Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Will new building codes lead to sick buildings?

Energy-efficient construction codes have to take indoor air
quality concerns into consideration.
This month, new building requirements came into effect in Ontario, Canada, prompting builders to question the effect they will have on the indoor air quality.

Anyone applying for a building permit for a new structure in Ontario must fulfill much stricter energy efficiency measures.

But more efficiency often means there is less air entering the home, and this may result in poor indoor air quality.

Poor IAQ has been linked to a wide range of health effects, less productivity and more absenteeism.

The new energy efficient homes need to have effective heat recovery ventilators that circulate the air in and out, builders say.

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) consists of two separate air-handling systems – one collects and exhausts stale indoor air; the other draws in outdoor air and distributes it throughout the home.

Both the exhaust and outdoor air streams pass through the heat transfer module, and the heat from the exhaust air is used to pre-heat the outdoor air stream.

If the HRVs are unable to keep pace with the government’s stricter building codes, the buildings may be too airtight and could allow the buildup of indoor air pollutants, experts say.

Source: CBC News 

Manage IAQ properly in homes and buildings

Builders and planners need to take indoor air quality in consideration when they finalize their projects.

In many cases, IAQ suffers when buildings are too airtight. One solution is to incorporate an air filtration system into the plan.

Electrocorp offers HVAC-compatible as well as portable industrial-strength air cleaners with a multistage filtration system containing activated carbon and HEPA that can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

The deep-bed activated carbon filter remove chemicals, gases, odors and fumes, while HEPA filters trap airborne particles and dust. Optional UV germicidal filtration helps neutralize pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and molds.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

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