If we understand “how” a house works, we can then control the conditions that spawn poor air quality.
A healthy building is a building that is designed, constructed/renovated and maintained to reduce the accumulation of above normal chemical and biological off-gassing or particulates. It must be watertight, control air change per hour, and be well ventilated.
All elements of a building – the environment, the envelope, the mechanical systems and occupant activities – affect each other, and the end-result affects the performance of the house as a whole. Understanding these relationships is the secret to avoiding indoor air quality problems.
Healthy home building and renovating requires making correct choices in building design, materials, ventilation and heating. A true healthy home design featuring low air change per hour, effective airflow, controlled ventilation, and proper resistance value possesses the necessary ingredients of an energy efficient home.
Air born contaminants are generally divided into chemical or biological contaminants. Chemical contaminants are usually the result of off-gassing from combustion appliances, new building materials, soaps, and fragrant products. Biological contaminants are most often associated with mold, animal dander, dust mites, and pollen. Moisture conditions are often linked to biological contamination.
Air Quality improvements must address both types of airborne contaminants.
Important concepts to always remember:
Keep it dry!
Keep it clean!
Keep it ventilated!
Keep it healthy!