Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in labor housing in Dubai and its impact on ccupants' health

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is very critical issue and necessary to be studied in the earliest stage of the design process. It has a huge impact on the occupants’ comfort, health, productivity and performance. Low cost housing is one of the buildings that has many indoor environmental problems. In UAE, number of low cost housing are exist in different areas for the labors and people with low income. Indoor environment include four main aspects to be studied and evaluated in any building which are Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), thermal, visual and acoustic. Each aspect has number of parameters differs than the others. One of the simplest standards of living is having fresh air surrounding the occupants in their indoor space which need careful study for several indoor parameters. This study aims to evaluate the IAQ, temperature and humidity in different labor housing in Dubai and its’ impact on occupants’ health. Thus, it aims to compare these housing with high quality houses in order to investigate whether labor housing has the same IAQ of high quality houses or lower. Three labor camps have been chosen according to their income level and the validity to access them. These camps are; Dulsco camp (low income), Beta Industrial camp (medium income) and TransGulf Cement Production camp (high income). Two houses in Mirdif have been selected for the comparison. In order to achieve the aim of this study, two methodologies have been achieved which are questionnaire survey and field measurements. The survey included questions related to the building characteristics, occupants’ information, housing conditions, satisfaction level in their rooms and health and wellbeing. Field measurements have been taken in four areas in each labor camp and in each house in Mirdif. Four types of indoor pollutants were measured in each area which are; Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs), Carbon dioxide (CO2), Carbon monoxide (CO) and Ozone (O3). Thus, the temperature and humidity level in each area were measured. Comparing between the pollutants average concentration in the three labor camps have been achieved. Then, comparison between the best labor camps with Mirdif houses have been done. Comparing between the results of the survey and the measurements will provide valuable results. The collected data from the survey have been justified the results of the field measurements. III | The main findings of this study shows that TransGulf camp that has high income has almost the same level of IAQ, temperature and humidity of Mirdif houses. Thus, it has the same occupants’ satisfaction level and health. None of the labor camps and Mirdif houses achieve the required level of TVOCs that stated by DM (243 ppb). However, it was noticed in Mirdif houses and TransGulf camp that the occupants still satisfied even when, the average concentration was 473.6 ppb. Dulsco camp has average concentration of CO2 greater than Mirdif houses by 873.7 ppm which decrease the satisfaction level of the occupants. The lowest ozone concentration was found in Dulsco camp. Mirdif houses has higher CO average concentration than TransGulf camp but lower than the others and still has the same satisfaction level of TransGulf camp. The average temperature and humidity that has the best satisfaction level are 54% and 24.4 ̊C respectively which found in Mirdif houses and TransGulf camp. Health issues were mostly found in low income labor camps (Dulsco and Beta camp) such as fatigue, dizziness, headache, eyes and skin problems due to the high concentration of CO, CO2 and humidity. By using Mirdif houses as a benchmark for good IAQ, humidity and temperature, main issues in the labor camps are found which are; their location, ventilation, high number of occupants in the same room, mildew on the interior materials. The main suggested improvements for these issues are; locate them in residential areas, provide central A/C and increase the ventilation rate, use low emission materials and ensure that each occupant has the required square meter which is 3.7 in their rooms.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), labor housing, occupants’ comfort, low cost housing, environmental problems, United Arab Emirates (UAE)