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We’ve had a great response to our post on environmental protection during renovations. One common question: what building products should we buy to protect indoor air quality? The leading benchmark for such products is the California Standard Method 01350, updated last year to include standards for both residential and commercial buildings as well as schools.

SM 01350 was developed as a voluntary standard, but is increasingly accepted as an authoritative benchmark. According to California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, Section 01350 received wide acceptance from building materials manufacturers due to its flexibility, relative low cost, and because it is the only health-based building material specification. California’s Section 01350 covers environmental and public health considerations for building projects. It establishes goals and provides an overview of special environmental requirements, such as guidelines for:

  • Energy
  • Materials
  • Water efficiency
  • Indoor air quality
  • Nontoxic performance standards for cleaning and maintenance products
  • Sustainable site planning and landscaping considerations

Some key elements of Section 01350 are procedures to ensure good indoor air quality to protect human health. This part of the specification includes product selection guidelines and emission-testing protocols to distinguish low-emitting materials.


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