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Top 5 IAQ Books for your Library

Behind every great indoor air nerd is a great technical library.  No matter how much one tries to memorize, it’s impossible to recall all the facts and figures required of professionals in this field.  A good library is not a recommendation… it is a must!

In the United States a typical industrial company will spend about 3.5% of revenues on research and development.  What percent are you spending on personal development and research?  The field of indoor air quality is way too complex for professionals to brush off the importance of this investment.  I recommend a minimum of 1% of your company’s revenue should be put into purchasing references and educational material.

Once you commit to building a library, you’ll need to decide which books and standards to start purchasing.  For some general guidance, here is a link to the Indoor Sciences IAQ Library.

What are your top 5 favorite IAQ references?  Please publish your list in the comments section below.  To get the conversation going, here is my top 5 list:

  • Indoor Air Quality Handbook, Spengler
  • Recognition, Evaluation, and Control of Indoor Mold, AIHA
  • ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010
  • Moisture Control Handbook, Lstiburek
  • Indoor Environmental Quality, Godish

If you don’t have a top 5, at least list your favorite resource.  I’m excited to see the replies…  I guess that makes me an Indoor Air Nerd!

By Ian Cull

I'm I.A.N. the Indoor Air Nerd. I'm a speaker and consultant on indoor air quality issues. To learn more about me, click "about" at the top of this page.

4 replies on “Top 5 IAQ Books for your Library”

Ian. I have a large quantity of Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers on hand. It’s a book that the EPA had in volumes in the mid-90’s. This is still a GREAT reference book and I make sure that any new clients that call me receive one or two copies for their office library. Beyond that book – as a client resource – my library contains Water in Buildings (Bill Rose), Building Science for Building Enclosures (Straube/Burnett) and Holley Bailey’s book on Fungal Contamination.


Great contributions! I have Water in Buildings on my “to buy” list. I was rereading the Building Air Quality book by EPA recently and I was struck with how on target the document was, even 20 years ago.

Thanks for your feedback!

Dear Mr. Nerd: (Hey, at least you’re not a geek!) 🙂

If someone really wants to advance their understanding of moisture and its many effects on the built environment, Bill Rose’s book is a must read. for some reason, my ‘Customer Review’ is still the only one posted at Amazon:

Godish’s IEQ book is pretty good, but I wouldn’t put it in the top 5 group.

and Straube’s Building Science text is just that — it’s a textbook. very heavy lifting, full of calcs and more detail than most practitioners will ever need (or for that matter, understand). upper level college course to be sure.

Spengler’s IAQ Handbook definitely belongs in the top 5 list, as does the EPA/NIOSH Building Air Quality (BAQ) guide.

IMHO, the best text on the microbial aspects of our work remains Flannigan Samson Miller “Microorganisms in Home and Indoor Work Environments” — it’s a treasure trove of useful info that you just won’t find anywhere else. my copy is from 2002, and it appears that a 2nd edition is now available. pricey, but worth every dollar.

Keep up the good work!


I like the books recommended above and have most of them.

My current favorite is ASHRAE’s Indoor Air Quality Guide Best Practices for Design, Construction and Commissioning. The 1st Summary part is avaiable via a free download from ASHRAE , but it is just the basics (in 176 pages). The real goldmine is the supplemental material that comes in a CD with the print version and includes detailed guidance (in an additional 535 pages). At $29 for the print copy and CD, it is the best IAQ bargain out there

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