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New Type of Drywall Can Play a Role in Improving Indoor Air Quality

Posted by Tom Prokop, CertainTeed Gypsum

Oct 25, 2016 11:56:41 AM

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The past few decades have seen an abundance of research tying all manner of health issues to poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). While most typically think of industrial air pollution when they think of polluted air, the fact is that there are more negative health impacts from the air we breathe inside. Poor IAQ has been linked to headaches, fatigue, concentration problems, allergies, asthma and other issues. Homebuyers know this, and are making purchasing decisions based on interior health and safety.

As awareness of the importance of good IAQ has grown, so too has homebuyer demand for healthy living spaces. Many studies are showing that IAQ is playing a larger role in the minds of consumers, and the trend line continues to go up. According to architects surveyed in the AIA Home Design Trends report, air purification showed the largest increase in popularity among home systems and technologies between 2014 and 2015. While still ranked below such technologies as energy management and security systems, the popularity of IAQ-related systems is growing at a much faster rate.

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There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that IAQ is a top concern for homebuyers. A study by BCC
Research
states that the IAQ market in 2013 was $7.7 billion, and it is expected to grow to $11.4 billion by 2019.  UL Environment polled consumers to learn more about their priorities and preferences among sustainable or green products. The resulting report, titled “Under the Lens: Claiming Green,” found that 83 percent of consumers have recently purchased green products; 70 percent of consumers actively seek greener products; and 43 percent list IAQ as a primary concern. Programs like the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America's product certification are appealing to air quality-conscious consumers for everything from washing machines to interior paint.

Builders are wise to take notice and offer interior solutions that respond to this trend. The first step is to make sure the products brought into a home aren’t adding harmful substances to the air. Yet many homebuyers are looking for more active solutions to achieve the best IAQ. Air filtering systems and other mechanical products are effective and popular; however, it is important to note that there are products that improve IAQ without complex installation or additional energy use. Even the walls and ceilings can play an important role in keeping interior air safe and clean.

Using patented technology, the AirRenew® family of drywall products from CertainTeed can contribute a great deal to good IAQ in a home. AirRenew® actively works to absorb and remove harmful formaldehyde gas found circulating within the home. Formaldehyde is one of the most harmful substances used in the manufacturing process for many building components and household products such as paints, aerosol sprays, cleansers and disinfectants. Once absorbed by AirRenew®, the formaldehyde is rendered inert and contained safely within the drywall. This helps improve overall IAQ and protect individuals and families from the negative health effects of excessive exposure to formaldehyde.

Another major contributor to poor IAQ is mold and mildew that develops with exposure to moisture. It is very common in homes and a prime factor in what has become known as “sick building syndrome.” AirRenew® with M2Tech® provides an additional zone of protection against mold and moisture. It is enclosed in 100 percent recycled mold and moisture resistant paper and achieves the best possible scores for mold resistance – 10 and 0 for mold per ASTM D3273 and ASTM G21.

The entire AirRenew® family of drywall products has received a Greenguard Gold Certification and has been validated by UL Environment. These types of products are great additions to any builder’s toolbox, and are very appealing to homebuyers looking to provide a clean, healthy living space for their families. With the AirRenew® drywall line by CertainTeed, you can offer an effective, non-mechanical solution to help deliver optimum IAQ and contribute to a healthy indoor living space, in an increasingly health-conscious market.

For more information on AirRenew®, please visit CertainTeed.com/AirRenew.

About the author: Tom Prokop is a product manager for CertainTeed Gypsum. 

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