Steel Building Systems, Inc
The average adult breathes in about 3,000 gallons of air every day. The more polluted the air— and the longer the exposure— the greater the risk of health consequences.
That can be a serious problem.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air can be two to five times more polluted that the surrounding outside air. In new construction, indoor air is sometimes 100 times more polluted than outdoors.
The World Health Organization (WHO) concludes a pollutant is 1,000 times more likely to infiltrate a person’s lungs if released indoors than outdoors.
Why the discrepancy?
In an effort to reduce waste, “green” buildings aim for greater energy efficiency. Today’s best environmental friendly buildings are more airtight and better insulated than buildings in bygone days. That’s the good news.
That’s also the bad news.
A tighter building envelope reduces the air exchange between indoor air and outdoor air. Consequently, indoor air quality (IAQ) suffers, as pollutants in the structure multiply.
New construction often includes wood products, paints, adhesives, sealants, ceiling tiles, wall coverings, cabinets, draperies, furniture, carpets and floor coverings, and other building materials which outgas volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the interior. The first year after building produces the highest level of pollutants, although many products continue emitting airborne toxins for years.
Add cleaning compounds, disinfectants, pet hair and dander, cooking, smoking, and high humidity, mold, or fungus, and you are soon inhaling a toxic pollution cocktail with every breath you take.
Poor IAQ plays havoc with the health of seniors suffering with respiratory or cardiovascular problems, weakened immune systems, and other chronic diseases. Their compromised systems react badly to polluted indoor air. Poor IAQ may cause:
• Acute respiratory problems
• Bronchitis and airway infections
• Burning, itchy eyes
• Chest tightness
• Chronic runny nose
• Heart disease
• Increased asthma attacks
• Mental fatigue
• Nose and throat irritations
• Physical fatigue
• Pneumonia (the #1 cause of death in the elderly)
• Reduced lung function
• Shortness of breath
• Skin irritations
An accessory building unit (ADU) for elderly adults— generally known as an elder cottage, an in-law apartment, a granny pad, or a mother-in-law house— is usually relatively small. Indoor air pollution increases dramatically in confined spaces. (IAQ problems experienced in FEMA’s emergency housing trailers after Hurricane Katrina demonstrated this truth.)
Fortunately, there are ways to enhance indoor air quality.
During construction, the choices you make in building products, furnishings, electronics, and appliances make a huge difference in the IAQ.
Here are a few tips for building for healthier indoor air:
Organic materials like lumber and wood products outgas, polluting indoor air. Wood houses require lumber be treated with strong chemicals to deter termites. Organic wood products— combined with high moisture— also supply the perfect environment to promote mold and fungus growth.
RHINO’s steel building systems make strong, durable, healthy structures for the elderly— or anyone else. Call RHINO today for more information and a fast, free, friendly quote on an elder cottage— or any other personal, industrial, or commercial building project.
Call our toll free number today: 888.320.7466.