Improving Indoor Air Quality and the “Energy Efficiency” vs. “Increased Ventilation” Dilemma

Updated: Jul 30

The guide will give the readers a history of how ventilation and indoor air quality recommendations have changed over time and what the forces behind the changes are. It will also review the requirements of energy efficiency over time and discuss new technologies that may help in bridging the gap between increasing indoor air quality and the impact to building efficiency.


The guide will also discuss recent trends related to ventilation, indoor air quality and system efficiency as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.



This guide will enable readers to:

  • Introduce the history of ASHRAE and FGI recommendations for ventilation air and indoor air quality from the onset of these two design guides to current recommendations. Review changes to the ventilation air recommendations over time and present the driving factors for these changes such as general wellbeing, disease control, chemical warfare, etc.

  • Present the changes to the energy efficiency codes and guidelines over time and what the driving forces were behind those changes. Discuss the stretch energy code development and its adoption by most cities and towns within Massachusetts.

  • Compare the impact of increased indoor air quality measures against the impact of building energy efficiency.

  • Judge which situations and building usages may benefit the most from increased indoor air quality and where the line might need to be drawn to minimize impact to building efficiency.