Indoor Air Quality

We spend 90% of our time indoors. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is important for staff health, productivity and the sustainability of the building and can be achieved by providing fresh air and minimizing toxins and irritants. Ensuring a high level of IAQ during construction is also important for the workers, inspectors and other trades people who enter the construction site.

At Local Government House

During construction, an IAQ Plan was in place to mitigate air contamination and the use of toxic materials, such as sealants and coatings. The ductwork was sealed to prevent construction dust from passively entering the system and the air handling system did not operate until construction was complete and the building was thoroughly cleaned.

Local Government House uses an air exchanger to provide fresh air into the building and to exhaust old air from the building. In the exchanger, a thin partition allows fresh, outdoor air to pass by the indoor air that is exiting the building. This allows heat to transfer from the warmer, indoor air to the cooler outdoor air. Carbon dioxide concentrations are also monitored in large rooms to ensure that high occupancy levels don't lead to 'stuffy' air quality. When the sensors detect a higher level of carbon dioxide, ventilation is increased automatically to increase air quality.

All of the office windows can be opened and a skylight and fan deliver fresh air – and natural light – into the main floor and second floor. Only low-emitting paints, coatings, sealants and finishes were used during construction and the building was fully flushed for 15 days before occupancy to remove dust and construction particles from the air and ventilation system.

In Your Community

  • Choose cleaning products that do not compromise indoor air quality.
  • Common office activities, like photocopying, printing and faxing, can affect air quality. Consider the location of machines in relation to building occupants.
  • Choose paints, coatings, sealants, flooring and furniture, that are low-emitting.
  • Consider the location of developments – traffic and industrial uses can compromise indoor air quality.

To Learn More

  • Learn to limit the use of chemical cleaners in public places with resources from Toxic Free Canada.
  • Visit GreenSpec for details on hundreds of green building finishing materials.
  • EcoLogo was founded in 1988 by the Government of Canada to provide assurance that products and services bearing the logo meet stringent standards of environmental leadership. Visit the website to source low-emitting building materials as well as certified cleaners.

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