UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


IEDE academics win funding to study the impact of Covid-19 on indoor air quality

22 July 2020

Dr Farhang Tahmasebi (PI) together with Professor Dejan Mumovic and Dr Samuel Stamp have won £15k Knowledge Exchange & Innovation funding from UCL’s EPSRC IAA to study the impact of Covid-19 lockdown on households’ indoor air quality and environmental control behaviour.

Yellow apartment building exterior

Following the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown, UK households are spending unprecedented amounts of time indoors. The implications of this for indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy-use are unknown. However, as the new home occupancy pattern extends indefinitely, it is more critical than ever to ensure that IAQ in our homes meets the recommended standards. 

The study will analyse household IAQ and energy-related behavior to provide in-time recommendations for a healthy IAQ through the effective use of building environmental control devices. To this end, the investigators will use monitored IAQ and window operation data obtained from two East London apartment blocks before and during the lockdown to examine:

  • If IAQ in the monitored flats has deteriorated;
  • If the patterns of window operation by occupants suggest significant changes;
  • If a more effective approach to natural ventilation could enhance IAQ and reduce energy demand.

Principal Investigator Dr Tahmasebi has also received CIBSE Research Funding (£5k) to further the study of household IAQ and occupant environmental control behaviour during the Covid-19 lockdown. This research will inform CIBSE members and the wider UK industry through BSERT and CIBSE journal publications.

Further information

Image credit: Devon Owens Unsplash