Ensuring good indoor air quality (IAQ) means everyone breathes a little easier: occupants who experience improved health, comfort and productivity, and owners who see increased building value and reduced risk.

New guidance for achieving enhanced IAQ is available from five leading building industry associations and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The book and CD provide strategies needed to achieve good IAQ using proven technologies and without significantly increasing costs.

The title of the book is, The Indoor Air Quality Guide: Best Practices for Design, Construction and Commissioning.

“The health and comfort of buildings occupants is too important to leave IAQ as an after-thought in design, construction and operation,” said Andrew Persily, Ph.D., chair of the committee that wrote the new guidance. “There is plenty of experience out there to help avoid IAQ problems in buildings, allowing all of us to breathe a little easier.

The IAQ guide is a collaboration between ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects, the Building Owners and Managers Association International, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association and the U.S. Green Building Council. It describes 40 strategies for achieving critical IAQ objectives related to moisture management, ventilation, filtration and air cleaning and source control. It also highlights how design and construction teams can work together to ensure good IAQ strategies are incorporated from initial design through project completion.

Tips include:

• Bring IAQ into the very earliest design discussions. Don’t get stuck retrofitting the design for IAQ at the end of the process
• Strictly limit liquid water penetration and condensation in the envelope, and control indoor humidity.
• Where outdoor air quality is poor, use enhanced filtration and air cleaning to provide high quality ventilation air. Locate outdoor air intakes away from contaminant sources and provide the means to measure and control minimum outdoor airflows.
• Select building materials and furnishings that have low contaminant emissions and don’t require use of high-emitting cleaning products. • Exhaust contaminants from indoor activities as close to their source as possible.
• Recognize that O&M is essential to long term IAQ, and provide the access, training and documentation needed to facilitate O&M.
• Commission from design through occupancy to ensure that IAQ objectives are met. A summary document of the Indoor Air Quality Guide – ideal for a general understanding of the importance of major IAQ issues can be downloaded for free at www.ashrae.org/iaq.

The full publication complete with a CD that contains detailed guidance essential for practioners to design and achieve good IAQ is available in hard copy or electronically for $29. To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at 1-800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide). www.ashrae.org