Air Quality

Tight buildings are necessary for energy efficiency, but create a risk of poor indoor air quality.  Achieving safe and pleasant indoor air quality involves a combination of avoiding materials that emit toxic, carcinogenic or irritating gases and preventing the conditions that support excessive mold growth which can result in health problems for some individuals. It also involves management of exchanging indoor and outdoor air.

  • All of our standard specifications list materials with low-emission characteristics.
  • We use flashings and sealants to reduce the risk of unintended leaks and moisture infiltration that can foster mold.
  • For projects that require special levels of mold avoidance, we have experience in installing wall, ceiling and floor finishes that are resistant to mold growth.
  • When requested or required, we can install energy-conserving air exchange equipment such as heat-recovery exchangers (HRV’s) and energy recovery exchangers (ERV’s).
  • Consider a test of air quality devised by the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and administered by independent testing firms, a test so sensitive that few drops of hydraulic fluid leaked from a piece of nearby equipment, an idling diesel truck in the neighborhood or even a 6in streak from a felt-tip marker inside the home would cause a test failure.  Only a few off-site builders in North American have been able to pass that test.  Even fewer have been able to pass a follow-up test.  We have built over 1,000 homes that meet this exceptional test.
  • For projects that require exceptionally low levels of volatile organic chemicals and formaldehyde, we have extensive experience in installing minimum-emission and zero-emission building products.