New Guidance on Clearing the Indoor Air through Improved IAQ

01/15/2010 |

Ensuring good indoor air quality (IAQ) ensures that occupants experience improved health, comfort, and productivity, and owners see increased building value and reduced risk.

A new book and CD titled The Indoor Air Quality Guide: Best Practices for Design, Construction, and Commissioning provides guidance for achieving enhanced IAQ using proven strategies and technologies and without significantly increasing costs. It was written with collaboration from ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects, BOMA International, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, and the U.S. Green Building Council.

“The health and comfort of building occupants is too important to leave IAQ as an after-thought in design, construction, and operation,” says Andrew Persily, chair of the committee that wrote the new guidance. “There is plenty of experience out there to help avoid IAQ problems in buildings, allowing us all to breathe a little easier.”

The Indoor Air Quality Guide describes 40 strategies for achieving critical IAQ objectives related to moisture management, ventilation, filtration, and air cleaning and source control. Additionally, it highlights how design and construction teams can work together to ensure good IAQ strategies are incorporated from initial design through project completion.

Tips include:
  • Bring IAQ into the earliest design discussions.
  • Strictly limit liquid water penetration and condensation in the envelope, and control indoor humidity.
  • Where outdoor air quality is poor, use enhanced filtration and air cleaning to provide high quality ventilation air. Locate outdoor air intakes away from contaminant sources, and provide the means to measure and control minimum outdoor airflows.
  • Select building materials and furnishings that have low contaminant emissions and don’t require use of high-emitting cleaning products.
  • Exhaust contaminants from indoor activities as close to their source as possible.
  • Recognize that operations and maintenance is essential to long-term IAQ, and provide the access, training, and documentation needed to facilitate operations and maintenance.
  • Commission from design through occupancy to ensure that IAQ objectives are met.
A summary document of the complete IAQ guide can be downloaded for free at

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