IAQ is good for you

Indoor air quality is essential for a healthy office environment

Indoor air quality can impact the health, comfort, well being and productivity of building occupants.

A collaborative study in 2015 discovered that people who work in good IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) conditions have significantly higher cognitive function scores when responding to a crisis or developing a strategy. 24 participants including architects, designers, programmers, engineers, creative marketing professionals, and managers worked in a controlled office environment at Syracuse University. Cognitive performance scores for the participants who worked in the green environment would on average double those of the participants who worked in conventional environments.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors and many spend most of their working hours in an office environment. Improved indoor air quality can result in higher productivity and fewer lost work days.

According to German Blue Angel and US Greenguard certifications, rubber floorings emit very few pollutants to the indoor air and, thus, do not affect the health of the inhabitants.

RIPE Network CC offices – Amsterdam – photo Wouter van der Sar

Indoor Air Quality / Certifications in France

France / A+  The French regulation was published on 25 March 2011 with details published on 13 May 2011 regarding a mandatory labelling of construction products installed indoors, floor and wall coverings, paints and lacquers with their emission classes based on emission testing.

This regulation foresees that since 1. Jan. 2012, any covered product placed on the market has to be labelled with emission classes based on their emissions after 28 days, as tested with ISO 16000 and calculated for European reference room – similar to the two other French regulations on emissions of CMR substances.

Degordian offices – Zagreb

Indoor Air Quality / Certifications in Germany

Germany / Blue Angel  The German Government’s label for environmentally friendly products and services. As the first environmental label worldwide, it has stood for independence and credibility for over 35 years. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety owns the Blue Angel eco-label. It is verified by RAL gGmbH and awarded on the basis of criteria, developed by the Federal Environment Agency and the Independent Environmental Label Jury.

Identifies the best products from an ecological and environmental point of view; it ensures the non-toxicity of the finished product and its components, and ensures very low VOC emissions within buildings.

Certified floorings

Winyu House ACT offices – Australian Capital Territory

Indoor Air Quality / Certifications in Australia

Australia / Geca  Good Environmental Choice Australia is a not-for-profit, membership based organisation with a mission to promote environmentally preferable products and services. Supports environmentally preferable production and consumption: products and services are certified against minimum environmental performance criteria across their life cycle to ensure that certified products deliver better environmental outcomes. When a product is certified against GECA’s Floor Coverings standard, consumers can be sure that the product has been assessed to meet environmental, human health and ethical impact criteria. GECA certification removes doubt and confusion and makes identifying environmentally and socially preferable products easier.

Products certified under GECA’s Floor Coverings standard also contribute towards achieving credit points for projects being certified under the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star scheme.

UMW – The Hague

Indoor Air Quality / The Greenguard standard

The Greenguard Certification Program gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces (and thus providing good indoor air quality) meet strict chemical emissions limits, which contribute to the creation of healthier interiors. Ensures that a product has met some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air.

Greenguard Certification has been widely adopted as a trusted standard for low emitting products. In fact, more than 400 green building codes, standards, guidelines, procurements policies, and rating systems give credit for Greenguard.

Certified floorings

Timeshare nursery – Šmartno, Carinthia – photo Janez Marolt

Indoor Air Quality for children / The Greenguard Gold standard

The Greenguard Gold standard includes health based criteria for additional chemicals and also requires lower total VOC emissions levels to ensure that products are acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities. In addition to limiting emissions of more than 360 VOCs and total chemical emissions, Greenguard Gold Certified products must also comply with requirements of the State of California’s Department of Public Health.

Greenguard Certification has been widely adopted as a trusted standard for low emitting products. In fact, more than 400 green building codes, standards, guidelines, procurements policies, and rating systems give credit for Greenguard.

Certified floorings