Prescriptive Indoor Air Quality

Prescriptive indoor air quality is the process by which facilities managers get a diagnosis, devise a treatment plan, then keep a close eye on the results.

The health of our bodies and the health of the buildings we spend time in is equally important. So, it makes sense to think of physical health and environmental health in the same way. Consider this, we see a doctor who runs tests on us when we feel sick. Likewise, when we suspect that a building has an IAQ issue that is making building occupants ill, we need to go consult a professional. After all, how can you treat the building if you don’t test it? In the same way, how can you maintain your health if you don’t observe conditions after treatment?

What Does an IAQ Diagnosis Look Like?

The first step is the IAQ diagnosis—finding the source of the problem. A complete IAQ investigation includes an initial walkthrough. This is followed by gathering information about the building, HVAC system, and occupants. Collected samples help technicians determine what contaminants are present and at what levels. The treatment plan follows.

Prescriptive Indoor Air Quality In Action

An example of how an investigation pinpointed an IAQ problem is when a university in Michigan contracted Pure Air Control Services. Occupants in one of the campus buildings reported symptoms of coughing and sneezing. A recent leak within the walls of the building was the likely suspect. Or so they thought. Even after a professional restoration service replaced the carpeting and drywall and applied new paint, respiratory symptoms persisted. The problem lay elsewhere and Pure Air Controls was tasked to find it.

Prescriptive IAQ Investigation

Pure Air Control Services conducted an IAQ investigation on the campus building. This included testing as well as 24/7 remote monitoring using IAQ Guard. The team tested for bacteria and fungus, mycotoxins, and carbon dioxide. The team logged temperature, relative humidity, and levels of total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs). An HVAC/Duct hygiene assessment also provided information on airflow, energy efficiency, and duct leakage. The next step in the prescriptive IAQ process was monitoring conditions.

IAQ Monitoring

The installation of the IAQ guard system allowed a remote team to track environmental conditions in the building. The system used sensors to relay information to the Building Sciences team allowing them to track conditions in real-time. Tracking efforts, in addition to samples tested by the EDLab, revealed the presence of mycotoxins—a by-product of mold colonies. Pure Air Controls believed the mycotoxins were the result of Stachybotrys chartarum, or “toxic black mold”. The mycotoxins were resistant to the initial disinfection methods and had spread throughout the building. Remediation was the next step.

Prescriptive IAQ Using Building Remediation Sciences

Building Remediation Sciences includes hygienic methods and services to clean and restore HVAC systems.

HVAC New Life — Improves IAQ and extends equipment lifespan. This also improves ROI.

PURE-Steam — Cleans the air handling unit with special attention on the evaporator coils.

PURE-Duct — Goes inside the ductwork with high-pressure air turbulence and an industrial-strength vacuum system to knock out and remove debris.

PURE-Decon — Kills any remaining bacteria, mold, and pathogens.

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In conclusion, a prescriptive indoor air quality diagnosis from Pure Air Control Services gets buildings healthy and keeps them that way. Contact us today for information.

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