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Post Covid-19 Call for Standards



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“All homes need ventilation—the exchange of indoor air with outdoor air—to reduce indoor moisture, odors, and other pollutants. Contaminants such as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and radon that may cause health problems can accumulate in poorly ventilated homes. Inadequate ventilation allows unpleasant odors to linger. Excess moisture generated within the home needs to be removed before high humidity levels lead to physical damage to the home or mold growth…”

“ASHRAE Standard 62.2 provides guidance on the appropriate Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The information provided in the standard offers some guidance for incorporating whole-house systems into a home. This material augments requirements in the national model energy codes for compliance with mechanical ventilation systems…”

  • DOE Zero Energy Ready Home National Program Requirements

“To qualify as a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, a home shall meet the minimum requirements specified below, be verified and field-tested in accordance with HERS Standards by an approved verifier, and meet all applicable codes…” 

“Whole-house mechanical ventilation is the intentional exchange of indoor air with fresh outdoor air at a controlled rate using fans. The purpose of whole-house mechanical ventilation is to improve indoor air quality. Historically, mechanical ventilation was limited to local-exhaust (kitchen and bath exhaust fans) for spot control of moisture and odors. Houses commonly had enough natural ventilation, through leaky building enclosures, that whole-house mechanical ventilation was not necessary. Houses have become significantly tighter during the past 15-20 years as a result of changing codes, energy efficiency programs, and an overall desire to reduce energy use. Above-code programs and more recently the building codes have generally made controlled whole-house mechanical ventilation a requirement.”

“The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America program has been conducting research leading to cost-effective high-performance homes since the early 1990s. Optimizing whole-house mechanical ventilation as part of the program’s systems engineered approach to constructing housing has been an important subject of the program’s research. Ventilation in residential buildings is one component of an effective, comprehensive strategy for the creation and maintenance of a comfortable and healthy indoor air environment. Indoor air pollution control begins with avoiding the placement of items of known high pollutant emissions inside the living environment. It follows with local exhaust in areas such as kitchens, and bathrooms, where high emissions from pollution sources cannot be avoided, and it ends with whole-building controlled mechanical ventilation to dilute remaining indoor air pollutants with fresher outdoor air.”

This contract report addresses building codes as it relates to indoor air quality. The report discusses both residential and commercial buildings.

In the United States, Americans spend an estimated 90% (EPA 2009) – 92% (Bernstein et al. 2008) of their time in indoor environments. The quality of our indoor environments is a key determinant to the quality of life and health. With climate change, attention to building quality has increased as the indoors is expected to become more of a refuge against heat and climate events. Improving building quality also offers an opportunity for more efficient use of energy. In the United States, estimates of proportional energy use attributed to buildings range from 38.9 % (EPA 2009) to 48% (Architect 2030, 2010). Furthermore within 30 years, the majority (up to three-quarters) of our built environment is projected to be replaced with new and renovated construction (Architect 2030, 2010). “There is a clear imperative for designing energy efficiency into building operations. How we construct and change these indoor environments to accomplish this imperative has the potential to contribute to or possibly subtract from the overall well-being of those who live, work or go to school in these indoor spaces….”

“Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are commonly used as flame retardants (FRs) and plasticizers. The usage of OPEs has increased recently due to the ban of several brominated flame retardants, but information on levels in the environment, including the indoor environment is still limited. We investigated the occurrence and distribution of 12 OPEs in urban house dust from Vancouver, Canada; Istanbul, Turkey; and Cairo, Egypt…”


Links to Resources



  • Whole-House Ventilation

  • Clearing the Air – Part 1: Making sense of current residential ventilation standards

  • Choosing a Whole-House Ventilation Strategy – Part 2

  • Whole-house ventilation – what does it mean?

  • 6 Ways to Ventilate Your Home (and Which is Best) – How a green home really “breathes.”

  • Whole-House Mechanical Ventilation, an Overview – Code, safety, and performance considerations

  • Whole-House Mechanical Ventilation System meets ASHRAE 62.2

  • Smart ventilation energy and indoor air quality performance in residential buildings: A review

  • The ventilation problem in schools: literature review

  • Ventilation Systems for Cooling


  • Cooling with a Whole House Fan

“A whole-house fan, in combination with other cooling systems, can meet all or most of your home cooling needs year round.”


  • Whole-House Ventilation

  • Field and Laboratory Testing of Approaches to Smart Whole-House Mechanical Ventilation Control

  • Exposure estimates for the Houston Area Asthma Study. – PubMed – NCBI.pdf

  • DoE – Central HVAC

  • Ferreira & Cardoso_Indoor Air.pdf

  • Indoor air quality in schools_ the EFA project. – PubMed – NCBI.pdf

  • Sick building syndrome and perceived indoor environment in relation to energy saving by reduced ventilation flow during heating season: a 1 year intervention study in dwellings.
  • VOC sources and exposures in nail salons: a pilot study in Michigan, USA.

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