Many of us think of old buildings as drafty, dusty places and as potential sources of mold and mildew. Therefore, it makes sense that indoor air quality in these older structures would concern both building managers and occupants. However, new buildings IAQ is just as important.
The Importance of New Buildings IAQ
We spend the vast majority of our lives indoors. Many of us spend that time either at work or at home. IAQ is important to our health in both places. Each residential and commercial building contains a different atmosphere. Factors affecting IAQ include the purpose of the building (medical facility, manufacturing, retail, apartment complex, etc.) as well as the number of occupants. The HVAC system also impacts IAQ. A well-maintained, clean system creates healthier air which results in a healthier building environment. Likewise, healthier indoor air leads to healthier building occupants.
The benefits of better new buildings IAQ include improved cognitive functioning. That means higher test scores for children in classrooms. For workers, improved indoor air means fewer missed days of work and increased productivity. Both of these things contribute to a stronger bottom line. Regardless of the financial benefits, new building IAQ is attainable and affordable.
New Building Construction and IAQ
It is a mistake to assume IAQ is better in new construction. On the contrary, tiny dust resulting from construction lingers in the air for years afterward. In addition, paints and other materials used in construction release volatile organic compounds. These VOCs release into the air for weeks, even months after construction ends. Some construction materials, such as wood for example, retain moisture which may lead to mold issues. For all of these reasons, new building IAQ concerns facilities managers.
New Buildings IAQ Health Check
Preventing the health issues that can develop from new building materials requires proactive measures. For example, the Building Health Check offered by WTI | PACS provides a complete assessment of the indoor environment. The evaluation, based on HVAC zones, uses both field and laboratory assays to determine the structure’s biological status and performance.
Our HVAC Hygiene Assessment gives management a precise measure of the impact an HVAC system has on new buildings IAQ as well as the bottom line. Over time the HVAC system becomes dirty which in turn decreases its performance and degrades the facility’s IAQ. This is to the detriment of the occupants’ health. The Building Sciences’ HVAC Hygiene Assessment examines the AHU, EV coils, and ductwork. Our technicians also collect samples for analysis by the lab at WTI. The resulting report gives facilities managers and building engineers the information needed to improve new building IAQ.
Mold & Bacteria
The Laboratory at WTI examines new buildings IAQ using certain tests and analyses as well as photographic proof. Technicians check for bacteria, mold, and particulates by taking air and surface samples. Measurements and records are also made of temperature, relative humidity, and wall moisture. Services include mold evaluations and allergen screenings but also floor and wall moisture testing and temperature and humidity logging.
New building IAQ is not immune from the spread of viruses. Therefore, building managers should concern themselves with the possibility of virus transmission. That said, tackling concerns with workplace air quality calls for more than a random approach. Thus, it’s imperative to increase the amount of fresh outdoor air in the workplace. This necessitates an IAQ strategy that is prescriptive. To fulfill ASHRAE Standard 62.1 for ventilation rates and other IAQ standards, this calls for the type of testing, cleaning, restoration, and monitoring offered in the New Life Restoration system.
New Buildings IAQ Management Plan
A mold issue can be swiftly solved by eliminating the source of contamination, regulating the relative humidity, and putting effective sanitization or remediation methods into place. After fixing new building IAQ issues, keeping the inhabitants in a healthy environment is not difficult. To ensure that mold won’t become a problem in the future, we advise putting in place an IAQ management program. This approach primarily focuses on scheduled maintenance and awareness as well as monitoring.
IAQ monitoring ensures that a new building IAQ management plan remains an effective tool for keeping workers safe. Remote sensors placed throughout the building provide real-time data on environmental conditions. Addressing these issues quickly keeps building occupants safe and operating costs low.
Learn More About IAQ in New Buildings
To learn more about how WTI | Pure Air Control Services helps facilities managers improve IAQ in both older and new construction buildings, contact us today.