Air Quality Sciences, a world expert in indoor air quality (IAQ), has seen the rise of sustainable building programs and how vast and differed they can be. The popularity and prevalence of green building is not expected to slow any time soon.
Results from a 2008 McGraw-Hill Construction (MHC) and World Green Building Council survey of international construction firms project that nearly all survey respondents (94 percent) will be building green on at least 16 percent of their projects (by 2013). The results go on to say that more than half of respondents (53 percent) will be building green on more than 60 percent of projects.
A new white paper titled "Building Rating Systems (Certification Programs): A Comparison of Key Programs," takes a look at how key green building programs adopted by various countries differ from one another, explains what guidelines they have for indoor air quality and includes helpful summaries of each program. The white paper discusses the following green building programs and certifications:
- The BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) - launched in the UK
- The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) - United States
- Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency (CASBEE) - Japan
- Germany Sustainable Building Certificate (DGNB) - Germany
- Green Building Evaluation Standard (also called the Three Star System) - China
- Green Globes System - Canada
- Green Star - Australia
- Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Method (HK-BEAM) - Hong Kong
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) - United States
- National Green Building Standard - United States
While each program impacts building practices differently, they all include standards for controlling IAQ. This is an important program attribute since poor IAQ can lead to occupant health problems including allergies; skin and eye irritation; difficulty breathing and persistent cough; reoccurring headaches; and asthma. Poor IAQ is linked to indoor pollutants including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that linger in the air.
Creating an effective IAQ Management Plan, targeted to a building's specific needs, including achieving LEED or other programs' environmental quality prerequisites and credits, requires expert help. Air Quality Sciences is dedicated to partnering with building owners, designers and facility managers in creating and maintaining healthy indoor environments. Protecting the health of building occupants is a key objective. AQS works with clients throughout the lifecycle of a building, from its initial design and construction through its long-term occupancy, operation and maintenance.
"By compiling a review of leading sustainable building programs' top line information into one report, we hope to assist builders, contractors and designers in better understanding sustainable building practices," shared Tony Worthan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Air Quality Sciences.
The full report "Green Building Rating Systems (Certification Programs): A Comparison" is available free of charge from the Aerias-AQS Indoor Air Quality Resource Center at www.aerias.org under "Premium Content," then "White Papers."