Indoor Air Quality

Changing the air in our homes to reduce the moisture build up from our normal daily activities and flushing the build up of potentially toxic gasses from the materials used in construction is imperative to healthy living conditions. We have come to know that the, once highly valued, ‘New Car’ smell carries toxic gasses we now call volatile organic compounds. VOC’s can be harmful to us if our homes are not properly ventilated to flush these from our interior environment.

This was never a problem when houses leaked air, but since we have become more conscious of restricting heat – and cool – losses we have inadvertently created new problems of high humidity, mould growth and the build up of toxic VOC’s.

A two-pronged approach is being taken to solve this problem. Firstly the awareness of the source of the compounds is allowing us to reduce/eliminate the materials that give off these compounds – ‘offgassing’ – and concentrate manufacturer’s minds on developing more environmentally friendly alternatives and secondly, the inclusion of Heat Recovery Mechanical Ventilation – HRMV – units in areas of more extreme temperatures where opening windows and doors to flush out moisture and toxins results in the loss of high energy cost heat or coolth.

Some of the areas where alternative materials are becoming available include: Paint, Fibre boards, glues, PVC elements and interior furnishings.

Links:

http://www.dulux.com.au/specifier/sustainability

http://www.timbertraders.com.au/panels/?cat=20&subc=28

http://www.ipscorp.com/weldon/lowvoc/lowpvcspecialty

http://www.selleystrade.com.au/default.aspx?ArticleID=780

http://www.spec-net.com.au/press/0709/map_080709.htm

http://www.rimfabrics.com.au/environment.php

http://www.air2energy.com.au/