IAQ News

Occupant Well-Being is Linked to Building Health

Despite our desire to spend more time outside enjoying the fresh air, it isn’t always possible. The demands of the workplace, and inclement weather in certain parts of the country, keep us indoors for much of the time. But what if the time we spend inside office and apartment buildings is making us sick? Let’s take a closer look at how occupant well-being is linked to building health. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) Sick Building Syndrome is a disorder recognized by the World Health Organization. It describes the experience of occupants becoming physically ill as a direct result of spending time in a particular building. The symptoms include headaches, irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and lethargy. Once away from the building the symptoms vanish. While the specific sources that trigger SBS symptoms are difficult to identify, there’s a definite link to improper ventilation. The effects to occupant well-being and costs of SBS are real. Identifying and addressing the causes requires a professional assessment and remediation. Occupant Well-Being and SBS People may attribute the symptoms of SBS ...
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/ Building Sciences

3 Signs That You Need Duct Cleaning

A clean air conveyance system is a benchmark for good indoor air quality (IAQ). But how do you know when you need duct cleaning? After all the ductwork in a facility is out of sight and typically out of mind. Unless you periodically take a look inside of the ducts you would never know they are dirty. So, let’s take a look at quick 3 factors that help determine if you need duct cleaning. 1. Dusty Supply Registers and Filters One of the easiest ways to assess the conditions inside the ducts is to pay attention to the areas outside of them. Ductwork is dirty when there is a buildup of dust on the supply registers. Dirty supply registers also mean that the dust is being distributed into the occupied space. When you notice a dusty supply register it’s a good idea to take it off and have a look inside. If there is excessive dust and debris within the supply run, you need duct cleaning. Be sure to check your filters regularly, too. Dirty filters choke ...
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/ Building Remediation Sciences

HVAC Fan Retrofit Saves Energy and Extends Equipment Life

The Q-Pac HVAC fan retrofit is a viable energy savings upgrade for AHU restoration. Energy efficiency and sustainability are hot topics for building owners and facility managers. More than not these facility stake holders work closely with energy services consultants and engineers to map out plans for bigger savings and returns on investment. It is estimated that 65% of a building’s energy costs are tied to HVAC. Therefore, regular maintenance of HVAC is necessary to maximize its performance. But what about older equipment? Is there a cost effective way to optimize that besides replacing the entire AHU? The good news is that, yes, there are viable options including an HVAC fan retrofit and restoration. HVAC Restoration When thinking of redesign and replacement most benchmark the need based on equipment age and performance. HVAC restoration provides a sustainable solution at a fraction of the cost of new. Plus, there is less lead time and much less disruption to facility operations when it comes to HVAC restoration. HVAC New Life, named a Buildings Media Money Saving Product of the ...
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Healthy Lungs Benefit from Good Indoor Air Quality

October is Healthy Lung Month! Each year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor Environments Division and the American Lung Association team up to highlight the importance of good indoor air quality (IAQ) to healthy lungs! There are many common environmental pollutants that affect indoor air quality. These contaminants when found in large quantities cause various types of problems including respiratory issues for building occupants. Especially in those who are sensitive and prone to allergies. Let’s take a quick look at how to improve indoor air quality for the benefit of healthy lungs. Indoor Contaminants Modern architecture and construction methods have led to more airtight and energy efficient buildings. Generally, this is beneficial to occupant comfort and health. However, when out of balance the building envelope can foster a wide range of indoor pollutants that impact healthy lungs. Common indoor contaminants include:
  • Allergens
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi (Mold)
  • Gases
  • Particulates
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
These contaminants originate in a variety of ways. Two main factors that contribute to IAQ issues are water intrusion and poor or deferred HVAC ...
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/ IAQ Learning Institute

Microbial Induced Corrosion Testing Helps Prevent Catastrophic Failures

Microorganisms are ubiquitous. Though if in abundance and unchecked the propagules of microorganisms inside a pipes e.g. fire sprinkler pipes, chiller pipes, potable water, oil & gas pipes, etc. can cause catastrophic outcomes. Microbial life creates its own tiny environment, or biofilm. Beneath that biofilm, as life proliferates, Microbial Induced Corrosion ( MIC ) is established. The corrosion of infrastructure materials, in particular those of metallic composition is a persistent concern for Building owners, operations officers, facility managers, purchasing directors and partners, among others. This process of degeneration generally impacts metalloids, metals and rock-based matters. It's a common problem for industries that include oil and gas, fire safety, power plants, and chemical production. In fact, each of these industries have special standards written to include contingencies for Microbial Induced Corrosion testing. The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) have standards TM0212-2012, TM0194-2014 and SP0106-2006 which all address the testing and control of MIC. While the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) has standards NFPA 13 and NFPA 25 both address Microbial Induced Corrosion. It’s estimated that systems failures ...
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/ Laboratory (EDLab)
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