People nowadays spend 90% of their lives in enclosed spaces. Good indoor air quality is an essential requirement for a healthy living and working environment. Indoor air quality is characterised by several factors: indoor air is designated as "good" above all if it is oxygen-rich, odour-free and low in pollutants.
The results of the measurements carried out regularly at the Viva Research Park show the extent to which building materials can affect indoor climate, and what can be done to improve indoor air quality.

What is the relationship between odours and construction types?

Unwanted odours caused by building materials are not only annoying, but may also indicate the use of harmful substances. Odours are generally caused by a variety of different substances.

Specially trained odour experts carried out odour tests seven months and 14 months after the completion of construction at the Viva Research Park.


There is a clear connection between perceived odours and the chosen construction type.
All the concrete and brick houses, had a low odour intensity in the odour measurements and could be classified as not noticeable. Timber block house and wood frame houses still exhibited high odour intensity even after 14 months, and the odour itself was perceived as unpleasant. For this reason, these construction types were classified as "noticeable".

The measurements were supervised and evaluated by IBO Innenraumanalytik OG, Vienna
Project period: 2015 – 2017

Which building materials are really low in pollutants?

A healthy home environment and therefore the topic of indoor pollution are becoming increasingly important. To find out how much pollution each construction type emits, VOC* and formaldehyde pollutant measurements were carried out several times at the Viva Research Park.

* VOCs (chemical irritants and odorous substances that evaporate easily and are emitted even at low temperatures)


– Concrete / brick

Buildings made of concrete and brick with a mineral interior coating were largely VOC-free immediately after their completion. It would be possible to move into these solid houses immediately after their completion.
– Wood frame construction
Wood frame houses exhibited elevated VOC values in the first few months after completion. For a house with the type of wood frame construction tested, sensitive people should wait for a few months before moving in, if possible.
– Timber block house
The timber block house emitted wood-specific substances such as terpenes into the indoor air for a long time. Anyone building a wooden house should take into consideration that, under certain circumstances (depending on the type and nature of the wood), wood-specific substances may be present in the indoor air for a very long time.

The measurements were supervised and evaluated by IBO Innenraumanalytik OG, Vienna
Project period: 2015 – 2017

How to improve indoor air quality with air ions?

Air ions are tiny, electrically charged, naturally occurring particles. Scientific studies have found that air ions have a positive effect on indoor air quality because, among other things, they reduce the levels of pollen and fine dust in indoor air. In addition, experiments with human subjects have shown that air ions may have a positive effect on mental performance.

By using a special functional coating (Baumit Ionit), the air ion concentration in indoor areas can be increased in a targeted way.

Air ion measurements were carried out at the Viva Research Park from September 2016 to 2017. This showed that the average air ion concentration was approximately twice as high in houses with the Baumit Ionit coating as in identically constructed houses without Baumit Ionit.

The measurements were carried out and evaluated by Baumit Beteiligungen GmbH in collaboration with HTL Rosensteingasse, Vienna.
Project period: 2015 - 2017