing"
  • DGUV rule 112-190 "Use of breathing apparatus"
  • DGUV Information 201-12 "Procedures with low exposure to asbestos during demolition, renovation and maintenance work"
  • DGUV information 201-13 "Abort"
  • DGUV information 201-128 "Health risk from biological agents in building renovation"
  • DGUV Information 201-131 "Danger to health from pigeon droppings"

Last but not least, there is also the building code law, which differs from state to state, but also contains provisions for handling hazardous substances that must also be observed when dealing with building pollutants.

Situation in Switzerland

In Switzerland , occupational health and safety in dealing with building pollutants is regulated in the " Ordinance on the safety and health protection of workers during construction work" (Construction Work Ordinance , BauAV). This states: If there is a suspicion that particularly harmful substances such as asbestos or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) may occur, the employer must determine the dangers in detail and assess the associated risks . The necessary measures must be planned based on this. If a particularly hazardous substance is unexpectedly found in the course of the construction work, the work concerned must be stopped and the client must be notified. In addition, the BauAV requires prior clarification of safety and health risks in the event of dismantling or demolition work , as well as measures to prevent workers from dealing with substances such as dust , asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), gases or chemicals and radiation in a manner that is hazardous to health get in touch. This ordinance also stipulates the obligation to report asbestos removal from a certain extent, which work may only be carried out by recognized asbestos removal companies, and the requirements for the suitability of restoration companies and specialists.

In connection with building pollutants, the federal government regulates not only the protection of employees, but also the protection of the environment from these pollutants, especially when they are disposed of . The "Ordinance on the Avoidance and Disposal of Waste" (VVEA) requires that, in the case of construction work, the building owner must provide the authority responsible for the building permit with information on the type, quality and quantity of the waste incurred and on the intended disposal within the framework of the building permit application if construction waste containing substances hazardous to the environment or health such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), lead or asbestos is to be expected.

In addition to the statutory requirements of the federal government, the cantonal and communal regulations regarding the protection of the environment and employees must also be observed.

The Forum Asbestos Switzerland and Suva provide a large number of leaflets and fact sheets, some of which have been developed with industry associations, to assist in the handling of asbestos-containing components and systems. EKAS guideline 6503 is the reference for asbestos removal . The various PCB guidelines of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) are official guidelines on the subject of PCBs.

Standards and guidelines for the determination and remediation of building pollutants

EN ISO 16000-32 "Indoor air pollution - Part 32: Investigation of buildings for pollutants"

In this ISO standard ( International Organization for Standardization ) and EN ( European Standard ), which emerged from ÖNORM S 5730, requirements for the exploration of structures with regard to the presence of pollutants or other harmful factors are specified, which serve as the basis for subsequent sampling of suspected areas and are used to determine the amount and type of pollutants that are described in other parts of the standardization of indoor air pollution ( ISO 16000 series of standards). The results of the exploration form the basis for an assessment with regard to the use, renovation or demolition of the structure. An assessment with regard to use may include hygiene and comfort parameters (e.g. for building passes). The investigation of indoor air quality for the investigation of existing pollutants can play an important role in certain issues.

VDI / GVSS 6202 "Renovation of polluted buildings and systems"

VDI / GVSS 6202 sheet 1 "Structural and technical systems contaminated with harmful substances - demolition, renovation and maintenance work"

The VDI guideline, which will probably receive a lot of attention in the future and will be further detailed in further sheets (sheets 2 and 3), applies to activities involving pollutants during demolition, renovation, maintenance and servicing work in structural and technical systems. It applies to the removal, coating and spatial separation of pollutants as well as the provision and handover of the resulting waste for disposal. In this guideline, the essential aspects for the process of pollutant remediation from the collection to the disposal are presented. In addition to the regulations of the VOB (procurement and contract regulations for construction work), recommendations are given for the necessary work-related regulations.

VDI 6202 Part 20 Structural and technical systems contaminated with harmful substances - qualification of personnel

The guideline describes the necessary qualifications of the personnel to carry out the activities described in VDI 6202 Part 1.

FAGES guidelines

The professional association building pollutants has drawn up guidelines for building diagnostics. Further guidelines on the subjects of laboratory analysis of building pollutants and interior measurement technology are in progress.

FAGES guideline building pollution diagnostics

The FAGES guidelines for building diagnostics contain quality standards for basic pollutant tests in buildings, components and technical systems. It defines the requirements for building pollutant diagnosticians and for their reporting. The terms and scope of services of the various depths of investigation: building screening, building check and follow-up examination before the start of construction work are also fixed.

Finding and evaluating building pollutants

The exploration of buildings with regard to the presence of pollutants, which is also often referred to as building diagnostics, is practiced at various depths of investigation.

Building screening for pollutants

A building screening is a rough assessment of the building pollutant situation. As a rule, very few or no material samples are taken and analyzed. The building screening can, for example, be carried out to assess the risk of building pollutants during use or is used for a rough assessment in an early project phase, as part of a change of hands or for a real estate portfolio.

Building check for pollutants

Building checks for building pollutants usually include inspection of all rooms with sampling of suspicious materials which cannot be unequivocally assessed based on the year of installation or the experience of the building diagnostician. The examining specialist also assesses the complexity of a subsequent building pollution remediation.

Follow-up examination before starting construction work

Before complex construction work, it is often necessary to carry out a follow-up examination in addition to the building check, also known as a detailed examination or preliminary renovation examination. This serves primarily for the detailed planning of a highly complex pollutant remediation, but is also carried out as a supplementary investigation in previously inaccessible areas and suspicious areas.

Assessment of the risk under conditions of use and urgency assessment for measures / remediation

In the case of building screenings and building checks, not only must the building and system parts containing hazardous substances be recorded, but the risk to people from them under normal conditions of use must also be assessed. In indoor rooms with building pollutants that can also pollute the indoor air, measures must be taken so that the room users are not exposed to any health-endangering loads. The urgency of remedial measures must also be assessed on this basis.

For asbestos-containing materials there are official assessment schemes in technical guidelines / leaflets that manage without measuring the actual pollution of the room air by pollutants. In order to assess the risk and urgency of other building pollutants, building diagnosticians rely on their own expertise or dispense with such an assessment. After measurements of the room air, which contain meaningful statements about the contamination of the room air, a more reliable assessment is possible.

Assessment of the risk involved in the processing of components and system parts containing harmful substances

When working on components and systems that contain pollutants, there is usually a higher release of pollutants, as is the case under normal conditions of use. This not only applies to construction and renovation work, but also to certain cleaning methods or when drilling fastening holes. The building diagnostician must also assess this risk and point out the measures to be taken for certain working methods.

Building pollution register

In a building pollution register, all pollutant occurrences of a building or an entire company site or real estate portfolio are documented in tabular form. Depending on the desired accuracy, the pollutants can only be recorded as suspicions (building screening only) or a verified assessment of the suspicious factors can be carried out by means of analysis results from samples or research and the competence of the expert.

See also


  • Pollutants in existing buildings: Recognize and react correctly - catalog according to components and trades ; HD Bossemeyer, E. McCormick, St. Dolata, G. Zwiener, U. Schubert, 2015, ISBN 978-3-481-03242-5 .
  • Pollutants in interiors and on buildings ; Ed .: Gesamtverband Schadstoffsanierung GbR, 2014, ISBN 978-3-481-03092-6 .
  • Building healthily with safety: facts, arguments and strategies for healthy building, modernization and living ; Edited by P. Bachmann, M. Lange 2013 ISBN 978-3-8348-2523-0 .
  • Handbook of Building Pollutants and Healthy Indoor Air , Ed. G. Zwiener, FM Lange, 2012, ISBN 978-3-503-12990-4 .
  • Pollutants in construction ; A. Rötzel, 2009, ISBN 978-3-8167-7931-5 .
  • Handbook of Building Pollutants for Architects, Experts and Authorities ; G. Zwiener, 1997, ISBN 978-3481011765 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b EN ISO 16000-32: "Indoor air pollution - Part 32: Investigation of buildings for pollutants". ISO, EN, DIN, SN, ÖNORM, 2014, accessed on December 20, 2016 .
  2. a b c VDI / GVSS 6202 sheet 1 Structural and technical systems contaminated with harmful substances - demolition, renovation and maintenance work. VDI, 2013, accessed December 20, 2016 .
  3. Building pollutants . Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  4. ^ HD Bossemeyer, E. McCormick, St. Dolata, U. Schubert, G. Zwiener: Pollutants in the building stock: Recognize and react correctly - catalog according to components and trades . ISBN 978-3-481-03242-5 . Rudolf Müller GmbH & Co. KG, 2015, ISBN 978-3-481-03242-5 .
  5. Federal Council: Ordinance on the safety and health protection of employees during construction work (Construction Work Ordinance, BauAV). Swiss Federal Administration, November 1, 2011, accessed on December 10, 2016 .
  6. Federal Council: Ordinance on the Avoidance and Disposal of Waste (Waste Ordinance, VVEA). Swiss Federal Administration, January 1, 2016, accessed December 10, 2016 .
  7. FACH publications. Forum Asbestos Switzerland, accessed on December 13, 2016 .
  8. Asbestos. Everything you need to know about it as a home owner. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  9. EKAS guideline 6503 asbestos. Federal Coordination Commission for Occupational Safety EKAS, December 2008, accessed on December 13, 2016 .
  10. Guideline - PCB-containing joint sealants. Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN, formerly SAEFL), 2003, accessed on December 13, 2016 .
  11. Practical help - PCB emissions in corrosion protection. Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, 2000, accessed on December 13, 2016 .
  12. Herbert Hirner: Pollutants in buildings: ÖNORM becomes EN ISO. Austrian Standards International, September 12, 2012, accessed on December 21, 2016 .
  13. Diagnostics working group: Fages guideline building pollution diagnostics V1.1. Professional Association of Building Diagnostics, September 2016, accessed on December 12, 2016 .
  14. Asbestos removal during the renovation and dismantling of buildings. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  15. Asbestos indoors. Urgency of measures. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .