Q1a: Eliminate sources of indoor air pollution
Poor indoor air quality can cause a wide array of health problems for residents, ranging from discomfort to life-threatening illnesses. The most effective way to promote a healthy and comfortable indoor environment is to remove sources of indoor air pollution through design and material choices. For populations that are especially vulnerable to poor indoor air quality (children, the elderly) and for clients with particular sensitivity to indoor pollutants (e.g. those with multiple chemical sensitivity disorder), it is of even greater importance to ensure a healthy indoor environment
Eliminate through design:
- Follow guidelines outlined in the EPA's Indoor Air Quality Package for ENERGY STAR®
- Minimize air pollution from the building site by analyzing and/or testing to identify potential sources of air pollution using ASHRAE Standard 62-1989R
- Consider separating the garage from the house to eliminate possible exposure to carbon monoxide
- When using gas furnaces, only use sealed combustion units
- Enact a non-smoking policy inside multifamily buildings
- Install a drain and pan for water heaters and washing machines
- Provide proper waterproofing and moisture protection in building envelope
- Consider eliminating the basement in order to minimize opportunities for heath and construction problems associated with moisture, mold, mildew, and radon infiltration
Eliminate through material choices:
- Verify Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all materials to determine their impact on indoor air quality
- Specify adhesives and sealants that meet VOC limits of the South Coast Rule #1168 of the South Coast Air Quality Management District
- Specify Paints that meet Green Seal Standard
- Choose carpets that conform to the Carpet and Rug Institute and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) VOC emission rate of 0.5 milligrams per square meter per hour
- Specify wood and agrifiber products such as sub-floor, cabinets, storage units, underlayment materials, etc. with no added urea-formaldehyde resins
- Specify materials that discourage microbial growth in areas with high moisture levels, like bathrooms
- Use non-paper-faced backer board in bathtub and shower areas
- Do not use treated lumber in exposed indoor assemblies
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Paints, Stains and Coatings
Publications and Links
BuildingGreen.com. Environmental Building News, GreenSpec product directory and guideline specification language.
Oikos product directory web site.
South Coast (Los Angeles) Air Quality Management District.
Carpet and Rug Institute.
ENERGY STAR indoor air package requirements.
See full list of recommended resources and links in our library.