12/04/2002

Capitol Improvements

Indoor Air Quality Takes Center Stage

 

Fiberglass Focus

Denver-based Johns Manville (JM) provided 350,000 square feet of formaldehyde-free insulation for the Capitol East End Area Complex. JM is the only manufacturer of a complete line of formaldehyde-free fiberglass insulation, having in 2002 converted all of its building insulation products to a formaldehyde-free formulation. An innovative new acrylic binder replaces the formaldehyde in ordinary fiberglass, a change that helps reduce concerns over indoor air quality. In addition to removing insulation as a potential source of indoor formaldehyde and eliminating binder-related formaldehyde emissions during manufacturing, JM insulation contains 25-percent recycled material and greatly reduces energy consumption once installed.

In 2000, California Gov. Gray Davis signed an executive order to support sustainable building practices including, among other priorities, enhancing indoor air quality in the construction and maintenance of government offices. Next year, the State of California will complete work on the Capitol East End Area Complex, a new multi-unit facility that will consolidate the headquarters of the state departments of education and health services. The Sacramento project embodies many sustainable building principles and particularly addresses indoor air quality (IAQ) issues.

The overall goal toward improving IAQ in the facility will be reached by reducing potentially harmful chemical emissions within the building and by providing adequate ventilation to dissipate any odor and chemical emissions within. To accomplish this, the facility will incorporate a variety of techniques.

According to the State of California, IAQ will be regulated for carbon dioxide levels with continuous monitoring by the facility management and control system, and the levels will be automatically adjusted to maximize the benefit of fresh air while minimizing energy consumption. Fan systems will operate continuously during building occupancy with limited close-off terminal units to assure introduction of minimum levels of outdoor air. In addition, building supply air systems will employ high-efficiency filtration to control particulates in the air stream, and excess capacity in the mechanical system will allow for future increases in the volume of outdoor air. Finally, the facility has chosen materials and finishes with low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs), where possible.

While all the design and active measures employed by the State and its project team to ensure improved indoor air quality at the Capitol East End Area Complex are exemplary, the final priority is one of great importance: Materials and finishes that complete a building should be held to the same high standards of IAQ as the HVAC system or air quality control system. Today, there is an increasing responsibility on the part of building products manufacturers to adhere to sustainable building principles that address indoor air quality issues and the environment in general.

Industry experts often refer to the tightening of the building envelope in modern construction. By definition, the building envelope refers to the thermal barrier between the indoor and outdoor environment. Building environment elements are the key determinants of a building’s energy requirements, given the climate where a structure is located. While the tightening of that envelope unquestionably results in increased energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption, there may be unintended consequences from reducing airflow between the indoor and outdoor environments.

Chief among concerns is the recirculation of trapped VOCs in the indoor air environment. While the Capitol East End Area Complex is implementing outstanding efforts to actively control the circulation of VOCs, the simplest way to eliminate those concerns is to reduce or eliminate the number of VOCs introduced into the building envelope in the first place. Selecting finishing materials designed to support overall indoor air quality is therefore paramount to preventing the initial introduction of such compounds, and may be a critical step toward improving indoor air quality.

Jo Anne Cambruzzi is the business manager of commercial markets for the building insulation division at Johns Manville (www.jm.com), headquartered in Denver.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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