Green Building and Indoor air quality

Why Green and Natural Building materials are Healthy

Building materials can play a role in healthy indoor environment. Green building materials like clay can significantly improve indoor air in the sense that they don’t emit any pollutants or allergens. Clay can also regulate moisture, while contributing to healthy indoor air and to the overall wellbeing of the inhabitants.

Improve indoor air quality for homes and offices

People spend approximately 90% of their lifetime indoors. In the last few decades the awareness and adoption of green building materials and its effect on inhabitants as well as the environment has only increased. In this context, the importance given to indoor air quality is fast gaining acceptance and relevance especially in the context of health issues such as asthma or allergies which are rampant. Due to increasingly tight building envelopes, highly polluted urban environment, the circulation of air and energy efficiency of a building is a matter of concern for builders, urban planners and home dwellers. Hence the right selection of building material becomes imperative at a fundamental level. 

Let's look at how building materials, especially clay building materials can offer an advantage over other conventional masonry materials in the context of indoor air quality.

  • Clay building materials are made of  natural minerals and free from air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, flame retardants and terpenes, etc. As a result, indoor air in a building using clay building material is healthy and doesn´t provoke allergies, tiredness and headaches. '
  • Clay is naturally obtained and hence utilizes minimally processed, non-toxic materials making it non- polluting, safe and long lasting.
  • Clay building materials contribute to a healthy environment as they have capacity to absorb excessive air humidity and release it when conditions become dry again. Clay building materials absorb room  air humidity and regulate moisture in a natural way. Moisture can evaporate due to the open and porous structure of ceramic and capillarity actions. 
  • Using clay as building material for homes and offices translates to an indoor climate that does not require expensive mechanical ventilation systems to regulate indoor air quality and reduces the risk of mould. Fired clay is a dry material that has a natural propensity to absorb and release humidity from the atmosphere to help keep humidity at a required 40-60 per cent level for healthy living

To improve indoor air quality,  the concentration of pollution as a result of  building materials must be kept under control. Developers and construction companies aiming to achieve certifications like  LEED or IGBC, can greatly benefit by investing in the right walling material to improve indoor air quality.

It's time to take inspiration from ancient buildings built with natural building materials like Clay and sustainable design. Buildings of the future must embrace sustainability and green building principles by achieving and  healthy indoor air quality and maximum living comfort.