Russell Ibbotson


Russell Ibbotson

Manager, Technical Solutions & Architectural Projects, P. Eng, LEED AP, CTR

Better Indoor Air Quality for Healthy Homes – From Design to Installation to Healthier Occupants

While the design and construction community have more and more access to building programs and tools to supply high performance buildings, they’re not always deployed. On the other hand,  homeowners also have more access to the means to measure the home’s actual performance (beyond just energy) and this puts them in a stronger position to flag short comings in the buildings being delivered. 

In this presentation, I will tell the story of indoor air quality from the design stage, through proper construction and commissioning and then capture how this is experienced for good or bad by the homeowners. The idea is that a similar storey can be told for daylight, thermal comfort, acoustics and other “invisible” contributors to designing for comfort and wellbeing. You will come away with a basic understanding of how bad indoor air quality can affect people, the standards in place to achieve good indoor air quality, a high level intro to how mechanical and natural ventilation works, and how these systems are commissioned. In the end, this is about the people in the home and you’ll get a glimpse at what home owners may experience and in some cases monitor indoor air quality and what this can say about the design and construction – full circle.


Russell’s 20 years of experience in sustainability and healthy buildings is a nicely balanced cocktail of engineering analysis, lived experience and passion with a hint of business acumen. After spending almost 10 years in renewable energy, Russell joined VELUX to help lead the Canadian development of better living environments with daylight and fresh air through the roof.

Russell is known for digging into the standards and the numbers but also for his keen interest in how people experience buildings. He puts great importance on correlating the quantitative building performance with the qualitative experience of the occupants. Russell has participated in and supported many building projects following different building standards over the years, but Active House stands out as his favorite. Russell was the first Active House verifier in North America, he lived in Great Gulf’s Centennial Park Active House with his family in 2016, and co-chaired the 2019 Active House Symposium in Toronto. Russell has spoken in North America and Europe about these experiences.

Russell has also made volunteering with building industry associations part of his job description. He is currently the Past-Chair of the CSC Toronto Chapter (Construction Specifications Canada), and has previously served on the board of directors for the CHBA (Canadian Home Builders’ Association) and IIBEC Southern Ontario Chapter (International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants). Russell is involved with the planned launch of Active House Canada in 2022.