GreenGuard Indoor Air Guardian




November 2009

Feature Article
Children’s Environments Built for Good Indoor Air Quality at Greenbuild

Nearly 55 million people in the United States spend their time in school buildings, approximately half of which have been identified as having poor indoor air quality. Additionally, children spend more than 85 percent of their time indoors where they breathe air that is two to five times more polluted than outside air, exposing them to harmful chemicals and pollutants. Providing healthy and high-performance homes and learning environments through good indoor air quality is critical for the well-being of our children.

Since good indoor air quality is so important to good health, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute will demonstrate at this year’s Greenbuild conference how easy it is to create healthy indoor environments. 


Back to top


Recently Certified Manufacturers


GREENGUARD Children & SchoolsSM Certified


CDS Doors
Commercial Door Systems offers GREENGUARD Certified doors. Based in Bensalem, PA, Commercial Door Systems has been manufacturing fiberglass doors for school districts and other institutions for more than 20 years.  


Furniture by Thurston
Furniture By Thurston, a Three Mountain Company offers GREENGUARD Certified residence hall furniture. Headquartered in Grass Valley, CA, Furniture By Thurston provides solid wood products for university residence halls and dormitory furniture for our military.


Lamitech S.A.

Lamitech S.A. offers GREENGUARD Certified High Pressure Decorative Laminates (HPL). Based in Cartagena, Colombia,Lamitech focuses on manufacturing HPL with attractive and unique vertical and horizontal surfacing solutions.


OFM, Inc.

OFM offers GREENGUARD Certified Industrial Grade Stack Chairs. Headquartered in Holly Springs, NC, OFM focuses on supplying Office and School Furniture Dealers with excellent service along with a market competitive price on all of their items.


Stanley Furniture Company

Young America is Stanley Furniture Company’s industry leading brand of infant-to-teen furniture, Built to Grow™ from crib to college. With all of its products made in the 
USA, Young America is the trusted children’s furniture brand for safety, broad selection and quick delivery.


Wenger Corporation

Wenger Corporation offers GREENGUARD Certified storage solutions for musical instruments and equipment. Headquartered in Owatonna, Minnesota, Wenger provides innovative, high-quality products and solutions for music and theatre education, performing arts and athletic equipment storage and transport.


More certified manufacturers

Back to top





GREENGUARD Certified Cleaning System Helps CB Richard Ellis Achieve Sustainability Goals

When CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest real estate services firm with more than 2.2 billion square feet of managed institutional and corporate real estate, sought a cleaning system aligned with their corporate sustainability philosophy, they selected the GREENGUARD Children & SchoolsSM Certified JohnsonDiversey Healthy High Performance Cleaning Program. GREENGUARD Certification provided CB Richard Ellis with third-party assurance that the cleaning system they selected will protect the indoor air quality of their buildings and maintain high-performance environments.


GREENGUARD to be Featured on WSB TV
Tune in to WSB TV Channel 2 (Atlanta) on November 11th, at 5 p.m. for investigative reporter Jim Strickland’s report on one family’s experience with toxic nursery furniture. The report features GREENGUARD as the indoor air quality expert on both old and new crib test results. The full report will be available at after the 11th.

ANSI / GREENGUARD Standard Now Available
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute proudly announces approval and publication of its “ANSI / GREENGUARD Environmental Institute Mold and Moisture Management Standard for New Construction (ANSI / GEI – MMS1001)” by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This important national standard is the first to focus solely on mold and moisture issues that can arise in the construction of new buildings (four stories or more). Moisture, and in turn mold, can ruin indoor environmental quality, compromise building materials and building systems and cost thousands of dollars to fix. Minimizing these risks protects financial investments while also preserving the structural integrity and air quality of the building. The standard details design, construction and maintenance practices for preventing the harmful growth of mold. An electronic or hard copy version of the standard is available for purchase at

The GREENGUARD Nursery – A Success at the ABC Kids Expo

This year, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) educated buyers, retailers and parents in the juvenile product industry on the importance of good indoor air quality through our exhibit at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. This show gave GEI a great opportunity to demonstrate that a beautiful nursery designed with low-emitting products can easily be accomplished.


New Specifications
Commercial buildings are implementing “green” or sustainable practices in efforts to reduce energy consumption, conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gases and save money, while also creating healthier places to work. Ensuring healthy indoor air is more important than ever as efforts to save energy result in tighter buildings with less fresh air. As noted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, source control through the use of low-emitting products is the best way to reduce indoor air pollution. Demonstrated by many sustainable building programs, GREENGUARD Certification offers an easy way for building professionals to find low-emitting products which can contribute to good indoor air quality while earning LEED and other green building credits. Click here to see a list of programs and credits where GREENGUARD is recognized and referenced.

GREENGUARD Expands Educational Offerings
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is excited to announce its newest continuing education unit (CEU), “Clearing the Air on Sustainability: Why Good Indoor Air Quality Matters.”

