Adaptation strategies for indoor air quality
The adaptation strategies below offer possible ways to address anticipated climate risks to indoor air quality.
- Develop an education plan around indoor air quality issues and disseminate materials in multiple languages. In particular, emphasize how 1) extreme weather events can causing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to fail and result in indoor air pollution build-up, 2) backup generators can produce excess carbon monoxide, 3) floods can lead to indoor mold growth, and 4) stores can stock portable backup generators, proper ventilation materials, and other products to help prevent or lessen air quality issues. Learn more about indoor air quality tools and guides from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Adopt policies for internal use and for the jurisdiction that include structural and financial incentives for buildings that incorporate designs focused on reducing negative impacts on the environment through technologies and green infrastructure. Examples include green roofs, white roofs, pollution prevention measures, and more. Learn more about green building from the U.S. Green Building Council.
- Establish minimum mandatory criteria for indoor air quality for buildings to include ventilation, moisture, and chemicals of concern.
- Leverage and support local weatherization and retrofit programs.
- Work with housing agencies to develop minimum building codes and healthy homes programs through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Check with your staff attorney to see if your local government has the ability to influence the state building code or introduce policies that are more stringent.
- Ensure there are updated ventilation, dust, and mold management technologies in all new and existing municipal facilities.
- Train local government staff such as building scientists, engineers, and environmental health and safety experts on indoor air quality standards and strategies.
These strategies are adapted from existing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, LEED, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other federal resources. Please view these strategies in the context provided by the primary source document:
The adaptation strategies provided are intended to inform and assist communities in identifying potential alternatives. They are illustrative and are presented to help communities consider possible ways to address current and future climate threats. Read the full disclaimer.