The construction industry is one of the largest and most active sectors in the world and in the next decades will keep on growing at a very fast pace. For instance, China will need 40 billion square meters of combined residential and commercial fl oor space over the next 20 years – equivalent to adding one New York every two years (Pacheco-Torgal and Jalali, 2011). Buildings have high energy consumption and account for a signifi cant part of carbon dioxide emissions. Since 1930 more than 100,000 new chemical compounds have been developed, and insuffi cient information exists for health assessments of 95% of chemicals that are used to a signifi cant extent in construction products (Pacheco-Torgal and Jalali, 2011). Moreover, many buildings currently suffer from problems related to excessive moisture with mold formation, or present low humidity levels, giving rise to respiratory diseases. A recent investigation (Fisk et al., 2011) shows that improving indoor environmental quality in the stock of US offi ce buildings would generate a potential annual economic benefi t of approximately $20 billion. So it is rather obvious that the indoor air quality must be put in the center of eco-effi cient building design.
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