Module 1 – Introduction to Indoor Air Quality

The Guide for Indoor Air Quality was developed by the Canadian Committee on Indoor Air Quality and Buildings (CCIAQB). The guide is a series of written modules intended to help building designers, owners, operators and managers. It gives guidance on avoiding and correcting indoor air quality (IAQ) problems, and maintaining acceptable IAQ.

This first module introduces IAQ terms and concepts, as an aid to understanding and applying the modules that follow.air condition vent in office ceiling close up

Sources of IAQ problems are described, along with the factors that affect air quality: sources of pollutants; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; contaminant pathways; and building occupants. The practical effects of meeting or falling short of the standard are considered. This is based on a standard definition of what ‘acceptable IAQ’ means.

To help understand how a building’s air system can be managed, a simple equation is used to explain how various IAQ factors are related. This leads to descriptions of six basic IAQ control strategies: management of contaminant sources; air exhaust to the exterior; ventilation; control of exposure to contaminants; air cleaning; and education of building occupants.

Module 1 includes a list of definitions and abbreviations. As with all the modules, it concludes with links to references and additional information.

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