Skip to content

Resource Library

A Builder’s Guide to Breathable Indoor Air 



Read the article which explains how builders should be installing ventilation for better, more breathable air.

Homes need more ventilation than U.S. building codes require.

Earlier this year during a conference, Bill Hayward had characterized the COVID-19 pandemic as a “trigger point,” much like the energy crisis of the 1970s had been for energy-efficient housing. This new crisis has triggered a growing interest in indoor air quality and occupant health. As we all have learned a great deal more than we ever thought we would about respirable droplets, air circulation, and the spread of airborne contaminants, homeowner awareness of health, air quality, and ventilation has caught fire and is beginning to ignite a new set of demands. Advanced ventilation systems and home performance may finally be getting equal, if not greater, attention from homebuyers than granite countertops and luxury appliances.

And perhaps this is the time we will finally align ventilation codes with building science. Since 2012, we have seen strong alignment between building science and the air-sealing and insulation requirements of model building codes. But ventilation requirements feel like the poor relations nobody wants to invite for dinner. The Chapter 15 ventilation requirements of the International Residential Code are not clear to all builders, and certainly not well understood by code officials, so they aren’t enforced and education is sparse. Exceptions to this do exist in multifamily construction where there tends to be a higher concern for the potential liability surrounding occupant health among developers and municipalities. There are also exceptions among a core segment of the JLC readership that serves a very demanding clientele. But in most single-family new construction and whole-house remodeling, we seem to be mostly building tight but not ventilating right.

Continue reading on The Journal of Light Construction

Related Resources

Download this BPA resource

Consumer Guide to Solar Electricity

Adding solar to your property is a big decision. This guide will help homeowners understand the basics of renewable energy, financing options, impacts to their electric bill, and which questions to ask the experts.

Podcast icon

Indoor Environments: Does CO2 Equal IAQ with guest Andrew Persily

Indoor Environments welcomes Dr. Andrew Persily to discuss indoor air quality and its impacts on health and comfort.

Hyperlink icon to reveal a BPA Resource Video

Home Performance: Tips for HVAC Quality Control Targets and Specs for Builders and Contractors

In this video, Corbett Lundsford talks about HVAC quality control targets and testing.