Indoor Environmental Quality Questions

Since the major "business case" benefits of green buildings derive from gains in productivity and health, it's vital to start considering these issues early in the design effort.

1 If the building must have a large floorplate, can we design an atrium that will enhance daylight penetration and natural ventilation into all occupied areas of the structure?

2 Will the massing and orientation of the building support passive solar design and/or natural ventilation and daylighting strategies (Fig. 10.3)?

3 Do we have the consultants on our team who can model the effect of natural ventilation strategies? Are we committed to such formal modeling?

*Morrison Kattman Menze [online], http://www.mkmdesign.com/projects/sustainabledesign/h_1.htm, accessed April 2008.

Stack Effect Building

Figure 10.3 The Genzyme Center allows warm air to rise naturally through "stack effect" ventilation, to be exhausted through the top of the atrium. The exhaust air is replaced by cooler outside air most of the year. Operable windows and programmable blinds also help to moderate temperature swings and bring fresh air into the building. Courtesy of Behnisch Architekten.

Figure 10.3 The Genzyme Center allows warm air to rise naturally through "stack effect" ventilation, to be exhausted through the top of the atrium. The exhaust air is replaced by cooler outside air most of the year. Operable windows and programmable blinds also help to moderate temperature swings and bring fresh air into the building. Courtesy of Behnisch Architekten.

4 Where do winter and summer winds come from? What are their frequency, magnitude, and duration? Are "wind rose" data from the site available from reliable sources? Do we have time to measure the wind resource for a year before the final design is set in stone?

5 How will localized wind directions and air pressures affect a design for natural ventilation? Will this information change as planned buildings are developed near our site?

6 Can we use internal circulation routes as air passages for natural ventilation? How can we help the building breathe? What will natural ventilation do to and for the building's interior layout?

7 Should the building be "sealed" for climate control, or can we open it up in various ways, with operable windows or "stack effect" ventilators?

8 Are operable windows compatible with other program needs? How will we communicate to building occupants when it's OK to open the windows?

9 Are we looking at radiant ceiling systems for heating and cooling? Are they accepted in this region? How will we control condensation and humidity?

10 Have we investigated using underfloor air distribution systems (raised access floors) for this project, both in terms of cost and technical feasibility?

11 If this building is in a northern (cold) climate, whether new or renovated, have we considered the use of "double-envelope" glazing systems, to allow for operable windows and natural ventilation inside the building?

12 Have we considered locating mechanical equipment near occupied spaces, to minimize duct runs? Or have we considered regrouping our spaces and adjacencies to minimize duct runs?

13 Does our design intent for indoor air quality specify meeting the minimum requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62-2007, to provide adequate ventilation?

14 Does our design intent for thermal comfort provide for compliance with ASHRAE Standard 55-2004?

15 If the climate is especially humid or extremely dry, do we intend to address these issues by installing permanent temperature and humidity monitoring systems with feedback to operator control?

16 Does our design intent for mechanical systems explicitly deal with the goal of having no exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, through separate ventilation of any designated smoking areas and through placement of air intakes away from places where people might be smoking outside the building?

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

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