Great care was taken in this building to provide a superior indoor environment for employees and guests. A comprehensive Indoor Air Quality Management Program was implemented during construction to protect materials and prevent contamination of the building from dust, dirt, moisture and harmful contaminants. The emphasis of this program was to control pollutants at their source.
Construction tasks such as cutting, grinding, demolition and painting were performed in a way that would eliminate or minimize dust or particulate contamination. Building materials such as finishes, furniture, adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings are all areas where volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may be released into the air. These were avoided whenever possible.
After construction, the first step to ensuring quality indoor air was to provide adequate ventilation or “fresh air” for the building’s occupants. The amount of ventilation has a significant impact on indoor occupant health and satisfaction. Increased levels of fresh air result in happier employees who are more alert, attentive and productive. Similarly, students who are provided increased levels of fresh air retain information at a higher rate, perform better on tests and are generally more attentive during class time.
While providing high rates of ventilation are beneficial to occupant health, increased ventilation rates also result in higher energy costs due to higher heating and cooling requirements. To offset these costs, an occupancy controlled ventilation system was installed. The system measures the amount of CO2 expelled by building occupants to indicate a need for fresh air. As CO2 levels increase, the amount of fresh air provided increases to compensate.
An additional step was taken to provide superior indoor air quality by installing a high-efficiency MERV13 filter that removes dust and particulate matter. Similar to the link between fresh air and occupant health, comfort and productivity, there are proven links between indoor environmental quality and worker productivity.
A green housekeeping program
TBG’s commitment to green building extends well beyond the design and construction process by looking at the operation of the building. This is characterized by a life-cycle approach to green building design and operation. Cleaning and maintenance products often contain dangerous and even toxic chemicals. These products, when used within a building, enter the air and detrimentally impact occupant health. To control these sources of contamination a Green Housekeeping Program has been developed for this building.