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By : E.Hasselaar, L. Morawska

The quality of indoor air is linked to detrimental health effects. Indoor air is a research and design issue in healthy housing, rarely considered in sustainable building. By analysing the relation between sustainable building and indoor air, a framework for discussion is constructed. The question is how the relation between healthy indoor air and sustainable building can be improved. The authors conclude that fresh air can be treated as an essential consumption good, which is produced by building services. Fresh air must be “created” in situations when the collected outdoor air needs to be filtered, heated, transported, consumed and replaced. After its use, the air is exhausted as waste material. The energy consumption, pollution process and re-cycling can be accounted for in life cycle assessment calculations. From the perspective of flows, airflows can be added to the flows of materials, energy and water during the entire life cycle of the building. The integration of flows in terms of consumption of fresh air will result in a better balance between strategies on the level of each flow. In this way it will be possible to make a stronger link between healthy indoor air and sustainable building.

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