The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has applauded the Biden administration’s National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which includes a strong focus on improving indoor air quality (IAQ) and ventilation in buildings.
“As states loosen masking requirements, the White House is exactly right to prioritize indoor environmental quality in homes and buildings,” said Elizabeth Beardsley, Senior Policy Counsel at USGBC. “It’s one of the most durable and effective things we can do to promote public health and productivity, and when done right it delivers added benefits such as reduced operational costs and sharply lower greenhouse gas emissions.
“These initiatives create opportunities for all building owners, from businesses to schools, to update their approaches to indoor environmental quality. USGBC has a long track record in this space, and we are eager to work with the White House and our partner companies to implement this plan.”
With the creation of the Clean Air in Building Checklist, a set of recommendations that building owners and operators can take to improve IAQ, the plan spotlights an important component to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Additionally, USGBC welcomes the White House’s Clean Air in Buildings Challenge to encourage building operators in the public and private sectors to implement improved ventilation strategies. This includes improving IAQ and ventilation in schools across the country.
USGBC will continue to support federal, state, and local governments as well as private building owners to implement these recommendations as more Americans begin to go back the office. USGBC has a number of resources to support office re-entry, including the LEED Safety First Pilot Credits that outline best practices that align with public health guidelines that include sustainable practices to manage IAQ and maintenance of HVAC systems.
USGBC is a strong advocate for improved IAQ in buildings and has made it an important part of operating a LEED building. IAQ has been shown to have a big impact on employees’ health and productivity, and poor indoor air in schools can even affect student performance.
The National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is available here.
Want to learn more about ways to help keep your facilities and occupants healthy? Please join Facilities Management Advisor for the upcoming “Healthy Buildings Week” online educational event March 21-25. More information and FREE registration are available here.