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Flashcards in Indoor Environmental quality Deck (21):

Air Quality Standards

The level of pollutants prescribed by regulations that is not to be exceeded during a given time in a defined area. (EPA)


Ambient Temperature

The temperature of the surrounding air or other medium (EPA).



American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.



A process used to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from a building by elevating the temperature in the fully furnished and ventilated prior to human occupancy.


Carbon Dioxide Concentration

An indicator of ventilation effectiveness inside buildings. CO2 concentrations greater than 530 parts per million (ppm) above outdoor conditions generally indicate inadequate ventilation. Absolute concentration of greater than 800 to 1000ppm generally indicate poor air quality for breathing. CO2 builds up in a space when there is not enough ventilation.


Commissioning (Cx)

The process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained to meet the owner's project requirement.


Commissioning Plan

A document that outlines the organization, schedule, allocation of resources and documentation requirements of the commissioning process.


Commissioning Report

A report that details the commissioning process, including a commissioning program overview, identification of the commissioning team, and description of the commissioning process activities.



An unwanted airborne element that may reduce indoor air quality (ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2007).


Controllability Of Systems

The percentage of occupants who have direct control over temperature, airflow and lighting in their spaces.



The controlled admission of natural light into a space, used to reduce or eliminate electric lighting.



The operation of mechanical systems for a minimum of two weeks using 100 percent outside air at the end of construction and prior to building occupancy to ensure safe indoor air quality.


Indoor Air Quality

The nature of air inside the space that affects the health and well-being of building occupants. It is considered acceptable when there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations and a substantial majority (80%) or more) of the occupants do not express dissatisfaction. (ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2007)


Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)

A rating that indicates the efficiency of air filters in the mechanical system. MERV rating range from 1 (very low efficiency) to 16 (very high efficiency).



The emission of volatile organic compounds from synthetic and natural products.



Solid particles or liquid droplets in the atmosphere. The chemical composition of particulates varies, depending on location and time of year. Sources include dust, emissions from industrial processes combustion products from the burning of wood and coal combustion products associated with motor vehicle or nonroad engine exhausts and reaction to gase in the atmosphere EPA



Any substance introduced into the environment that harms the usefulness of a resource or the health of humans, animals or ecosystems. (EPA) Air pollutants include emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), mercury (Hg), small particulates (PM2.5) and large particulates (PM10).


Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)

A combination of symptons, experienced by occupants of a building, that appear to be linked to time spent in the building but cannot be traced to a specific cause. Complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone or be spread throughout the building. (EPA)


Thermal Comfort

The temperature, humidity and airflow ranges within which the majority of people are most comfortable, as determined by ASHRAE Standard 55-2004. Because people dress differently depending on the season, thermal comfort levels vary with the season. Control setpoints for HVAC systems should vary accordingly, to ensure that occupants arecomfortable and energy is conserved.


Ventilation Rate

The amount of air circulated through a space, measured in air changes per hour (the quantity of infiltration air in cubic feet per minute divided by the volume of the room). Proper ventilation rates, as prescribed by ASHRAE Standard 62, ensure that enough air is supplied for the number of occupants to prevent accumulation of carbon dioxide and other pollutants in the space.


Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

The amount of carbon compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions and vaporize (become a gas) at normal room temperatures, measured in gram per liter. VOCs off gas from many materials, including adhesives, sealants, paints, carpets, and particleboard. Limiting VOC concentrations protects the health of both construction personnel and building occupants.