For ‘IEQ’ we take guidance from both LEED and WELL, while recognising that the latter offers a more expansive interpretation of the subject.
Indoor Air Quality
In mechanically ventilated spaces we commit to ventilation rates and monitoring as specified in ASHRAE 62.1-2010, Annex B of Comite’ European de Normalisation (CEN) EN 15251-2007 for indoor environment and CEN Standard EN 13779-2007 for ventilation, or equivalents.
In new build projects, we deploy walk-off entryway systems of at least 10ft such as grilles and mats as a way to limit bacteria brought in from the street that can contaminate the indoor air.
We specify filtration systems supplying outdoor air MERV 13 filters as a minimum, ideally MERV 18, to meet or surpass ASHRAE Standard 52.2 2007.
Carbon Dioxide monitoring helps us to track CO2 concentrations in real time in frequently used areas of the building. Placed at around head height, these monitors have alarms to notify of abnormalities of 10% or more in CO2 levels.
During construction and pre-occupancy, on-site teams must comply with SMACNA IAW guidelines, protect stored materials from moisture damage and enforce a No Smoking policy.
Prior to occupancy, new filters are installed and a flush-out is performed at a temperature range of 15 – 27 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of less than 60%.
This is also the time for baseline IAQ tests under normal occupancy conditions, one test per ventilation system and again, tested around head height.
To ensure the thermal comfort of building occupants, we specify HVAC systems that comply with ASHRAE Standard 55-2010 or CEN equivalent, ensure thermostats provide occupants with temperature control for their immediate environment as well as the air flow via adjustable air diffusers.
Finally, we encourage the implementation of a green cleaning policy using eco-friendly products via conscious facilities management decisions once the building is occupied, thereby eliminating another source of indoor air contaminants.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)
In all of our buildings we commit to prohibiting smoking indoors as well as within 25ft of all entries, outdoor air intakes or operable windows, except in designated smoking areas. No Smoking signs to communicate this policy will be positioned within 10ft of entrances.
Low Emitting Interiors
Part of our Design Brief that in turn informs architectural design choices and the contractor’s procurement process is a requirement for 90-100% of all paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, flooring, ceilings, walls and acoustic insulation to comply with LEED low emission and low VOC guidelines as a way to reduce concentrations of chemical contaminants in the indoor air.
The Constructor is also briefed to document and record what products are installed, again for certification purposes.
Preference is given to inherently non-emitting materials such as glass, concrete, solid wood and stone.
Other materials given priority are those with self-declared compliance documentation, material safety data sheets (MSDS) and or third-party certification.
This is where collaboration with an architectural firm and engineering consultant can speed up the process, getting us to the best possible answer in the shortest possible time when specifying materials.
Lighting & Daylight
In new build projects, we give priority to daylight access for at least 55% of the anticipated regularly occupied floor space while reducing direct sunlight exposure to less than 10% of those regularly occupied spaces.
A health and productivity oriented lighting strategy for us equates to giving occupants control, at least 90% of individual spaces in the building should have adjustable controls.
In terms of lighting quality, we specify lighting fixtures with a luminance of less than 2,500 candela per square metre, Colour Rendering Indexes of 80 or higher throughout the building, lamp life ratings of 24,000 hours minimum for at least 75% of all lighting, a limit on direct-only overhead lighting of 25% of occupied areas as well as high surface reflectance ratings for walls, floors and ceilings.
HVAC background noise levels in our buildings should not exceed the 2011 ASHRAE Handbook HVAC Applications, AHRI Standard 885 2008 or equivalent.