In the past decade, a growing interest of scientific researches has indicated that the air within the buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air. Indoor pollution has increased due to variety of factors including the construction of more tightly sealed buildings, the use of synthetic finishes and furnishings, and the use of chemically formulated personel care products. The presence of the sources that release gases or particles into the air are the main causes of indoor pollution in buildings, and in this context in hospital buildings. The indoor pollution bounds the indoor air quality (IAQ). To identify sustainable IAQ of the hospitals, the determinants of IAQ such as "indoor pollutants", "indoor pollutant sources", "indoor pollutant removal mechanisms", and "the health effects of indoor pollutants" are discussed within the context of indoor pollution in the current paper. Furthermore, a comprehensive approach to hospital building design dealing with the sustainability criteria from cradle to grave process is presented. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011.