Are you designing spaces with air quality in mind? Interior furnishings and fittings play a significant role in determining the indoor air quality of a space, which can then have an impact on health and productivity for anyone who lives or works there.
The majority of indoor air pollution comes from interior sources, and can include pollutants from adhesives, upholstered furniture, flooring, paints and cleaning products. Each of these can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, which can trigger allergies, asthma, and other symptoms as they vaporise into the surrounding air.
Studies investigating the link between air quality and health have shown that improving the indoor environment can lead to significant reductions in sick leave for those who work there, as well as improved productivity and efficiency. Employees are happier and healthier, reporting reductions in many of the symptoms mentioned previously. In an educational setting, students performed better academically in classrooms where “green” products were used and plenty of natural light was available.
Improving indoor air quality can be as simple as changing the products used by cleaning staff or a fresh coat of paint using low- or no-VOC alternatives. Other easy solutions include placing some indoor plants in the workspace to help filter the air, or choosing more eco-friendly furniture and fittings. The easiest way to find out if manufacturers are making accurate claims about whether their products are better for the environment and safer for human health is to look for evidence of independent third-party certification, such as the Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) ecolabel.
Refresh content provided by our Education Partner, Good Environmental Choice Australia.