Tag Archives: NRC

Healthier Indoor Air: Reducing harmful emissions from building materials and consumer products

What could be more fundamental than the air we breathe? As it is invisible and a part of everyday life, people can sometimes take the quality of air for granted. Indoor air in Canadian buildings may contain hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—a diverse group of chemicals emitted as a gas at room temperature that often reach higher concentrations than outdoors.

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The need for energy performance targets

When it comes to the energy efficiency of its buildings, Canada is something of a paradox. On one hand, the country has received its fair share of accolades for green initiatives. For example, this author was in France in September for an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) TC205/TC163 joint workshop, and received laurels for coming from the world’s only nation with a holistic building commissioning standard—Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z320-11, Building Commissioning. On the other hand, the country recently ranked 11 out of 12 on the 2012 American Council for an Energy-efficient Economy (ACEEE) International Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

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