Optimizing indoor environments that truly support an occupant’s goals and needs

Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) refers to the quality of a building’s environment in relation to the health and wellbeing of those who occupy the space within it. IEQ is determined by many factors, including lighting, air quality, and damp conditions. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.

Indoor environmental quality is known to affect the health, comfort, well-being and morale of building occupants in many built environments, such as, offices, sales areas, hospitals, libraries, schools and preschool childcare facilities. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to sick building syndrome, such as, burning of the eyes, scratchy throat, blocked nose, and headaches; reduced productivity; and impaired learning in schools. These afflictions often cannot be attributed to a single cause, and require a comprehensive analysis besides the testing of the air quality. Factors, such as, the indoor space design, lighting, noise, thermal environment, electromagnetic fields, ionising radiation and psychological and mental aspects have, as well, to be allowed for.

There are many sources of indoor air pollution, including:

  • Fuel-burning combustion appliances
  • Tobacco products
  • Building materials and furnishings
  • Products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies
  • Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
  • Excess moisture
  • Outdoor sources, such as, radon and pesticides
  • Outdoor air pollution

As a result, indoor air quality can be affected by gases (including carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds), particulates, microbial contaminants (mold, bacteria), or any mass or energy stressor that can induce adverse health conditions. Source control, filtration, routine cleaning of carpets and area rugs, and the use of ventilation to dilute contaminants are the primary methods for improving indoor air quality in most buildings.

Determination of IAQ involves the collection of air samples, monitoring human exposure to pollutants, collection of samples on building surfaces, and computer modelling of airflow inside buildings. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns.

An investigative survey will identify the source of potential indoor air pollutants, indoor environmental issues and more. The professionals at EMergy understand how to manage the emotional, social and scientific aspects of IEQ issues. Our team can pinpoint the causes behind IAQ complaints and recommend the proper course of action.