Highlands Sports Complex WELL


Air Concept Intent

The WELL Air concept aims to ensure high levels of indoor air quality across a building’s lifetime through diverse strategies that include source elimination or reduction, active and passive building design and operation strategies and human behavior interventions. Highlands Sports Complex applies the RESET Air Crosswalk, guaranteeing high quality indoor environmental quality by monitoring air and thermal comfort components ensuring the health of occupants at all times.

A01: Fundamental Air Quality

Focus: to provide acceptable air quality levels based on accepted public health standards.

Why it's Important:

Inhalation exposure to indoor air pollutants can lead to a variety of poor health and well-being outcomes. Health effects associated with exposure to indoor air pollutants can be short- and long-term and can range in severity. Pollutants such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide, and ozone can cause symptoms, ranging from headaches, dry throat, eye irritation and runny nose to asthma attacks, poisoning and cancer. Exposure to air pollutants such as ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and others has been shown to increase the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases including asthma, myocardial ischemia, angina, high blood pressure and heart disease. It is therefore important to define indoor air quality levels that minimize risk to human health. The quality of the air people breathe indoors directly impacts their health and well-being and constitutes one of the most important aspects of healthy buildings.

What We Tested:

  • Formaldehyde that is less than 27 ppb
  • Total volatile organic compounds less than 500 mg/m3
  • Carbon Monoxide less than 9 ppm
  • Particulate Matter2.5 less than 25 mg/m3
  • Particulate Matter10 less than 50 mg/m3
  • Ozone less than 51 ppb
  • Radon less than 0.15 Bq/L

A02: Smoke Free Environment

Focus: to ensure healthy air by eliminating occupant exposure to smoke and second-hand smoke through policy and reminders.

Why it's Important:

Exposure to tobacco smoke persists as an important cause of ill health for both smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke. The average life expectancy of a smoker is 10 years less than that of a nonsmoker. In addition to nicotine, cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients that form over 7,000 compounds when burned, of which at least 69 are known to be carcinogenic. Secondhand smoke exposes nonsmokers to the same contaminants, increasing the number of people subject to health risks from smoking. Examples of health issues include asthma attacks, respiratory infections, coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and sudden infant death syndrome. There are also strong links between exposure to cigarette smoke and impaired cognitive development, including where pregnant mothers are exposed to either primary or secondary cigarette smoke. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that there are serious health consequences associated with exposure to thirdhand tobacco smoke, secondhand marijuana smoke and emissions from  e-cigarettes. The thirdhand smoke (residual chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke) clings to walls, furniture, clothes, bedding, carpets and other surfaces long after smoking has occurred. Globally, 93% of the population lives in countries not protected by 100% smoke-free regulations. Smoke-free environments are a fundamental step toward achieving high quality indoor air quality.

How We Achieve This:

Highlands Sports Complex has a facility-wide no smoking policy and smoking is banned within our outside boundaries as well. We provide signs to reinforce the policy around the facility.

A03: Ventilation Effectiveness

Focus: to bring fresh air from the outside through mechanical and/or natural means in order to dilute human and product-generated air pollutants.

Why it's Important:

Poorly ventilated spaces contribute to symptoms — such as headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, cough, sneezing, shortness of breath and eye, nose, throat and skin irritation — collectively called sick building syndrome (SBS). The economic costs of SBS in under-ventilated buildings are significant and far exceed the energy-related cost savings. Poor ventilation is also linked to increased rates of absences, higher operational costs and decreased productivity. One U.S.-based study reported that the sick leave attributable to insufficient provision of fresh air in buildings is estimated to be 35% of total absenteeism. Proper design and operation of a ventilation system is essential for supporting indoor air quality and plays a fundamental role in creating healthy buildings.

How We Know:

Ventilation through mechanical means complies with supply and exhaust rates in ASHRAE 62.1 – 2010 or through similar codes measuring ventilations systems. Through the RESET Air Crosswalk, ventilation effectiveness is monitored 24-7 365 for real-time through measuring a variety of indoor environmental quality factors.

A04: Construction Pollution Management

Focus: to keep construction-related pollutants from impacting indoor air quality, to act on any construction-related contaminants to ensure the health of occupants and to minimize the impact on building materials and products.

Why it's Important:

Air pollution originating from construction and demolition works can impact the health and quality of life of people working and residing nearby and is associated with increased mortality owing to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.] Increased emissions of PM10 in the vicinity of construction sites are positively correlated with people’s suffering from respiratory diseases. Building construction and renovations are mostly a source of coarse particulate matter, but they are also a source of airborne ultrafine particles. Minimizing the introduction of construction-related pollutants into indoor air improves indoor air quality, which is ultimately beneficial for human health and well-being.

