1. The Code of Practice for ECCs indicates that good indoor air quality (IAQ) practices are mandatory for youth facilities only. Why is that so?
Indoor air quality affects the comfort and well-being of those who occupy indoor spaces. The occupants of youth facilities, including youths1 belong to the vulnerable group and hence, it is important for premises managers and Environmental Control Coordinators (ECCs) to put in place measures to ensure good indoor air quality in these specified premises.
The Premises Managers and ECCs can take reference from the Code of Practice for Indoor Quality for Air-Conditioned Premises (SS 554: 2016+A1:2021), which specifies good practices in managing indoor air quality as well as standards and limits of indoor air quality parameters.
1 Persons who are 18 years of age or younger
2. What are the mandated IAQ requirements that youth facilities need to comply with?
· [All youth facilities] Specify the use of low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the renovation contracts for major renovation works.
Post-renovation IAQ audit
· [Youth facilities with air-conditioned spaces utilised by both youths and adults] Engage accredited labs to conduct post-renovation IAQ audit prior to occupation after any major renovation2. Measurements are to be carried out for 8 hours under conditions that are intended during occupancy. Post-renovation IAQ audit is to be submitted via FormSG.
2 Major renovation works may include any flooring works (e.g. installation of floor surfaces, application of floor finishes, etc.), wall and ceiling works (e.g. painting, application of wall coatings or application of wall paper or installation of ceiling board, etc.), or on-site carpentry work (e.g. installation of built-in cabinets) which could generate pollutants during and after the renovation process.
Periodic IAQ audit
· [Youth facilities with air-conditioned spaces utilised by youths only] Engage accredited labs to conduct the IAQ audit and submit the report to NEA by 1 June 2024.
· The periodic IAQ audit shall be conducted in 10 or all rooms, whichever is lower. The 10 rooms selected should be areas where youths tend to occupy for longer duration daily.
3. If out of the entire premises, only 1 room has flooring works and/or wall and ceiling works, are they considered as major renovation whereby a post-renovation IAQ audit is required? How about installation of new built-in cabinets?
Even if 1 room has flooring works and/or wall and ceiling works, it will be considered as major renovation that renders the need of post-renovation IAQ audit. Similarly, for installation of new built-in cabinets, it will be considered as major renovation and specified youth facilities should engage accredited labs to conduct the post-renovation IAQ audit accordingly.
4. Are the mandatory indoor air quality (IAQ) practices included in the Code of Practice because of COVID-19?
NEA, together with the relevant authorities, had begun work on the environmental sanitation regime as early as 2018, following a series of gastroenteritis outbreaks which affected preschools. In 2019, NEA convened an Environmental Sanitation Technical Committee to develop national baseline standards on environmental sanitation for designated high-risk non-healthcare premises. Since 2020, we have been working with the sector lead agencies to include good indoor air quality practices as part of the sector specific requirements for youth facilities while the other premises will be encouraged to adopt as best practices.
5. How to search for the list of accredited laboratories to engage for IAQ audits?
Laboratories accredited by the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) for IAQ testing are to be engaged to conduct IAQ audits.
1) Follow this link to Search Accredited Organisations, click on ‘Advanced Search’
2) Under ‘Scheme’, choose ‘Laboratories’
3) Under ‘Field/Programme’, choose ‘Environmental Testing’
4) Under ‘Area’, choose ‘Indoor Air Quality’
5) Click ‘Search’
6. Is there a recommended number of IAQ sampling points per premises?
The SS554:2016+A1:2021 provides guidance on the number and locations of sampling points in IAQ audits.
At least one sample should be taken from each separated area served by a separate air handling unit (AHU). For premises/spaces served by fan coil units or any air-conditioning or air distribution system, the number of sampling points is determined by floor area:
Area of floor(m2)
Minimum number of sampling points*
1 point for every 500 m2
3,000 to 5,000
6, with 1 additional point for every 1,000 m2
5,000 to 10,000
8, with 1 additional point for every 1,250 m2
Outdoor measurements should be performed whenever indoor measurements are taken. The outdoor sampling point should be located at or near locations that would represent the conditions of outdoor air that is introduced or infiltrates the indoor environment being audited.
7. What should a post-renovation IAQ audit cover?
IAQ audits following renovation works should include measurements of the following contaminants of concern:
a) Formaldehyde (using reference measurement method)
b) Total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs)
d) Respirable suspended particles
e) Asbestos (only for buildings built before 1 Jan 1991 where asbestos may be present)
This is due to the possible introduction of these contaminants during the renovation works and emissions from the building materials used (e.g. chemical off-gassing from materials used).
8. What should a periodic IAQ audit cover?
Routine or periodic IAQ audits should typically involve measurements of all 10 recommended IAQ parameters listed in Table 1 of the SS554:2016+A1:2021, which are general indicators of IAQ (below). These parameters should be assessed during periods of occupancy.
Total volatile organic compounds (calibrated to isobutylene)
Respirable Suspended Particles
Total viable bacteria count
Besides these general IAQ indicators, you may also wish to monitor other airborne contaminants arising from specific sources (e.g. nitrogen dioxide from cooking/burning activities, ozone from significant photocopying/printing activity). Examples of these are listed in Table 2 of SS554:2016+A1:2021 below:
Semi volatile and volatile organic compounds
9. We have a centre/premises that will complete the major renovation in upcoming months, can my centre do the periodic IAQ audit and post-renovation IAQ audit at the same time?
Specified youth facilities are given the flexibility on how they can fulfil both periodic IAQ audit and post-renovation IAQ audit so long as the periodic IAQ report is submitted to NEA by 1 June 2024. Specified premises are also to ensure that the measurements for post-renovation IAQ audit are to be carried out for 8 hours under conditions that are intended during occupancy