According to the Environmental Protection Agency, our indoor environment is commonly two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment.
In some cases, air measurements indoors have been found to be 100 times more polluted. If you are a typical Canadian, you spend approximately 90% of your time indoors. This means that the majority of your air intake is indoor air, and if the toxicity of your indoor air is significantly higher than outdoors, you and your family are chronically exposed to whatever toxins are present in the air. The National Research Council of Canada’s Indoor Air Quality Guidelines and Standards lists 546 measurable indoor air pollutants. Where do these toxins come from? The sources are numerous, which is part of the reason for the high concentrations. Sources include:
- Building materials
- Dust, dander and particulate
- Radon Gas
- Air Filtration through walls, ceilings and floors
- Cigarette and cooking smoke
Construction technology has changed a lot since the mid-1970s, when tighter construction and greater use of insulation, air/vapour barriers, and energy-efficient windows first became common in new home construction and renovation.
Along with improvements in the technology, the industry has gained a better understanding of air, heat and moisture movement in a home, and the need to manage the indoor environment in a deliberate and systematic way.
Using the 'House as a System' approach, proper planning during the construction or renovation process provides an opportunity to improve the performance of your home to give you a better living environment
It's imperative that your Building or Renovation Contractor understands the concept of your House as a System - an interactive system of related components, to help you to understand how every component of your home - from building materials, ventilation, heating and cooling & other mechanical systems to furnishings, carpet, draperies - affects the health of your home and the people who use it.
Read more about the House as a System here.