Workplace Design Principles

A starting point for an evidenced-based design process

IEQ v. IAQ (Indoor Environmental Quality v. Indoor Air Quality) January 29, 2009

Filed under: ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES,Indoor Air Quality,Interior Finish Materials — ia2studio @ 8:38 pm
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The term indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and indoor air quality (IEQ) are often confused.  The basic difference between the two is that IEQ refers to the environment that exists inside a building such as the concentration of CO2 gases, the thermal conditions, moisture and dampness (Kumar 2002).  Whereas IAQ is strictly, “a function of the interaction of contaminant sources and the effectiveness of ventilation utilized to dilute and remove air contaminants”(Bearg 2008). 

Major interior design decisions that impact indoor air quality may include:

·          Using a solid surface flooring instead of carpet

o    Carpets can capture and retain dust, dander and other particulate air contaminants

·         Antimicrobial coatings for surface disinfection

o    Can reduce contaminates in the air

·         Dehumidifiers

o    Control mold-growth and airborne allergens


Bearg, D. W. (2008). Measuring IAQ Parameters. Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering. 80(8), 24-8.

Posted by Bret


V.O.C.s in Workplace Design: Environmental Issues January 28, 2009

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are harmful chemicals that are released into the air through invisible vapors.  Many typical interior materials and products that most people do not typically consider a threat are due to the amounts of VOCs they release on a daily basis.  VOCs decrease the indoor air quality and are a common cause for many illnesses.  It is important for designers to control the air in interior environments, it is nearly impossible to control exterior air conditions.  A few common interior material containing VOCs are paint, carpeting, and glues or adhesives.  All three of these materials do have alternatives with low VOC amounts.  Many manufacturers are now providing low VOC paints, and low VOC adhesive carpet and floorings. 

Posted By: Nicole Calhoun

Sources of common VOCs:

“Common VOCs and VOC Sources.” Volatile Organic Compounds. 27 Jan 2009 <;.

Low VOC Paints:

“Dow Biocides.” Dow. The Dow Chemical Company . 27 Jan 2009 <;.

Low VOC adhesives:

“Adhesives”.  Green Floors. 27 Jan 2009


Indoor Air Quality and Interior Finishes: Selecting Materials January 21, 2009

Filed under: Indoor Air Quality — ia2studio @ 3:36 am

Carpet pads made of foamed plastic or sheet rubber are high in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which could effect the air quality of the entire room.  The impact of wall-coverings on interior air quality varies with the materials from which they are made.  Vinyl wall-coverings emit vinyl chloride and other VOCs.  This book gives details of which wall and flooring materials are best for maintaining a productive air environment in  both residential and workplaces.  (Binggeli, p 19, 220,234)


Binggeli, ASID, Corky. Materials for Interior Environments. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008.

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