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  • Writer's pictureMolly Jones

Guiding Principle #4: Enhance the Indoor Environment

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

When constructing a new building, ensuring the indoor building complies with regulation and creating an environment that occupants can use safely is essential for the design and planning process.

As such, guiding principle number four has been broken down into critical components that your building must comply with.

Guiding Principle 4.2 – Data, lighting, and lighting control

How your building maximizes day lighting is an essential part of the planning process. When designing your build, look for opportunities to increase day lighting in each room. Remember that the higher up you place your day lighting, the further the light will extend into the space.

You will also need to consider how you can implement controls for the light that occupants can use. Consider dimming lights for different times of day and installing daylight sensors to create an energy-saving solution. There are items available on the market that can aid you in expanding light further into your space.

Guiding Principle 4.3 – Low mating materials and products

According to IGCC regulations, at least 75% of your materials need to be proven to have little to no toxins present in them. You will need to be able to show compliance with this, so make sure you are testing that your materials are up to code.

Guiding Principle 4.5 – Moisture control

Mold and moisture are hazardous to health, so implementing strategies to prevent this indoors is key. So your main concern is to keep the indoor area dry and protected. Consider how your wall cavity insulation will affect moisture and find spaces where moisture can leave rooms.

Guiding Principle 4.6 – Indoor air quality during construction

Health and safety is always the top priority in any building project, so it is essential to implement policies and protocols to protect not only the building but also the materials from moisture damage. As such, you will need to make sure construction sites are dry and clean.

You also need to ensure that the air coming through the ducts is safe and breathable. As building work can produce many particulates into the air, it’s important to seal off any air ducts to make sure they don’t settle in here.

Guiding Principle 4.7 – Smoking control

Smoking should be prohibited in the building and within a 25ft radius of the building. It is important to protect the air quality of the indoor environment and smoke travels.As such, make sure you provide a designated smoking area for occupants to relax in that respects these boundaries. In addition, consider the equipment and furniture that will be needed for these areas.

You will also need to put signage around the building to ensure people know that smoking is prohibited. Ensure that there is signage on every door that leads inside the building. You may also want to place adequate signage to show where the designated smoking area is located.

Guiding Principle 4.8 – Integrated pest control

It is crucial to have prevention and management protocols for pest management. Consider the mechanical, structural, and behavioral means that pests can enter the building, and make prevention a part of your planning process. This includes sealing all openings and encouraging people to keep the break room clean of food.

As a last resort, pesticides may need to be introduced, so it’s important to investigate and screen potential allowed pesticides and adequately warn occupants ahead of time as it can aggravate those with respiratory issues.

Guiding Principle 4.9 – Occupant health and wellness

Ensure your design emphasizes features that promote voluntary movement and physical health, such as prominent staircases, fitness rooms, outdoor walking spaces, and ergonomic office furniture.


By taking the above criteria into account during the design and planning process, not only will your building be compliant with regulations, but you will create an outstanding indoor environment that occupants will feel safe and secure in.



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