Embracing Fresh Air: Operable Windows and Window Management in WELL Buildings
In the pursuit of healthy and sustainable buildings, the WELL Building Standard recognizes the significance of operable windows and proper window management. Two key credits that focus on this aspect are ‘A07.1 Provide Operable Windows’ and ‘A07.2 Manage Window Use.’ Let’s explore these credits, their requirements, data needs, and the importance of embracing fresh air in indoor environments.
A07.1 Provide Operable Windows
The ‘A07.1 Provide Operable Windows’ credit emphasizes the inclusion of operable windows in regularly occupied spaces. The credit offers two compliance options:
Option 1: Access to Outdoor Air At least 75% of regularly occupied spaces should have operable windows that provide direct access to outdoor air. This allows occupants to enjoy the benefits of fresh air and natural ventilation, contributing to a healthier and more pleasant indoor environment.
Option 2: Window Area Requirement For each floor, the total area of operable windows should be at least 4% of the area of the occupiable space. This option ensures an adequate provision of window openings for natural ventilation throughout the building.
A07.2 Manage Window Use
The ‘A07.2 Manage Window Use’ credit focuses on responsible window operation and considers two compliance options:
Option 1: Outdoor Air Measurement In this option, outdoor levels of particulate matter (PM2.5), temperature, and humidity are monitored regularly. The monitoring system, which can be operated by the project or another entity like a government agency, ensures that the outdoor air quality is within acceptable limits. This information is crucial for determining when it is appropriate to open the windows and allow fresh air to flow into the indoor spaces.
Option 2: Window Operation This option encourages the use of indicator lights and/or digital displays at windows to cue occupants when conditions outside are suitable for opening windows. The cues are based on specific parameters such as PM2.5 levels, temperature, and relative humidity. When these conditions align with the set thresholds (PM2.5 ≤ 15 μg/m³, temperature within 15°F of the indoor air temperature setpoint, and relative humidity ≤ 65%), occupants are prompted to open the windows and enjoy the benefits of natural ventilation.
How Firstgreen Can Provide Assistance
At Firstgreen Consulting, we understand the importance of operable windows and proper window management in creating healthier indoor environments. Our team of green building experts can assist you in achieving compliance with the A07 credits of the WELL Building Standard.
We offer comprehensive services, including window analysis, design recommendations, and window management strategies tailored to your project’s specific requirements. Our expertise enables us to optimize the use of operable windows, ensuring that occupants can enjoy fresh air while maintaining indoor comfort and energy efficiency.
By partnering with Firstgreen, you gain access to our knowledge and resources, ensuring a smooth path towards WELL certification. We can provide guidance on window selection, operation protocols, and data gathering systems to monitor outdoor air quality.
Embrace the benefits of operable windows and responsible window management in your building. Contact Firstgreen Consulting today to enhance indoor air quality, occupant well-being, and sustainability in your project. Together, let’s create spaces that connect us with the refreshing vitality of the natural world.