Overcast Insights
Better Buildings: Enhancing Indoor Environmental Quality for Healthier Occupants


Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) pertains to the quality of the conditions inside buildings and structures, particularly concerning the well-being and comfort of the occupants.  Airflow and air quality, light, temperature, acoustics and the organization of spaces all contribute to how occupants experience the indoor environment.   The quality of the indoor environment affects the health and, therefore, the productivity of its occupants.  Whether engaged in office work, educating, researching or providing health services, we must always strive for the best environment that we can achieve in order to reach the goals we have for being in the environment.

Air quality and flow are typically the first aspects of the environment that come to mind when thinking about the indoor environment.  This element of IEQ is known as IAQ or Indoor Air Quality.  The importance of the quality of what we breather cannot be overstated.  How we comprehend and then manage indoor pollutants can lower the likelihood of indoor health issues.  Building occupants experience negative effects of poor IAQ in chronic and acute forms. According to the EPA, immediate effects include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Acute symptoms are typically treatable but long-term effects such as some respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer can result in severe disability or death. Understanding the diverse origins of indoor pollutants is crucial for building owners to proactively manage indoor air quality and safeguard occupants from potential health risks.

Building owners and managers must consider various origins of pollutants to ensure good IAQ and protect end users from negative health effects. Harmful sources of indoor air pollution include combustion appliances, cleaning products, central heating and cooling systems, excess moisture and outdoor pollutants that can travel indoors like pesticides. One significant factor to consider is that building materials and furnishings are sometimes manufactured with more toxic chemicals than in the past. As more durable and renewable materials are used in conjunction with more airtight facilities, owners must keep a closer eye on IAQ so as to not increase indoor pollutant levels.

Overcast Clouds proactively combat IAQ issues using innovative solutions. Our Clouds can house Armstrong World Industries StrataClean filters, a highly energy-efficient system that uses MERV 13 filtration to replace 1,000 SF of air every hour on the lowest setting. Overcast Clouds are easy to service and clean preventing accumulation of dust, mold and other contaminants.  Overcast Clouds are also a smart choice when it comes to materials due to our Declare Label.

Overcast targets inefficiency and waste throughout the entire process of building design, construction, and operations and adopts a broad perspective to introduce fresh possibilities for providing enhanced value to our clients in many ways, not the least of which is a positive contribution to IAQ and, therefore IEQ.