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Indoor Air Quality in Green Buildings: A Review and a Case Study.

pdf icon Indoor Air Quality in Green Buildings: A Review and a Case Study. (1130 K)
Dols, W. S.; Persily, A. K.; Nabinger, S. J.

Paths to Better Building Environments/Environmental Effects on Health and Producitivity. IAQ '96 Conference. Proceedings. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE). October 6-8, 1996, Baltimore, MD, ASHRAE, Atlanta, GA, Teichman, K. Y., Editor(s), 139-150 pp, 1996.


building performance; green building; indoor air quality; office buildings; ventilation; occupants


The term "green building" is used to describe buildings that are designed, constructed, and operated, to have a minimum impact on the environment, both indoor and outdoor. Most discussions of green buildings refer to the importance of providing an acceptable, if not exceptional, indoor environment for the building occupants. However, these discussions of indoor environment quality have not included many specific recommendations or criteria for building design, construction, or operation. Building projects described as green building demonstrations often make reference to indoor air quality, but these references are often general and qualitative. In addition, rating systems that have been developed to assess the "greeness" of a building are based largely on design features and are not particularly specific with respect to indoor air quality. This paper reviews the features of indoor air quality that are considered in green building discussions, demonstration projects, and rating systems. These green building features are discussed in terms of their completeness and specificity, and are compared to other guidance on building design, construction, and operation for good indoor air quality. A case study of indoor air quality performance in a green building is presented. This study includes a description of the indoor air quality features of the building and the results of a short-term indoor air quality evaluation of the building involving ventilation and contaminant concentration measurements.