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Jakarta Air Quality Emergency

According to the World Air Quality Report 2020 by IQAir, public awareness of air quality in Indonesia is starting to increase.1 People feel that air pollution is a problem that violates human rights to be able to live in a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.2 Improving the quality of healthy life becomes an urgency in the 21st century.3

Air quality is one of the important aspects in certifying green buildings such as LEED V4.1 and WELL V2.4.4-5 This aspect of air quality is strongly influenced by air pollution. Threshold value (NAV) or air pollution concentration limits in ambient air using air quality standards from the World Health Organization (WHO).6 Commonly, measurements are made of four air pollutants, namely: particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2).

Table 1. Threshold Value of Air Pollutants according to WHO. [6]


(rata-rata 24 jam)


(rata-rata 24 jam)


(rata-rata 8 jam)


(rata-rata 1 jam)


(rata-rata 10 menit)

WHO 25 µg/m3 50 µg/m3 100 µg/m3 200 µg/m3 500 µg/m3

Every year, the air quality index (AIQ) in Jakarta increases and exceeds the WHO air exposure limit standard. This causes the air quality in Jakarta to be classified as unhealthy. Deteriorating air quality in Jakarta is predicted to cause the potential for Jakarta residents to lose 2.3 years during their lifetime.8

Source of Air Pollutants in Jakarta

Based on a study on the main sources of air pollution in Jakarta by ITB funded by the Toyota Clean Air Project (TCAP)9, there are differences in the average concentration of PM2.5 air quality during the rainy and dry seasons at three measurement points, namely: Gelora Bung Karno ( GBK), Kebon Jeruk (KJ) and Lubang Buaya (LB). Measurements were carried out in October 2018 – March 2019 (rainy season) and July – September 2019 (dry season).

The study shows that climate has a strong correlation with air pollution. PM2.5 is an air particle smaller than 2.5 micrometers.10 The rainy season causes the concentration of PM2.5 in the air to be lower than the dry season. This is because raindrops can precipitate pollutants and then carry them to the drainage channel. This phenomenon is known as wet deposition.

Further review shows that motor vehicle fumes, coal burning, open burning, construction activities, and suspended activities are the main sources of air pollution in Jakarta.9 Conditions of these pollutant sources will be different in the rainy and dry seasons such as construction activities, coal burning, and suspended soil particles in the period 2018-2019. It should be noted that the source of pollutants in each area may vary depending on the location and time of the measurement area.

Figure 6 shows that motor vehicle fumes have a major influence as a producer of pollutants that reduce air quality in Jakarta. In addition, the main non-vehicle sources consisting of asphalt road dust, open burning, construction, sea salt, soil, and coal combustion are the second largest source of pollutants after motor vehicle fumes. Sea salt is the main source of non-vehicle pollutants in the three measurement areas. These natural marine emissions are formed due to the encouragement of wind from the sea surface towards the land.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on air quality in Jakarta. The 2020 world air quality report by IQAir shows that PM2.5 in 2020 in Jakarta decreased by 20% compared to PM2.5 in 2019. This was due to the government’s policy to implement Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) and work from home (WFH). ) during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic which made residents reduce their mobility using motorized vehicles and public transportation.11

The data and facts above confirm that the majority of locations in Jakarta are classified as having unhealthy air quality, especially in industrial and urban areas that use combustion engines. 12-13 Studies conducted by Jones et al in China and India show that these countries have concentrations of PM2 .5 indoors is higher than outdoor PM2.5 concentrations.12 Both countries have something in common with Indonesia, namely that they are located on the Asian continent and have industrial activities.

The main causes of high levels of indoor PM2.5 concentrations are the lack of ventilation openings in buildings during working hours, the presence of PM2.5 outdoor infiltration through the building envelope, and higher ventilation air exchange rates without proper filters.12 In general, systems ventilation in the building during peak hours maintains positive pressure to reduce the cooling load in the building. However, this causes the exchange of fresh air to be low so that PM2.5 in the room accumulates and mixes with the air in the room.

Paramitha and Haryanto conducted a study on the effect of indoor PM2.5 exposure on lung function in the Pulo Gadung industrial area, Jakarta.13 Studies show that when the occupancy inhales air mixed with PM2.5 in the room and reaches the alveoli, particles and oxygen metabolites in the body will interact. If the number of free radicals in the body exceeds the capacity to neutralize them, the human body will produce oxidative stress which can cause inflammation of the lungs and limit lung expansion. In long-term exposure, these conditions can trigger disturbances and decreased lung function in humans indoors.

