The development of low volatile organic compound emission house: A case study

Hai Guo, Frank Murray, Shun Cheng Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


An aim in developing a low volatile organic compound (VOC) emission house is to reduce the level of VOCs in domestic housing. In this article, a case study for the reduction of exposure to VOCs from a newly constructed residential house is presented. Our study indicates that VOCs are present in paints, adhesives, consumer products, carpets, and certain wood-based products. These VOCs are commonly found in indoor environments. A reduction of VOC exposure, by improved building design and material selection, would benefit the residents. The total VOC (TVOC) concentrations measured in the low VOC emission house range from nondetectable to 43 μg/m3. These values are much lower than the published values (0.48-31.7 mg/m3) for new houses in Scandinavian countries and in the US. The low TVOC concentrations obtained in this study probably result from the high ventilation rates in this low VOC emission house and the use of low VOC emission materials. This study summarizes that there are three ways to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). The most effective strategy for controlling IAQ is pollution prevention and the next most important is the design of ventilation rates to handle uncontrollable sources. Air cleaning is the third means of pollution control widely applied to VOCs generated by indoor sources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-185
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004


  • Ageing
  • Emission
  • Environmental chamber
  • Indoor air quality
  • Modeling
  • Pollution prevention strategy
  • Ventilation
  • Volatile organic compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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