The Heightened Interest in Indoor Air Quality

The Heightened Interest in Indoor Air Quality

In the wake of the global pandemic, the significance of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has gained unprecedented attention. As home builders, homeowners and individuals worldwide grapple with the importance of creating healthier living spaces, Gord presents a comprehensive guide outlining four essential strategies for not only enhancing IAQ but also improving overall Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ). 

The approach outlined by Gord underscores the necessity of a systematic process to ensure optimal results. From eliminating potential pollutant sources to implementing advanced ventilation and filtration systems, each step contributes to creating living spaces that are not only safe but also promote well-being.

Gord reminds us that these steps should always be applied in order. 

Step 1:
Remove any potential pollutant sources. This can be achieved with the flashing of windows, the application of water-resistant barriers, the addition of basement drainage layers to eliminate water leaks and even the selection of low VOC finishes. 

Step 2:
Isolate pollutants from susceptible occupants. Air tightness, specifically between the house and an attached garage is a good example. Or you can go further and consider a “clean bedroom” in a home to provide respite for a family member with specific health concerns such as asthma or allergies (for example, a bedroom with a separate HEPA-filtered fresh air duct and kept under positive pressure).  

Step 3:
Properly ventilate occupied spaces. 

Step 4:
Provide appropriate filtration. 

Concerning steps 3 and 4, we’re fortunate in Canada that the capacity for continuous mechanical ventilation has been a building code requirement since 1990. However, there is always the opportunity to fine-tune your ventilation offerings. For example, consider switching to “energy” recovery ventilation (ERVs) to get better humidity control and specifying equipment that has both better fan speed range and filtration effectiveness. 

Investing in pollutant removal, contamination isolation, improved ventilation, and effective filtration aligns homes with contemporary homebuyer expectations, ensuring they become havens of safety, comfort, and efficiency. 

Building high-performance homes is more than a trend; it's a commitment to a healthier and more secure future. Building Knowledge Canada is here to help you do just this. Get in touch if we can support your building and business goals.

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Originally published in Better Builder Magazine, Issue 40 / Winter 2021. 


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