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Pollution in New Construction Joe Ponessa Rutgers School of Environmental And Biological Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "Pollution in New Construction Joe Ponessa Rutgers School of Environmental And Biological Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pollution in New Construction Joe Ponessa Rutgers School of Environmental And Biological Sciences

2 Common Sources of VOC Pollution: New Construction Carpet Paint, coatings Adhesives, caulk MDF Concrete Synthetics 2 MDF

3 Pesticides, Termiticides Read labels, follow directions Dont use more than necessary Think about other ways to control pests (Integrated Pest Management–IPM) 3

4 Formaldehyde Sources: UF Glues Mfd. wood products: MDF, int plywood, particleboard, hardwood paneling Combustion Some fabrics Health effects Irritant (+wheeze, cough, asthma attack) Carcinogen 4

5 Formaldehyde Remedy: Substitution; Sealing Materials selection: Composites- Phenol- formaldehyde or diisocyanate glue preferred (HUD 2001 formaldehyde std –better) OSB -Exterior grade -OK; Soy based adhesives replacing UF adhesives Coatings, laminates for UF products (undersides, backs) Particleboard & MDF are addressed by ANSI A208.1 and A208.2, respectively 5

6 Recent Issues: New Pollutants Phthalates Constituent of some plastics (Flexibility) Found in many products, including toys Linked to organ damage, birth defects Use restricted in California Bisphenol A (BPA) Constituent of some plastics (hardener) Found in baby bottles, sippy cups, other products Endocrine disruptor (also: PBDEs) Use restricted in Europe, some US states 6

7 Recent issues (cont.) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) Flame retardants ( carpet padding, electronics [plastic casing], foam mattresses [queen size: ~3kg PBDE]) Endocrine disruptors Indoor environment: 1 o exposure (dust) 7

8 Recent Issues (cont.) Sanitizers- Triclosan Two issues Hygiene hypothesis; We NEED some germs in our lives! Resistant germs; Germicides in the environment build germs resistance to meds 8

9 Recent issues: Health Impacts? Most of these compounds have been found in human blood, urine, at mostly low concentrations Human health impacts suspected, but not fully proven Europe has taken active measures at reduction, US following slowly 9

10 Recent issues: Chinese Drywall 1992 cases in 25 states: FL DOH cases in 35 states (CPSC)

11 Chinese Drywall (cont.) Problem: emission of Sulfur gases, incl H 2 S Corrosive, -Wiring, pipes, household appliances Strong irritant. Many health complaints, home evacuations 11 Courtesy FL DOH

12 Chinese Drywall (cont.) Solution: CPSC Recommendations, 4/10 Remove Drywall Replace wiring, receptacles, etc Replace gas pipes 12

13 Radon in New Construction Data for radon risk levels- available for most US counties No methods exist for predicting potential radon contamination for a given building lot Savings can be attained by using radon-resistant new construction (RRNC) methods in high risk areas. New occupants need to test!

14 Radon Resistant New Construction Required in Tier I locations in NJ Modest cost Provides additional benefits (controls moisture, soil gases) Radon test is needed ! 14 A: Gravel B:Membrane C: Sealant D: Pipe E:Power Source: USEPA

15 15 RRNC: EPA Guidance

16 The Attached Garage Source of many pollutants: Airflows can be drawn into house Auto exhaust Automotive chemicals: in car & stored Lawn & garden chemicals Paints & household chemicals Mower fuel 16

17 17 Attached orunder garages may shelter conditioned space thermally, but not in terms of air quality-- air sealing here is critical

18 Garage: Air Sealing Detail 18 EEBA BFG

19 Pollution and New Construction General Principles -Summary Moisture management Design to keep moisture out If it gets in (it will), allow for drying Build tight, but ventilate right Volatile Organic Compounds Carefully select materials & furnishings (low emitting) Manage airflows- Ventilation & makeup air (sealed combustion best; isolate garage) 19

20 20 EEBA WMG Drain the Building

21 Resources/ Guidance for IEQ in New Construction More and more organizations developing rating systems for new residential construction that include indoor environmental quality criteria 21

22 Resources/ Guidance for IEQ in New Construction Points are given for IEQ measures 22 LEED – GBC has recently introduced a rating system for residential construction

23 Topics include Moisture Radon HVAC Combustion Materials Installation 23 cfm?ccfm?c=bldrs_lenders_raters.nh_iap Energy Star has lists of IEQ specifications Resources/ Guidance for IEQ in New Construction (cont.)

24 Numerous entities providing Green Building guidelines incorporate IEQ criteria in their scoring systems 24 NAHB Lists 22 IEQ action items in the categories of Pollutant source control, pollutant production and Moisture management

25 Resources/ Guidance for IEQ in New Construction (cont.) American Lung Association- Health House Recommendations, details based heavily on EEBA & other publications 25 Builder Guide

26 American Lung AssociationHealth House Typical components of / approaches to the Health House Foundation moisture control Advanced framing techniques Air sealing & advanced insulation apps. High performance windows Energy-efficient, sealed combustion heating 26

27 ALA Health House (cont.) Typical components (cont.) High-efficiency air filtration Whole house ventilation Humidity control Carefully selected interior finishes Details at: 27

28 ALA Health House (cont.) Guidelines–Finishes & Furnishings Limit use of composite materials (mentioned formaldehyde) Select low VOC caulks & adhesives see Hard-surface floors preferred; required in wet areas 28

29 ALA Health House (cont.) Guidelines–Finishes & Furnishings (cont.) 5.For carpet, follow CRI green carpet guidelines: rug.com Use tack strips or factory-supplied non-wet, low VOC adhesivewww.carpet- rug.com 6. Concrete sub floors- use water emission stds (Ca Cl 2 test) before finish floor applied 7. Dont use vinyl wallpaper in hot-humid or humid climates or finished basements Guidelines–Finishes & Furnishings (cont.) 5.For carpet, follow CRI green carpet guidelines: rug.com Use tack strips or factory-supplied non-wet, low VOC adhesivewww.carpet- rug.com 6. Concrete sub floors- use water emission stds (Ca Cl 2 test) before finish floor applied 7. Dont use vinyl wallpaper in hot-humid or humid climates or finished basements 29

30 ALA Health House (cont.) Guidelines–Finishes & Furnishings (cont.) 8. Use cement board or fiberglass gyp board for tub/shower surround 9. Raise paper-covered gypboard 1/2 above concrete slab or below grade 10. Paint & varnish: Use low VOC products, water-based varnishes; avoid Ethylene glycol paints (polypropylene glycol OK) 11. Run ventilation system at hi speed for 3 days before occupancy ( especially after gypsum-board taping, painting, carpet installation, etc.) 30

31 Additional Resources 31 More resources

32 Summary Homes with optimized ventilation – tighter construction with ventilation by design. Will be less forgiving (vs. overventilated homes) of irritant and sometimes harmful emissions from modern materials and furnishings Therefore, recognition and management of indoor pollutants becomes an important part of sustainable construction where homes are tight 32

33 33 Thanks for your attention! Joseph T. Ponessa, Ph.D Professor Emeritus Copyright 2008 Rev 8-09, 2-10, 4/10


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