Americans spend most of their time inside. In fact, according to the EPA, we spend about 90 percent of our lives indoors. Higher levels of pollutants concentrate indoors. As a result, this affects the health of building occupants. The elderly and those with underlying health conditions remain at an even higher risk. For this reason, building managers need to stay on top of issues of indoor air quality. When facilities managers prioritize occupant wellbeing employees stay happier, healthier, and more productive. This starts with good IAQ.
Put Building Occupant Safety First
A good indoor air environment plan focuses on three main areas. First, identifying IAQ issues and fixing them. Second, testing and evaluating IAQ to confirm the success of improvement efforts. Lastly, monitoring IAQ to keep the air free from pathogens and harmful particles.
Pure Air Services has solutions for building managers. Our building Remediation Services cover these basics with the following key services:
- Environmental Project Management – provides testing and analysis
- Building Sciences – HVAC assessments and indoor environmental evaluations
- EDLab – testing for mold and harmful microbes such as the Legionella bacteria
- Building and Room Decontamination – includes hygienic cleaning, restoration, and decontamination efforts
3 Ways to Put Building Occupant Safety First
Here is a breakdown of the three key areas to keep buildings safe with good IAQ:
1. Find, Focus, Fix IAQ Issues
Staying ahead of an infectious spread or a mold outbreak requires vigilance. It means scheduling the cleaning and maintenance of HVAC equipment but also regular inspections, testing, and evaluation. Above all, acting on the advice of experts guarantees success.
Failure to address IAQ issues results in conditions such as Sick Building Syndrome in building occupants. Additionally, mold can trigger allergy-like symptoms. And of course, viruses cause serious illness. When employees are unwell or feel unsafe at work, work suffers. Consequently, the whole business suffers. This increases the importance of finding the problem, focusing on it, and fixing it. Addressing an IAQ issue may be as simple as having ductwork and HVAC units cleaned and restored.
2. Testing & Analysis to Improve IAQ
Testing the results of remediation efforts comes next. Facilities managers need to know their efforts got results. The Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) provides an analysis of environmental samples. Most importantly, stakeholders get the information they need to move forward.
The EDLab helps building managers improve occupant wellbeing with the following components:
- Detection – including COVID-19 exposure
- Monitoring – measures the success of disinfection efforts
- Clearances – uses risk assessment to clear buildings
- Assurances – improves occupant wellbeing and safety
3. Make a Plan to Prioritize Occupant Wellbeing
Facilities managers must work with certified, licensed experts to get an IAQ plan in place. This includes cleaning and restoration services for HVAC systems. For instance, attention to the supply and return ductwork reduces the number of harmful particles circulating in the air. Additional cleaning of the air handling unit and evaporator coils with PURE-Steam improves IAQ as well. Building disinfection also destroys bacteria, mold, and viruses. Using air purifiers also fights pollutants. These air purifiers use HEPA filtration to destroy harmful particles and odors.
Lastly, IAQ monitoring puts a priority on occupant wellbeing. IAQ Guard sensors provide around-the-clock alerts to changes affecting IAQ. This includes changes to temperature, relative humidity, CO2, and VOCs. All these things help facility managers prioritize occupant wellbeing.