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High Performance IAQ Specification for Net Zero Energy Homes



Anthony Bernheim, Alred Hodgson, Andrew K. Persily


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) constructed a Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF) to support the development and adoption of cost-effective NZE designs and technologies. Key design objectives include providing occupant health and comfort through adequate ventilation and reduced indoor contaminant sources. To improve source control, guidelines were implemented to utilize products with relatively low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, focusing on toxicity, sensory irritation and odor. Emphasis was placed on reducing formaldehyde emissions as well as VOCs from wet-applied materials and acetic acid. These guidelines were based largely on published research and product information, but were not part of the NZERTF architectural specifications. From the lessons learned in their application to the NZERTF, the guidelines were updated and formalized into architectural specification language for use by architects and contractors interested in addressing high performance IAQ in netzero and other residential buildings.
Proceedings Title
Healthy Buildings America 2015
Conference Dates
July 19-22, 2015
Conference Location
Boulder, CO, US


Indoor air quality, high performance buildings, netzero energy, residential, ventilation


Bernheim, A. , Hodgson, A. and Persily, A. (2015), High Performance IAQ Specification for Net Zero Energy Homes, Healthy Buildings America 2015 , Boulder, CO, US, [online], (Accessed May 21, 2024)


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Created July 18, 2015, Updated October 12, 2021