Air quality is a concern in today’s society. The Architecture and Construction industry can act to mitigate the impact on people in the different phases of a building lifecycle.

  • Building construction
  • Building operation
  • Demolition

Building construction

Population exposure to construction sites can harm their health, as generates emission of different pollutants that potentially can impact workers and population health. However, the concept of green construction has brought forward a revolutionary change, resulting in decreased pollution and, of course, a healthier environment.

Airborne dust from the construction site can bring impact health and cause lung-related issues for the construction workers. When someones live near a construction site, they are exposed to various unhealthy dust emissions that can trigger health issues.

aerial photography of white high-rise concrete building

A proactive monitoring of the construction site in combination with a smart pollution control system can mitigate the the pollution impact by allowing a pro-active management of the different operations. Taking and consideration different factors such weather conditions, type of operations and machinery the system can asses the impact and help its mitigation.

Building operation

Buildings constructed using the Building Information Modeling (BIM) has by default a digital twin of the real building once the construction is completed.

This digital twin after construction is completed is not being utilized to its full potential. All this information can be augmented with real-time data to support data-driven decision-making.

The authors (Shen, Yang Ting & Yang, Chia & Lu, Peiwen. (2019)) explore on paper “The Integration of BIM and IoT for Air Quality Monitoring and Visualization.” (10.1007/978-3-030-23528-4_70) different possibility of the integration of air quality data to the BIM result to visualize how the air quality is evolving:

  1. Sensor-Revit integration;
  2. Sensor-Revit-Navisworks integration;
  3. Sensor-Revit-Navisworks-API integration.

The study demonstrates how BIM-sensor integration can lead to more responsive building management and operation by making sensor data tangible and accessible for property managers, owners, and occupants.

Visualize temperature sensor data in Navisworks


During the demolition, a lot of different pollutants can be dispersed into the air. Specially Particular Matter (PM) of different sizes. Real-time monitoring and using real-time data to know when and where dust emissions are being generated, allowing to mitigates risk without incurring unnecessary operating costs. Hence reducing the negative impact on workers and the surrounding population.

brown concrete building

Future of construction

It’s important to have in mind the different phases of a building lifecycle that can affect people’s health. Combining all existing data of a building plus sensor and different monitoring strategies mitigate air quality contamination. That’s the main concern in today’s construction site and investments are being made to minimize the impact of the AEC on the environment and also on people’s health.