Good indoor air quality (IAQ) — also known as indoor environmental quality (IEQ) — is the number one sustaining factor for life, so it makes sense to design and build your project with excellent air quality in mind from day one. When you focus on achieving good IAQ as part of your project, it means you’re committed to protecting future occupant health. When paired with the right materials, like wood wall systems, it also means you can save energy and money during retrofitting.
Why IAQ Matters
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that IAQ “…refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.” Without much thought put into indoor air quality, occupants will eventually suffer as a result of poor indoor air quality and experience damaging health effects.
IAQ & Occupant Health
All decisions made during design, construction, commissioning, and maintenance will have a direct impact on the IAQ of your building. After you finish your project, the last thing you want is responsibility for the health issues that plague occupants due to poor IAQ from your design or build. That’s why it’s wise to invest upfront in materials and methods that can help you achieve good IAQ for your project. Knowing that, it’s essential to develop a plan that will help you create a healthy building in support of good IAQ.
The Harvard School of Public Health asserts that there are nine foundations of a healthy building:
- Air quality
- Thermal health
- Dust and pets
- Safety and security
- Water quality
- Lighting and views
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “IEQ can lead to poor health, learning difficulties, and productivity problems.” While poor IAQ has clear negative impacts, good IAQ has been shown to have obvious positive impacts, since “[i]n the U.S. alone the savings and productivity gains from improved indoor environments are estimated at $25 to $150 billion per year” (The Harvard School of Public Health).
When you design and build to intentionally incorporate these nine components into your project, it will benefit all occupants who enter the building, which is a big accomplishment.
The Right Products Can Help You Achieve Good IAQ
With so much emphasis placed on achieving good IAQ, it can be overwhelming to actually think of how you’re going to get it done. With a little expert guidance, however, it can be simple. When it comes to IAQ, the biggest offenders of poor IAQ are caused by harmful pollutants, inadequate ventilation, and subpar air exchange.
The materials you use for your project can have a massive effect on IAQ, too. At Rulon International, we’re Indoor Advantage Gold Certified, which means our products — like our wood wall systems — meet the most stringent of air quality standards in the industry. Indoor Advantage Gold standards “align with both ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 and X7.1, and CA 01350. It is recognized by the EPA and GSA, and qualifies for many building rating systems, including LEED v4, BREEAM, WELL Building, and Living Building Challenge.”
Contaminants, thermal, lighting, and sound all play an important part in the IAQ of a building. Our products are designed with these in mind, and all conform to several sustainability standards, including FSC®, LEED v4, WELL, and HPD. When you use our wood ceiling and wood wall systems in your project, you can trust that they’re an ecological, easy-to-recycle, biodegradable design choice.
Make Sustainability & Good IAQ Easy with Wood Wall Systems
If you’re considering the use of beautiful, sustainable products for your next design, know that not all companies that offer wood wall systems can claim to be Indoor Advantage Gold Certified. In fact, the process to achieve certification is incredibly rigorous, and it included a thorough review of our products for formulation and emissions, as well as an examination of our manufacturing site’s document control system. Our commitment to sustainability is evergreen, and when you use our custom wood wall systems, you can feel good about your environmental impact. To learn more, schedule a design call with our team today!