How It Was Achieved:

Ductwork were sealed and protected from possible contamination during construction

Ductwork was cleaned prior to installing registers, grills, and diffusers

Media filters with minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) 8 and higher are used

All filters were replaced prior to occupancy

All diesel equipment had as little impact on the site and inside the facility due to its careful operations

A05: Enhanced Air Quality

Focus: to go above current guidelines to provide enhanced air quality levels that have been linked to improved human health and performance.

Why it's Important:

Studies have shown that air pollution contributes to the large global burden of respiratory and allergic diseases, which include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and possibly tuberculosis. There is an emerging body of evidence that air pollution can disrupt physical and cognitive development in children. Researchers have also identified a clear relationship between indoor air quality and human productivity in buildings. On average, 10% of productivity loss could be attributable to health issues related to poor indoor air quality in office buildings.

What We Tested:

  • Particulate Matter2.5 less than 10 mg/m3
  • Particulate Matter10 less than 20 mg/m3
  • Formaldehyde less than 13.4 ppb
  • Benzene less than 3 mg/m3
  • Carbon Monoxide less than 6 ppm
  • Ozone less than 25 ppb
  • Nitrogen less than 21 ppb

A06: Enhanced Ventilation

Focus: to implement advanced ventilation strategies that can secure higher air quality levels and thus benefitting human health and productivity.

Why it's Important:

The majority of ventilation standards specify ventilation rates and other measures intended to provide indoor air quality that is merely “acceptable” to building users and that reduces the risk of adverse health effects. Even with proper ventilation designed to meet ventilation standards, the concentration of indoor pollutants can exceed concentrations found in outdoor air. Ventilation rates less than 10 L/s [21 CFM] per person in all building types are associated with negative perception of air quality and actual health outcomes. Ventilation systems designed primarily for human health are essential to good indoor air quality and play a fundamental role in creating healthy buildings.

What Did We Measure:

Outdoor air supply exceeding by 30% the rates described in ASHRAE 62.1 – 2010

A08: Air Quality Monitoring and Awareness

Focus: to provide ongoing measurement of contaminant data, to educate and empower occupants about their environmental quality.

Why it's Important:

Types and concentrations of indoor pollutants continuously fluctuate in any indoor or outdoor environment. For example, cooking in the home can lead to a rapid spike in indoor air pollution.[86] Urban rush hours and waste-burning cause spikes in air pollution outdoors, which can directly impact indoor air quality. Some indoor air pollutants can be recognized by their immediate impacts on our body such as throat irritation or watery eyes.[3,4] Others, which often fly under human olfactory radar, are not necessarily benign. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, some health impacts like respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer can show up years after exposure.[87] Air quality monitoring and education can help individuals be aware of any deviations in indoor air quality metrics and is an important first step toward better air quality.

We’re educating occupants through digital materials and communications about the importance of indoor environmental quality.

A09: Pollution Infiltration Management

Focus: to reduce the transmission of air and pollutants from outdoors to indoors through the building envelop and entrance.

Why it's Important:

Research shows that approximately 65% of outdoor air particle inhalation occurs while indoors. Exposure to high levels of coarse and fine particulate matter inadvertently introduced into the space can lead to respiratory irritation and has been associated with increases in lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and mortality. Indoor air quality and thermal comfort can be compromised by leaks and gaps that break the building’s air barrier. These weak points are not only wasteful from an energy point of view but can also lead to conditions conducive to mold growth and to the infiltration of pests or polluted air. In addition, building users can introduce particulate matter indoors through their clothes and shoes, including harmful coliforms and Escherichia coli, among other toxins. When outdoor air quality is poor, delivery of high-performance building enclosures can improve indoor air quality, which is an important intervention for creating indoor built environments with maximum levels of air quality.

How We Do It:

The building envelop has been commissioned based on ASHRAE Guideline 0-2013 and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Guideline 3-2012 for new construction and done by an independent professional

The building vestibule has closed doorways to slow the movement of air from outdoors to indoors and all mats are cleaned per the recommended operations schedule by operations staff and our outdoor sports areas are separated by concrete walkways leading to the vestibule area.

Air Quality Awareness

In an ongoing effort to provide the best indoor environmental quality for high-performance athletics and for high-performance employees, air quality is monitored at all times in the facility. SFM is committed to our own high standards for human performance at all times in our facilities and understands the importance of the multiple body systems in that performance.


Highlands Sports Complex uses state of the art air quality monitoring as part of its RESET Air crosswalk with the WELL Building Standard. The facility occupants will have available to them real-time data available to them digitally throughout the facility. RESET Air monitors are positioned in nine different places and gather real-time information for people who are impacted most by indoor air quality; occupants in the facility. Monitored air quality is available to employees at all times.

You can find more information about the impact of indoor air quality on human health at the resources below:

WELL Education Library

The Highlands Sports Complex is a WELL Building, certified by the International WELL Building Institute. For additional resources and information, please visit our WELL Education Library.

We provide websites to search for resources concerning human and community health as it is influenced by the built environment.

If you are interested in learning more about air quality awareness and smoking/human performance, be sure to visit our WELL Education Library.