Ten questions concerning green buildings and indoor air quality

TitleTen questions concerning green buildings and indoor air quality
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsSteinemann A., Wargocki P., Rismanchi B.
JournalBuilding and Environment
Date Published2017/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0360-1323
Accession NumberWOS:000396296800030
Keywordsclimate-change; Energy efficiency; environmental-quality; exposures; fragranced consumer products; Green buildings; health; impact; Indoor air quality; leed-certified buildings; occupant satisfaction; organic compounds (VOCs); perception; performance; Semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs); Volatile

This paper investigates the concern that green buildings may promote energy efficiency and other aspects of sustainability, but not necessarily the health and well-being of occupants through better indoor air quality (IAQ). We ask ten questions to explore IAQ challenges for green buildings as well as opportunities to improve IAQ within green buildings and their programs. Our focus is on IAQ while recognizing that many factors influence human health and the healthfulness of a building. We begin with an overview of green buildings, IAQ and whether and how green building certifications address IAQ Next, we examine evidence on whether green buildings have better IAQ than comparable conventional buildings. Then, we identify so-called green practices and green products that can have unintended and unfavorable effects on IAQ, Looking ahead, we offer both immediate and longer-term actions, and a set of research questions, that can help green buildings to more effectively promote IAQ. This article supports a growing recognition of the importance of IAQ in green buildings, and the opportunities for improvements. As the World Green Building Council [95] and others have emphasized, people are the most valuable asset of organizations, and efforts to improve IAQ can improve health, well-being, productivity, and profitability. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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