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Asset Classes

Focus Area

Indoor Air Quality and Hazards


Baseline Practices

Question #

I4.0 — IAQ Management in Construction


Is a plan in place to minimize indoor air quality impacts during renovation and construction?


Applicable to all buildings (systems or equipment in the owner or landlord’s control)


Yes or No


During renovation or construction activities, elevated airborne particulate can be generated through the disturbance of various building materials (e.g., concrete, plaster, drywall, ductwork, flooring and insulation), dusts originating from products used in the construction and by equipment that may emit combustion products. Additionally, building furnishings and finishes typically emit volatile organic compounds. Strategies to mitigate the impact of construction-generated contaminants in adjacent spaces should be developed and implemented.

Specific guidelines must be in place for base-building or tenant renovations and construction projects to ensure that contaminants are not released into the surrounding interior environment and building indoor air quality (IAQ) is maintained.


a. Reference SMACNA IAQ Guidelines

b. Develop the building-specific Construction IAQ Control Plan, covering the following:

    • Hazardous materials management
    • Dust control
    • Isolation of HVAC zones and/or enhanced ventilation
    • HVAC filter replacement
    • VOC emission/absorption and odour management
    • Noise, vibration control monitoring
    • De-pressurization of construction zones as needed (e.g., in medical Offices, hospitals and long-term care facilities)


Adapted BB3 Question

Question 03.01.03 — Is a plan in place to control construction-generated contaminants prior to base-building or tenant renovations?


In-house: Project Manager (oversees new builds)/Policy Makers
Third-party: Architectural or engineering consultant (needs to be familiar with construction practices)




Other Notes

SMACNA guidelines cover the following:

  • HVAC Protection: Protect HVAC equipment from construction debris that may enter ductwork or spaces, such as isolating the return air side of the system and installing temporary filters
  • Source Control: Use low-emission alternatives when selecting paints, sealants, adhesives, carpeting, cleaning products etc.
  • Pathway Interruption: Prevent airborne contaminants from construction to circulate through the rest of the building. Strategies include the installation of physical barriers between construction and occupied spaces and ventilating with 100% outside air
  • Housekeeping: Keep the construction-sites clean and promptly clean spills to prevent the potential for growth of microbial contaminants
  • Scheduling: Consider the sequence in which materials are installed. Some materials absorb volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by other materials, so those should ideally be installed after