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Green Cleaning and Indoor Air Quality

Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors where the air quality can be significantly worse than outdoors. The construction of SJC’s new Terminal received a 13 out of 15 possible Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits for Indoor Air Quality. SJC implemented many different measures to achieve this rating to protect the indoor air that occupants are breathing.

SJC has a green cleaning policy that ensures that all cleaning is done in the least toxic manner possible. The Airport uses Green Seal Certified janitorial products ( to clean restrooms, common area floors and surfaces. The products are plant based and do not contain petrochemicals which can harm the people or the environment on extraction, use and disposal. Green Seal is a non-profit independent certification group that develops its “less toxic” standards for cleaning products with widespread input from industry, government, academia, and the public. By using less toxic products we protect staff and visitor’s health.


The majority of the airport’s hard floor surfaces are terrazzo. Traditionally terrazzo floors are polished with chemicals – a process involving stripping and polishing the floor numerous times per year. In place of using highly volatile chemicals to keep a shiny finish on the floors, SJC’s terrazzo floors have a diamond polished finish, which can be cleaned with soap and water. This eliminates the need to use stripper, sealer and finishes which require more labor and use of products which can contain volatile chemicals. This more sustainable method of floor care addresses the triple bottom line by reducing chemical use, labor costs, and most importantly protecting worker and customer health.

We also reduced our environmental impact and ensured healthy indoor air quality by selecting low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, carpets, furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

The new ventilation system was designed to exceed the minimum ventilation rates of standard buildings, balancing energy with indoor air quality to optimize efficiency and occupant health.