November 1, 2023

Indoor air quality quantifies the minimum acceptable air quality that promotes the health and comfort of the human occupants. This includes the removal of harmful pollutants coming into the occupied space from outside or those being generated inside the space.

Indoor environmental quality, on the other hand, is a broader term that includes many factors such as air quality, lighting, acoustics and thermal conditions inside the building that affect the health and well-being of the occupants. A better IEQ rating increases the quality of life of the residents in the building.

The national consensus standard for outside air ventilation is ASHRAE Standard 62.1: Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality and its published Addenda. This standard is often incorporated into state and local building codes and specifies the amounts of outside air that must be provided by natural or mechanical ventilation systems to various areas of the building.

Energy use and decarbonization must be addressed for these quality improvements to remain efficient and effective.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn about ASHRAE, International Mechanical Code and other guidelines that drive HVAC system design and specifications.
  • Learn about the importance of IAQ and IEQ in other aspects of healthy buildings and built environment.
  • Learn about filtration and secondary air cleaning options for buildings, and how it affects energy use.
  • Review commercial buildings example design strategies.