Indoor Air Quality Monitoring and Ventilation

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


Moved by Councillor Phelps, seconded by Councillor Thalis –

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted importance of monitoring the impact of indoor air quality on health and safety;

(ii)        OzSAGE, an Australian network of experts formed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has highlighted the need for workplaces to have appropriate ventilation in order for employees to safely return to the office once lockdowns lift;

(iii)      monitoring indoor air quality is vitally important as we continue to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for the risk of future airborne pandemics;

(iv)      respiratory aerosols from breathing and speaking accumulate in indoor spaces, increasing the risk of transmission of respiratory pathogens;

(v)       measuring indoor CO2 levels can provide an indication of if a space's air exchange balance is appropriate;

(vi)      installing indoor CO2 monitors which can show real-time data will allow organisations to monitor air quality and take steps to mitigate risk; and

(vii)     Belgium has recognised the impact of poor indoor air quality on public health, and in June 2021, made it mandatory for hotels, restaurants, bars, banquet halls and fitness centres to monitor CO2 levels at their venues. If the sensors show CO2 levels of 900-1,200 parts per million, venues are required to take action to improve it, and anything above that level is a safety breach enforced by inspectors issuing warnings and fines for non-compliance; and

(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)         investigate the implementation of indoor air quality and ventilation standards in all City-owned buildings;

(ii)        investigate implementing indoor air quality and ventilation standards as a condition of development applications submitted to the City of Sydney; and

(iii)      report back on the feasibility and steps necessary to implement such conditions to Councillors via the CEO Update.

Carried unanimously.


Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 20/09/2021

Date of decision: 20/09/2021

Decided at meeting: 20/09/2021 - Council

Accompanying Documents: