Technical Guidance to the Indoor airPLUS Construction Specifications 2009
Indoor airPLUS Construction Specifications 2009
Office of Air and Radiation (6609J)
EPA 402/K-08/003, January 2009
- "Required" Installation Procedures
- "Best Practice" Installation Procedures
- Map of Climate Zones
EPA developed the labeling program Indoor airPLUS to recognize new homes that meet a set of construction requirements designed to reduce the risk of compromised indoor air quality (IAQ). The many issues that commonly affect the IAQ of homes are addressed through a broad set of specifications covering particular construction methods and the selection of mechanical equipment and construction materials.
The Agency has also developed extensive technical guidance to help home builders and their subcontractors, architects, and other housing professionals understand not only the intent but also the implementation of the specification requirements of the IAQ labeling program. This guidance also enables home energy raters to evaluate the construction of a home and its performance characteristics with regard to the IAQ labeling requirements. In addition, this guidance is an information source for anyone interested in preferred construction methods for addressing a wide range of IAQ and durability issues.
The guidance is divided into seven modules. The Moisture Control Module is currently available, the six other modules (Radon Control, Pest Barriers, HVAC Systems, Combustion Pollutant Control, Low-Emission Materials and Home Commissioning) will be added as they become available.
"Required" Installation Procedures
The technical guidance addresses construction methods, equipment, and materials to support meeting the required Construction Specifications of EPA's Indoor airPLUS labeling program for new homes.
The order of the technical topics discussed in these guidance materials matches the numerical sequence of EPA’s program Construction Specifications. Immediately following each numbered specification are technical discussions: an explanation of "Why" the requirement affects indoor air quality followed by an explanation of "How" the method can be implemented or the material can be installed to meet the specification’s intended performance goals. Each Construction Specification is a requirement of the Indoor airPLUS Labeling Program; the information in these modules is technical guidance to assist builders, sub-contractors, energy raters, and others in meeting the required specifications implementing the program.
"Best Practice" Installation Procedures
In addition to identifying the methods, equipment and materials that can be used to meet the Construction Specification requirements, the guidance also offers some "best practices." These practices are not requirements of EPA’s Indoor airPLUS homes-labeling program. Rather, they are preferred methods and materials for constructing various aspects of a home because they are expected to enhance the performance and sustainability of building systems (e.g., walls, foundations and roofs) while increasing protection of a home’s IAQ. They are provided as additional practices that builders and others may adopt as they continue to address IAQ.
Map of Climate Zones
When determining the application of various sections of the specifications, reference is made to the International Energy Conservation Code’s (IECC) map “Climate Zones, Figure 301.1.” This figure represents the climate zones by State, County and Territory presented in Table 301.1 of the IECC.