Indoor air quality factors in designing a healthy building

John D. Spengler, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

143 Citations (Scopus)


Current guidelines for green buildings are cursory and inadequate for specifying materials and designing ventilation systems to ensure a healthful indoor environment, i.e. a `healthy building,' by design. Public perception, cultural preferences, litigation trends, current codes and regulations, and rapid introduction of new building materials and commercial products, as well as the prevailing design-build practices, pose challenges to systems integration in the design, construction and operation phases of modem buildings. We are on the verge of a paradigm shift in ventilation design thinking. In the past, thermal properties of air within a zone determined heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning specifications. In the future, occupant-specific and highly responsive systems will become the norm. Natural ventilation, displacement ventilation, and microzoning with subfloor plenums, along with the use of point-of-source heat control and point-of-use sensors, will evolve to create a `smart,' responsive ventilation-building dynamic system. Advanced ventilation design tools such as the modeling of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) will be used routinely. CFD will be integrated into air quality and risk assessment models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-600
Number of pages34
JournalAnnual Review of Energy and the Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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