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WELL Building Standard: AIR

Posted in Blog on Monday, June 27th, 2016 at 9:55 am No Comments
WELL Building Standard: AIR

Clean air is a critical component to our health. Air pollution is the number one environmental cause of premature mortality, contributing to 50,000 premature deaths annually in the United States and approximately 7 million, or one in eight premature deaths worldwide. Pollutants generated indoors can lead to a variety of symptoms and health conditions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), combustion byproducts and airborne particulate matter are known to trigger nausea, headaches, asthma, respiratory irritation and allergies. While ambient outdoor air is often better quality, natural ventilation methods, operable doors and windows, and general building envelope infiltration can diminish indoor air quality if external air quality parameters are poor.

WELL incorporates best practices from industry organizations, whose guidelines are evidence-based and recommended by professionals. One such group is ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. They regularly update their building handbook to include new techniques for enhancing air quality within buildings. Although ASHRAE is a technical society without a legal mandate, many state and local governments have modeled their codes based on ASHRAE’s standards. In addition, LEED continues to set new standards for both air filtration and building material selection to improve air quality.

The WELL Building Standard for Air promotes clean air through reducing or minimizing the sources of indoor air pollution, requiring optimal indoor air quality to support the health well-being of building occupants. AIR QUALITY STANDARDS — requires an assessor to complete a performance test after occupancy as an independent means of verifying that the building, whether naturally or mechanically ventilated, is meeting critical air quality requirements.

Of the 100 Features in the WELL Building Standard, the Air Quality Category is comprised of 29 Air specific features. The first 12 features are Preconditions and must be met for the building to achieve WELL Certification. They are as follows:
1.) Air Quality Standards 2.) Smoking Ban 3.) Ventilation Effectiveness 4.) VOC Reduction 5.) Air Filtration 6.) Micro + Mold Control 7.) Construction Pollution Management 8.) Healthy Entrance 9.) Cleaning Protocol 10.) Pesticide Management 11.) Fundamental Material Safety and 12.) Moisture Management

The other 17 features fall under the Optimization Category and are only required if the project is pursuing Gold or Platinum Certification. These features are as follows: 13.) Air Flush 14.) Air Infiltration Management 15.) Increased ventilation 16.) Humidity Control 17.) Direct Source Ventilation 18.) Air Quality Monitoring and Feedback 19.) Operable Windows 20.) Outdoor Air Systems 21.) Displacement Ventilation 22.) Pest Control 23.) Advanced Air Purification 24.) Combustion Minimization 25.) Toxic Material Reduction 26.) Enhanced Material Safety 27.) Antimicrobial Activity for Surfaces 28.) Cleanable Environment and finally 29.) Cleaning Equipment. Although not required, WELL encourages projects to pursue as many of the “Optimization” features as possible, to make the buildings and indoor environments as WELL as possible.

At the coming weeks, we will look at the next category of the WELL Building Standard; Water.

For more information on the WELL Building Standard, please visit here or to learn about WELL Building Consultant Services that The Spinnaker Group offers, please email us at Info@TheSpinnakerGroupInc.com