Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Characterizing Indoor Air- Quality Performance Using a Graphical Approach



Kevin Y. Teichman, Cynthia H. Reed, Steven J. Emmerich


In this paper, we describe and demonstrate a graphical approach to illustrating the indoor air quality (IAQ) performance of high-performing buildings. We start by describing previous efforts to establish IAQ and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) metrics, and then demonstrate a graphical approach to evaluating IAQ performance. This approach presents measured levels of indoor pollutants relative to health-based guideline values or some other appropriate reference. Drawing upon both simulated and measured data, we extend this approach to graphically represent building performance with respect to four key attributes: IEQ, energy use, water consumption, and waste generation. Special attention is given to indoor concentrations of potential concern, on-site energy generation, water reuse, and the reduction of waste generated during construction. This approach, if developed further and eventually standardized, would enable building designers, owners, operators, and occupants to evaluate the performance of a building both as designed and as operated, as well as to make comparisons among buildings, for the four building parameters.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1868
Report Number


indoor air quality, indoor air quality metric, indoor environment, indoor environmental metric, high performance buildings


Teichman, K. , Reed, C. and Emmerich, S. (2016), Characterizing Indoor Air- Quality Performance Using a Graphical Approach, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created March 8, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018