The problem of high levels of PM2.5 concentration in the room can be started by designing an air exchange system using filters to improve indoor air quality. The results of Jones et al’s study show that using a filter with a minimum rating of MERV 13 can reduce the indoor PM2.5 concentration.12 In addition, the general public can use an air purifier located near the pollutant source and turn on the pure air supply mode to reduce the concentration of fine particles in the air. occupant breathing zone.14

Good air quality will play an important role in supporting human productivity, health, and welfare as well as fulfilling human rights to a healthier life. Furthermore, various companies or organizations can ensure the air quality in buildings by performing LEED O+M (Building Operations and Maintenance) and WELL Building Standard certifications on buildings.

Both of these certifications can assist in improving indoor air quality standards, both influenced by external and internal environmental factors. The difference is, LEED focuses on creating sustainable and efficient buildings while WELL strives to focus on improving human well-being, comfort and health.

ALTA Integra believes that integrating building architecture with building physics can increase productivity, comfort, and human survival. For consultation regarding obtaining LEED and WELL certified industrial buildings, ALTA Integra is ready to serve your needs. Please contact us at:

Angela Michelle Sutopo

Intern ALTA Integra – Juni 2021

NIM: 00000028253

Teknik Fisika 2018

Universitas Multimedia Nusantara


ALTA Integra

Jl. Hayam Wuruk No. 2 R – S

Jakarta Pusat, 10120

Telp: 021 351 3351

Fax: 021 345 8143

  1.  IQAir, “2020 World Air Quality Report,” 2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.iqair.com/world-most-polluted-cities/world-air-quality-report-2020-en.pdf.
  2.  D. R. Boyd, “The Human Right to Breathe Clean Air,” in Annals of Global Health, 2019, vol. 85, no. 1, doi: 10.5334/aogh.2646.
  3.  WHO, “Health for All in the 21st Century – WHO,” 1997. [Online]. Available: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/121615/em_rc44_10_annex_en.pdf;sequence=1.
  4.  LEED, “LEED v4 User Guide,” U.S. Green Building Council, 2014. [Online]. Available: https://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-user-guide.
  5.  International Well Building Institute , “The Well Certification Guidebook,” 2021. [Online]. Available: https://a.storyblok.com/f/52232/x/c79ae69131/well-certification-guidebook_q2-2021.pdf.
  6.  WHO, Air quality guidelines: global update 2005: particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2006.
  7.  IQAir, “2019 WORLD AIR QUALITY REPORT – Region & City PM2.5 Ranking,” 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-thailand-stateless/2020/02/91ab34b8-2019-world-air-report.pdf.
  8.  M. Greenstone and Q. Fan, “AIR QUALITY LIFE INDEX UPDATE MARCH 2019 | Indonesia’s Worsening Air Quality and its Impact on Life Expectancy,” 2019. [Online]. Available: https://aqli.epic.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Indonesia-Report.pdf.
  9.  Bandung Institute of Technology, “Main Sources of Air Pollution in Jakarta.” [Online]. Available: https://www.vitalstrategies.org/wp-content/uploads/Air-Pollution-in-Jakarta-A-Source-Apportionment-Study_Policy-Brief_ENG.pdf.
  10. BMKG, “Informasi Konsentrasi Partikulat (PM2.5),” BMKG. [Online]. Available: https://www.bmkg.go.id/kualitas-udara/informasi-partikulat-pm25.bmkg.
  11.  S. Pramana, D. Y. Paramartha, Y. Adhinugroho, and M. Nurmalasari, “Air Pollution Changes of Jakarta, Banten, and West Java, Indonesia During the First Month of COVID 19 Pandemic,” in Journal of Business, Economics and Environmental Studies, 2020, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 15–19, doi: 10.13106/jbees.2020.vol10.no4.15.
  12. E. R. Jones, J. G. Cedeño Laurent, A. S. Young, P. MacNaughton, B. A. Coull, J. D. Spengler, and J. G. Allen, “The effects of ventilation and filtration on indoor PM2.5 in office buildings in four countries,” in Building and Environment, 2021, vol. 200, p. 107975, doi: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.107975.
  13.  E. Pramitha and B. Haryanto, “Effect of Exposure to 2.5 μm Indoor Particulate Matter on Adult Lung Function in Jakarta,” in Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, 2019, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 51–55, doi: 10.24171/j.phrp.2019.10.2.02.
  14.  H. Park, S. Park, and J. Seo, “Evaluation on Air Purifier’s Performance in Reducing the Concentration of Fine Particulate Matter for Occupants according to its Operation Methods,” in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020, vol. 17, no. 15, p. 5561, doi: 10.3390/ijerph17155561.


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