The Good Air Lady
The Good Air Lady
talks about what you breathe
indoors and out

Indoor Air Quality of Green Building

Indoor air quality is affected by many things, from the chemicals used inside, to the fresh air introduced, and the materials used to build or renovate a structure. The indoor air quality of green buildings is better than traditional buildings. Select materials that don't off gas. Install air filters and purifiers to clean the air that's circulated around the building. Make sure to ventilate filtered air into the building too, to add fresh air to the mix.

The indoor air quality of green building is significantly higher than other methods of building because environmentally friendly products are used in the building process. From the first beams on up through the carpeting and paint, each element should be healthy for you. Many traditional building products often contribute to poor air quality; green building products don't. Fortunately there are greener building products, more than ever before, and they can help keep indoor air quality good.

There are many ways that you can improve indoor air quality. Many of the products that are used have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are released into the air. And some products harbor allergens, contributing to poor air quality. For example, carpeting is an offender in both categories. If you concerned about indoor air quality, consider carpeting that is made of natural fibers. Or consider a natural product hard-surface flooring options like hardwood flooring, bamboo, cork or linoleum. Paint and finishes historically have been VOC emitters too.

To make your home greener, there are several things that you can do. Here are some things that can be done to improve indoor air quality:

  • Increase the ratio of filtered outside air to indoor air. Outdoor air, even in the inner city, can be better for you than stagnant indoor air. Increased ventilation will help improve indoor air quality; filtering the air prior to its introduction indoors is important.

  • Use green products with low VOCs is important because of the reduced off gassing that can be harmful to building occupants.

  • Manage moisture. When the amount of water in the air is controlled, mold problems are minimized. Mold can grow quickly in a warm, wet area, so controlling the humidity, reduces the risk of mold. Keep the humidity less than 70 percent for an easier time in controlling mold.

  • Use cleaning and personal care products that have few chemical ingredients so petro-chemicals and other toxins aren't introduced to the indoor air.

  • Place plants around the building to act as filters, oxygen producers, and humidity controllers.
  • There are some excellent resources that can help you to improve your indoor air quality. Websites provided by the EPA as well as by OSHA offer a great amount of information about improving indoor air quality, and about the problems associated with poor air quality. You can find out how to replace the things in your home that are causing increased levels of toxins in the air you breathe. Things such as carpeting, paints, glues, molding, insulation, and many materials are prime targets for you to replace in order to have a greener building. Not only are you improving the indoor air quality that you and others breathe, but in many of these cases, you are using environmentally friendly products as well which in turn helps to keep the environment safe for years to come.

    The indoor air quality of a green building is better for everyone using the building. And it's better for the environment in general.