Building Owners, Managers and Employers nationwide have become increasingly concerned about indoor air quality and its potential threat to and from tenants and employees. In several instances, employers were forced to financially reimburse their employees for illnesses that the workers blamed on the indoor environment of their offices. Then there are the cases of tenants vacating office spaces and severing leases due to air quality complaints. Thus, whether the building owner or employer is threatened by litigation or wants to head off future problems, managers would be prudent to solicit advice and service from specialists in indoor air quality diagnosis.
The key to any indoor air quality problem is prevention. With the health of so many at stake, increased absenteeism, and the potential loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars, managers are finding it cost effective to ensure that indoor air quality and employee health is kept at a premium.
What is a Pro-active Monitoring Program?
A pro-active monitoring programme consists of a detailed investigation of the design and operating practices of a building’s air handling system. This information is integrated with the data collected from a comprehensive air sampling and analysis study. An indoor air quality database is established which becomes the benchmark for evaluating changes in the air quality in the future. At an initial inspection HBI Auditaires – airborne particulate contamination sensors – are installed in the ductwork. These become a focal point of the continuing surveillance service. The ongoing monitoring involves repeat inspections at six-month intervals. Analytical results from the initial inspections and subsequent studies are then compared with a composite database of hundreds of major buildings. The key to a successful programme is that the results of improvements by implementing remedial actions can be quantified. Conversely, in the event of adverse trends in indoor air quality over time, changes can be implemented to rectify the situation before complaints arise from the building’s occupants.
Our Pro-active Monitoring Framework… how it works!
Part I – Inspection
• Survey of design and operating practices of air handling systems
• Ventilation rates, distribution and volume controls
• Filtration design, integrity of fit and efficiency
• Examination of heating, cooling and humidification systems
• Visual inspection of internals of supply and return ductwork
Part II – Sampling • Carbon dioxide and monoxide levels
• Airborne particulates – quantitative analysis
• Airborne particulates – qualitative analysis
• Selected organic and inorganic vapours/gases
• Identification and quantification of bacteria and fungi
• Temperature and relative humidity readings
Part III – On-going Monitoring
• Installation of AUDITAIRES (airborne contamination sensors) in ductwork
• Establishment of an indoor air quality database for specific buildings
• Re-inspection of air quality at six month intervals
• Comparison with composite database of hundreds of major buildings
• Comprehensive reports with results, methodology, conclusions and recommendations