Indoor environment quality contracts in building projects

Arto Saari, Leena Aalto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The scientific literature is replete with examples that indicate that poor indoor conditions at workplaces reduce work performance and increase short-term sick leave. To address good indoor environment quality (IEQ), strategic and practical design decisions are needed in the early phase of the building process to ensure successful implementation. However, current procurement practices are hampered by fragmentation, long subcontract chains and vague performance requirements. A preliminary study is undertaken that focuses on developing a method of contracting that enables the attainment and verification of the desired IEQ. Using a review of international research and practices, existing commissioning methods and contract procedures are identified for their attention to IEQ. A contract procedure is proposed that fosters agreement on indoor environment between building owners and tenants, and which directs a building project to give users the guarantee of indoor condition. To make a pre-lease contract agreement that includes IEQ, the factors having an influence on the IEQ chain must be included in all building contracts such as those of design, purchase, and operation and maintenance. Thus, the requirements of IEQ require their incorporation into every phase of the building project. The main elements in these contracts, in addition to the requirements of IEQ, are those verifying quality, bonuses and sanctions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • building construction
  • building performance
  • commissioning
  • contracts
  • design quality
  • indoor environment quality
  • predictability
  • project delivery
  • quality control

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