Ask an Expert

Elliot Horner, Ph.D.

General Manager Building Performance Programs, UL Environment

1. What factors make a comprehensive approach to understanding and managing building IAQ so timely?

Green building, as well as smart building systems, are reaching critical mass in the market. They are moving from early adopter, somewhat elite technologies, to mass market acceptance. IAQ is a key factor in both approaches, as it is at the heart of the green building movement and greatly influenced by energy and utility building control systems. Now is the perfect time to move the market toward a comprehensive and proactive approach to IAQ, integrating it into smart building technology and monitoring buildings for more than just energy performance.

2. How do you see building IAQ management changing over the next 5-10 years?

Currently, much of IAQ management is still based on visual inspection, maintenance processes, and actual air sampling. With the improvement of sensor technologies, more sensitive sensors will help enable building managers to monitor air quality in real time and integrate IAQ management with other building control systems. This will ultimately lead to better IAQ and fewer serious IAQ incidents and help ensure that energy systems, HVAC, and IAQ work in harmony to achieve optimum performance throughout.

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