The Role of the Building Envelope in Ensuring Occupant Comfort and Good Indoor Air Quality

The Role of the Building Envelope in Ensuring Occupant Comfort and Good Indoor Air Quality

In the last year, after experiencing lockdowns, social distancing and quarantines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, indoor comfort has become increasingly important to everyday life. Individuals have been spending more time inside than ever before, with homes taking on double or triple duty as offices and schools. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. Because of this, indoor air quality is now more important than ever.

In addition to creating uncomfortable living conditions, poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can even pose a health risk. Pollutants such as chemicals, living organisms, or gases can negatively affect IAQ, and most come from inside the building itself. In a multifamily environment, these pollutants can be easily transmitted from unit to unit. Pollutants can cause health problems like sore eyes or headaches, while others can cause more severe issues like heart disease or cancer.

The building envelope design can have a large impact on heating, cooling and ventilation—all big factors in determining the indoor air quality. Building wraps (also known as house wrap or weather resistant barriers) play a vital role in defending the building envelope. A house wrap should cover the exterior wall completely and be properly lapped in order to shed water. Poorly installed house wrap can allow an excess of moisture that sits within the walls. This can lead to issues like mold and rot, which can produce allergens that can severely affect occupants with asthma or allergies.

Weather resistant barriers act as an air and moisture barrier while allowing moisture vapor to escape from the wall cavity to the outside. TYPAR MetroWrap™ is an example of a commercial-grade house wrap specifically engineered for buildings four stories or higher—making it ideal for multifamily projects. MetroWrap™ is ideal for boosting energy-efficiency with superior air holdout, which reduces energy costs. It also safeguards healthy spaces and will not support mold growth (ASTM D3273).

Contact TYPAR today to learn more about how commercial building wraps can help improve occupant comfort and indoor air quality for your next multifamily project.

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