Indoor air quality plays an important part in the well-being of people residing in the building. A conventional home built without any green building considerations will have emissions that may affect the health and well-being of the individuals. Some of the common factors that affect the quality of indoor air are:
- VOC emissions from indoor finishes such as paints/coatings, adhesives & sealants, formaldehyde emission from furnished products etc;
- Contaminants in the breathable air supplied by mechanical ventilation systems;
- Air pollution due to usage of tobacco products inside the building interiors in a mechanical ventilated space;
- Pollutants accumulated in the mechanical ventilation systems such as ducts, FCU/BCU, VAV/CAV, AHU’s during construction due to poor practices during construction.All the above mentioned factors affect the quality of indoor air which as a result affects the health of the individuals.
How Green Buildings Provide Better Indoor Air Quality?
Green Building Standards such as LEED, Estidama, and Al Safat emphasize on the quality of air being provided to the residents through various building design considerations. Some of the design considerations in various Green Building standards to improve the quality of air are:
- Emphasize on the use of paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants with less VOC contents as per SCAQMD Rule 1168. This SCAQMD rule defines the minimum acceptable VOC content for paints, coatings, adhesives and sealants which can improve the quality of indoor air;
- Restrictions on smoking inside the building premises to prevent the indoor air getting polluted and setting up of dedicated smoking area in order to prevent polluted air mixing with the breathable air;
- Designing the mechanical ventilation systems as per ASHRAE air quality standards to meet the minimum fresh air requirements in order to provide continuous supply of fresh air inside the buildings;
- Designing the mechanical ventilation systems as per ASHRAE standards with a minimum separation distance between the air intake and exhaust to prevent the polluted air getting mixed with the fresh air intake by the HVAC systems;
- Proper management and maintenance of HVAC systems during their manufacturing, transport, storage and installation during the construction stage as per SMACNA Indoor Air Quality guidelines in order to prevent dust and pollutants getting accumulated in the HVAC systems.
Designing the building with the aforementioned considerations has a huge positive impact on the indoor air quality of the building. Studies show that green buildings have a better indoor quality when compared to conventional buildings. We at GE3S promote indoor air quality of buildings through various green building certification such as LEED, Estidama and Al Safat certification program for the buildings. GE3S professionals have great understanding and experience of sustainable building designs. GE3S’s experienced staffs are well versed in the practical and cost effective application of green building standards such as LEED, Estidama and Al Safat considering the unique climate and context of the various part of world. The world wide experience of the GE3S professionals nurtures successful implementation of the green building certifications such as LEED, Estidama and Al Safat standard and certification in the UAE and Middle East.