Keeping Pollutants Out: Entryway Design for Green Buildings
Walk-off mats are a critical line of defense for indoor air.
The indoor air quality mantra “ Eliminate, Isolate, Ventilate” describes a sound framework for ensuring safe indoor environments. In the first of these strategies, we tend to focus on the materials and products used in construction—specifying low-VOC paints, choosing formaldehyde-free wood products, perhaps avoiding mineral fiber insulation materials. While careful material selection is very important and should be considered with any green building project, often far greater benefit can be achieved at far lower cost simply by designing entryways and managing buildings to remove tracked-in pollutants from shoes.
Simple? You bet. But remarkably few designers and healthy-building advocates pay serious attention to this issue during design. This article examines the extent of indoor air quality problems resulting from tracking in outdoor pollutants and provides practical solutions for both commercial and residential buildings.