To assist home builders, subcontractors, architects, and other residential construction professionals in implementing the construction requirements of the Indoor airPLUS labeling program for new homes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released the first of seven technical guidance modules addressing the necessary construction methods, equipment, and materials to meet each of the program's specifications. Indoor airPLUS recognizes new homes that have been designed and constructed to reduce poor indoor air quality.
"Moisture Control," the first module, addresses the construction methods and component materials necessary for managing water intrusion from exterior and interior sources. Discussions for potential exterior sources of moisture intrusion are divided into three topics: foundations, exterior walls, and roofing systems. The guidance on interior sources of water intrusion addresses moisture-resistant materials and moisture-protective systems, situations in which continuous vapor barriers should not be used, and the use of water-damaged materials.
Each technical guidance module is designed to explain the intent of each of the program's requirements, as well as how to implement each of the preferred methods or install materials to meet Indoor airPLUS specifications. A set of additional best practices for each of the specifications also is included, although they are not requirements of the program.
The remaining modules, which will be released as they are finalized, are: "Radon Control," "Pest Barriers," "HVAC Systems," "Combustion Pollutant Control," "Low-Emissions Materials," and "Home Commissioning."