This course is accredited by the AIA (American Institute of Architects) for one hour of CE credit in HSW (Health, Safety and Welfare) and SD (Sustainable Design). It identifies overarching aspects of sustainability and how sustainable design works to integrate societal, economic and environmental goals for the benefit of all. The course discusses how synergies can be created by implementing elements resulting in improved health, lower energy consumption, productivity increases and decreased building maintenance costs, with special emphasis on good indoor air quality (IAQ) and improved health. First-, second- and third-party certifications are discussed, specifically the resources they provide to design and construction professionals as contrasted with “green washing” tactics. For more information on GREENGUARD’s CEUs, please email

Back to top


Larry Speck, FAIA, is a Principal in the architectural firm Page Southerland Page, LLP in Austin, Texas which recently received the Texas Society of Architects Firm of the Year Award for 2009.  A renowned architect and educator with national and international acclaim, Larry’s professional landmarks include the Austin Bergstrom International Airport, Austin Convention Center and the architecture for Discovery Green, a new 12-acre park in downtown Houston.  Over the past years his design work has won 33 national design awards, 21 state or regional design awards and 63 local design awards.

Larry served as Dean of the School of Architecture at University of Texas at Austin where he continues to serve as faculty. He is a fellow in the AIA and has served on the Architectural Advisory Board for the U.S. State Department Overseas Building Operations, as a National Peer Reviewer for the U.S. General Services Administration Design Excellence Program and on the boards of national environmental groups such as the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. He has recently served on advisory panels for architectural schools at M.I.T., University of Michigan, Tulane University, LSU and University of Nevada at Las Vegas.


Ask the Expert
Indoor Air Quality and Good Design

We had a client several years ago for whom we designed a large office interior to accommodate his growing firm.  I knew this fellow well and had observed his severe allergy problems over many years.  Besides the apparent discomfort the allergies created for him most of the time, his coughing and congestion often interfered with his ability to communicate effectively and was a source of self-consciousness and embarrassment.

His old offices were a mine field of indoor air quality problems. There had been leaks that had persisted over months before they were repaired. Carpets and ceiling tiles were old and deteriorated. No attention had been paid in repairs / repaint or purchasing new furnishing to the potential for off-gassing or other toxicity.

In designing the new space we tried to optimize indoor air quality (IAQ) as we do in all of our projects. We were working to LEED standards and IAQ was just a normal part of the design process. Oddly, neither we nor our client made any real connection between his allergy problems and our efforts to set high indoor air quality standards for the new space.

Our client’s firm was immediately very pleased with the new digs. They commented repeatedly about the bright, cheerful feeling of the offices, the optimization of spectacular views and the sense of collaboration the space engendered.  They said nothing about indoor air quality.

But over time I noticed a significant improvement in my friend’s allergy symptoms.  They became hardly noticeable after six months or so. Poor indoor air quality had been aggravating his symptoms, and he began to credit improved air quality with giving him relief from a persistent health problem he had lived with for many years.

Indoor air quality is such an invisible design issue that we are often unconscious of its huge significance and impact. In this case it was probably the single most important aspect of creating a well-designed work environment for this client.

Do you have a question for our team of experts? Email your question to

Back to top



Continuing Education

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is proud to be a recognized USGBC Education Provider and provides numerous accredited Continuing Education Courses related to indoor air quality principles, including the following:

Making the Grade: Healthy Schools Nurturing Healthy Kids (New!)
Credits: AIA (1LU)

Clearing the Air on Sustainability: Why Good Indoor Air Quality Matters
Credits: AIA (1LU)

Indoor Air Quality and Healing Environments

Credits: AIA (1LU), IDCEC (0.1 CEU), USGBC

Healthy Indoor Air by Design
Credits: AIA (1LU), IDCEC (0.1 CEU), CSI (1-ECH), USGBC

Building Blocks for Healthy Indoor Air
Credits: AIA (1LU), IDCEC (0.1CEU), USGBC

Design to Prevent the Damaging Effects of Mold
Credits: AIA (1LU), CSI (1-ECH)

Back to top


Press Room

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute serves as a resource for publications and media outlets, providing information on various topics that relate to product emissions and indoor air quality. The following are recent articles and features.

Building Design & Construction
Green Building Insulation: The Environmental Benefits

Freshaire Paints - Healthly and Sustainable

Bangkok Post
It's important to 'flush out' a newly constructed home

Omaha World Herald
Stylish, sustainable fall interior design ideas

The Oakland Press
BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Remodeled home meets ‘green’ standards

Kids Today
Greenguard sets up example nursery using certified products
Ribbon Cutting To Be Held For First LEED-Certified Library On Long Island

dBusiness News
Atlanta Kitchen Installs Luxurious Caesarstone Tops at Model Home at The Mansion on Peachtree

To read these and past articles, visit the Press Room/Articles under the 'About GEI' tab on the GEI website. Read More...

Back to top


Questions or comments?

©2009 GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. All rights reserved.