If I asked you whether a building’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) was important to you, I would most likely get a resounding “Yes!” answer. But what if I asked you about that same building’s Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), would the answer be more of a hesitant “yes?” It’s easy to toss around TLA’s (three letter acronyms) when discussing building health and comfort, but if everyone isn’t on the same page someone could get lost.
Fortunately these TLA’s are easy to understand once you know what they include. IEQ includes IAQ, but then goes on to include such things as acoustics, daylighting, water quality, and aesthetics. A busy office gets more done if it is not also a distractingly noisy office – materials, angles of construction, choice of equipment, even site placement can all affect the noise level in a building. Natural daylight is wonderful to work in, unless it is glaring across your computer monitor, or shining in your eyes. Designed for carefully it can even have an aesthetically poetic quality to it that enhances the environment and promotes a nicer working environment.
As you can imagine, air quality and water quality are key ingredients to the health of the building’s occupants and the impact that the building has to corporate schedules. A building with low air quality or water issues can promote health issues through allergens, mold, or stale air. A company with a higher absentee rate due to poor air or water quality is less likely to get as much accomplished as one that functions better.
So remember your TLA’s ASAP (oh wait, that’s a four letter acronym!) – remember them PDQ and look for ways to improve IEQ in your surroundings.