Part 7: Air Quality
“Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors, so the quality of the indoor environment has a significant influence on their well-bring, productivity, and quality of life. The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that pollutant levels of indoor environments may run 2 to 5 times- and occasionally more than 100 times- higher than outdoor levels.
Over the past 20 years, research and experience have improved our understanding of what is involved in attaining high indoor environmental quality and revealed manufacturing and construction practices that can prevent many indoor environmental quality problems. Strategies to improve indoor environmental quality have the potential to reduce liability for building owners, increase the resale value for the building, and improve the overall health of the building occupants.”
-US Green Building Council
In addition to specifying a high quality air filter for our mechanical system, which greatly reduces airborne particulates, we also used low (or no) VOC paints, coatings and sealers. According to the EPA, “Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids” and include “a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.” By using low or no VOC products, we are ensuring that our air will remain as clean and healthy as possible.
We also required the contractor to keep the ducts and mechanical equipment sealed during construction to prevent dust and debris from collecting and being redistributed to the space later.
Next stop: Part 8: Daylight and Views