IAQ News

How Particulate Matter Affects IAQ

Our understanding of how particulate matter affects indoor air quality and the well-being of occupants has improved in recent years. This has made issues of IAQ a concern for facilities managers and building owners. Better ways of tracking and interpreting health trends and more streamlined data collection has made it easier to identify the threats posed by particulate matter and poor IAQ. Improved HVAC monitoring systems have contributed to this understanding how microbial communities respond to environmental conditions and impact our health. While it may not be possible to eliminate all particles from entering or forming in the built environment, recent advancements in limiting them are encouraging. Understanding Particulate Matter Particulate matter (PM) is a mix of solid particles and drops of liquid that travel through the air. Dust and dirt are particles that we can observe along with smoke and soot. However, other particles are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Particulates can also contain different chemicals that get released during construction or from unpaved roads located close to buildings. Some are created ...
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Coronavirus Safeguards for Your Facility

Coronavirus was first detected in China in December of 2019. Nearly one hundred people died from the respiratory virus in a single day in February as the overall death toll in the country approaches 1,000. A rise in reported cases of coronavirus in the U.S. has prompted government officials to declare a public health emergency. Let's look at some coronavirus safeguards for your buildings. News of any epidemic is a cause for public concern. A lack of awareness and a plan to deal with the potential impact of the coronavirus can turn that concern into panic. Building owners and facilities managers need to be vigilant in preventing the spread of coronavirus in buildings and on campuses. They need to educate and protect occupants. What is Coronavirus? The coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a novel virus, meaning it has never been seen before. It creates pneumonia-like symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever, and coughing. The virus is transmitted by tiny droplets of water that travel through the air by coughing and sneezing. Then it enters the lungs to ...
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Commercial IAQ: 5 Ways The Market Is Changing

There has been increased interest in indoor air quality (IAQ) from facilities managers, building owners, and employers. It has become a part of the planning and design in both new construction and the remodeling of existing structures. This increased awareness means it was only a matter of time before Commercial IAQ became a part of the real estate conversation. Stakeholders in the built environment need to make commercial IAQ service providers a part of the equation in this changing market. Failure to address IAQ issues puts building occupants at risk and there are financial consequences for employers as well. It also puts owners at a steep disadvantage in the commercial real estate market as IAQ certifications prove more attractive to potential buyers. IAQ and Changing the Real Estate Market 1. Building Occupants Care about IAQ Indoor air quality is about safety. As we learn more about the link between IAQ and health, we begin to see ways to address this issue better. Poor IAQ, in many cases, causes Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and the public is aware ...
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/ Building Sciences

Prevent Legionella in Your HVAC System

Let’s take a look at how to prevent Legionella in your HVAC system. But before we do we must understand what this bacteria is and how it affects building occupants. Legionnaires’ disease is an infection of the respiratory system. It is a form of atypical pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria. While milder than pneumonia, symptoms are similar and include fever, muscle pain, headaches, coughing, and shortness of breath. More severe cases of Legionnaires’ disease may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Much of the public views Legionnaires’ disease as a rare illness because it is widely underreported. The majority of cases go undetected and few cases get reported to the media. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are between 8,000 and 18,000 instances of the disease in the United States each year, yet public awareness remains low. Legionnaires’ disease has a high cost for building owners in the form of lawsuits and loss of business due to bad press. It also can result in long-term health complications for those who contract it ...
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Mold Management Strategies for the Indoor Environment

Mold management for optimal indoor air quality is important to building and occupant health. Mold is everywhere. It’s a natural part of our environment and is useful in breaking down dead organic matter. Mold spores get carried through the air like seeds. They can attach to dust particles and travel on our clothing as we go from one building to the next. Similarly, spores also enter buildings through windows and vents and when they settle into the right conditions, mold colonies can form. Mold exposure may trigger allergy type symptoms in some individuals which include burning and watery eyes, sore throat, coughing, and skin rash. In most cases, there’s no harm from these tiny mold spores, however, when the perfect conditions for mold growth exist immediate attention becomes necessary. It is possible to control mold in homes and office buildings. Building managers need to remain vigilant with effective mold management strategies in place to prevent issues from developing. Understanding Mold A combination of three things contribute to mold growth:
  • Moisture
  • Food
  • Temperature
Identifying and eliminating ...
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/ Building Sciences

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