IAQ Proactive and Reactive Inspections 2017-08-08T18:35:53+00:00

IAQ Proactive and Reactive Inspections

The Healthy Buildings indoor air quality (IAQ) proactive monitoring program consists of a detailed IAQ inspections of the design and operating practices of a building’s air handling and distribution system. This information is integrated with data collected from comprehensive air sampling and analysis. An indoor air quality database is established for each building allowing an evaluation of changes in the indoor air quality over time.

At the time of the first inspection, Healthy Buildings AUDITAIRES™ (airborne particulate contamination sensors) are installed on the ductwork. These become a focal point of Healthy Buildings’ continuing tracking and monitoring process for indoor air quality. The ongoing monitoring involves repeat inspections at prearranged intervals, usually annually or biannually. Analytical results from the initial indoor air quality inspections and subsequent reinspections are then compared with a composite database of thousands of major buildings.

The key to a successful indoor air quality proactive program is that the results of implementing changes can be quantified. Conversely, in the event of adverse trends in air quality over time, modifications can be made to correct the situation before complaints arise from the building’s occupants.

Advantages of a Proactive Indoor Air Quality Program to Building Management

It builds value into the building. A history of professionally documented indoor environmental records will be a key component of a smooth valuation and due diligence process, when the time comes one day to sell the property.

  • The program reduces the chances of a “healthy” building from becoming “sick”. Problems or potential problems are quickly identified and corrected at a minimal expense.
  • The protocol meets the requirements of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) with respect to inspecting and documenting HVAC systems as part of their recommended Operation & Maintenance Plan. (ASHRAE 62.1-2010).
  • The program enhances the relationship between building management and employees by demonstrating a genuine concern for the employees’ well being. In addition, less time is devoted to investigating and solving employee or tenant complaints.
  • Air quality is improved through regular monitoring of ventilation rates, building airflows, and filtration efficiencies creating a more comfortable and productive work environment.
  • Proactive IAQ monitoring protects management against liability. The program demonstrates that the management has practiced due diligence to assure a healthy building or portfolio of buildings.

What Takes Place During a Proactive IAQ Survey?

  • An on-site interview is undertaken with the Property Manager or Building Engineer to learn of areas where air quality is a particular concern in the building. Additionally, Healthy Buildings obtains information about the building operation and layout along with any activities in or around the building that could affect indoor air quality.
  • A complete analysis of the design and operating practices of the air handling system is conducted. Ventilation rates and air distribution patterns along with filtration design, fit and efficiency are studied. Heating, cooling, and humidification systems are analyzed and the internals of the supply and return ductwork are inspected.
  • Various air quality tests are conducted throughout the occupied areas of the building, plus outdoor samples for control purposes. Tests are conducted for comfort factors such as temperature and humidity along with carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, airborne particulates, and common indoor gases and vapors.
  • Airborne spore counts are taken indoors and outdoors. Any visible suspect mold growth is sampled for analysis and studies are made to ensure that conditions inside the building are not serving as an amplification point for microbial growth.
  • Testing for formaldehyde from possible off gassing of furnishings and building materials.
  • Tests for total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) are conducted; this is especially important in renovated areas and newly commissioned buildings.
  • Water is tested in cooling towers and humidifier reservoirs for total bacterial numbers and specifically for Legionella bacteria In addition, a risk assessment is conducted of potential exposure to this dangerous organism.
  • Air pressure testing is done throughout the building to confirm that correct pressure differentials are being maintained.
  • Installation of AUDITAIRES™ onto supply ductwork as permanent monitoring units.
  • Optional testing includes: drinking water evaluations, lead analysis of water, paint or dusts, radon and asbestos risk assessments, environmental tobacco smoke, ergonomics and electromagnetic radiation surveys.

Communicating Our Findings

The data from the field observations and on-site testing is analyzed and compared with the results of laboratory testing. A comprehensive and confidential report is then prepared that interrelates and interprets data to help the client further understand the building. The report that Healthy Buildings delivers to the client is extremely user-friendly and easy to read and reference. A summary of findings is presented near the end of the report for easy reference. All suggestions and recommendations made throughout the report are succinctly listed behind the summary of findings.

It is most important to realize that when Healthy Buildings is retained to initiate a proactive program it is the best interests of our client that are represented. The suggestions and recommendations are presented in a practical and non-alarmist manner and usually involve easily correctable action-steps. Healthy Buildings maintains a composite database of thousands of buildings that is drawn upon to give every edge to management in optimizing conditions in their buildings. It is the goal of Healthy Buildings to enhance the client’s business interests and promote positive relationships with staff or tenants.

What Sets Healthy Buildings Apart From Other Companies?

No other company has our experience and reputation. Healthy Buildings was the pioneer in designing and implementing proactive indoor air quality programs. Starting in 1980, Healthy Buildings’ diverse staff of engineers and scientists have been applying this extensive experience to address any indoor air quality related concern or problem that a property or facility manager might face. Healthy Buildings remains the preeminent firm studying indoor air quality with over 4,500 buildings inspected totaling over 500 million square feet of space in no less than 45 countries. This experience gives the client confidence that Healthy Buildings’ findings are accurate, the recommendations are realistic, and the report and certificate of inspection received carries the weight of prominent credibility.

Goals of the Property Management Companies and Government Agencies who have adopted Healthy Buildings’ Proactive IAQ Inspection & Management Program

  • Retention of existing staff or tenants
  • Attraction of new staff or tenants
  • Improvement of productivity of all building occupants
  • Reduction of absenteeism and worker’s compensation claims
  • Protection against liability

For further information, or to schedule an Indoor Air Quality inspection, please contact us at info@healthybuildings.com.

It was great working with your employee this year. She did a great job working in our building she was very professional with our tenants in regards to respecting their space and gets along well with our crew members. I hope she is willing to return next year.

Chief Engineer, Major commercial building in Sacramento

Thank you Bruce, you guys never cease to amaze me how well you do things. I wish other companies worked like you do…

Assistant Property Manager, Major Program Management Contractor, Washington, DC
Just wanted to let you know that your office just helped us out with a last minute need…and we wanted to express our sincere gratitude. Your staff dropped what they were doing and came here to perform a Legionella test of our cooling tower before our work started this weekend. We are so fortunate to have such a great partnership with Healthy Buildings, who is responsive to our needs!
Manager, Facilities Operations, Northern Virginia

I am completely amazed at how professional and complete our report is. I appreciate doing business with your company and look forward to using your services again on a yearly basis. Please keep me informed when it is coming close to the inspection period, thanks…

Operator, Major Casino/Hotel in Las Vegas, NV

Just wanted to express my sincere thanks for your time and assistance in attending the meeting. We met with a certified Industrial Hygienist and the Director of Environmental, Health and Safety. At the meeting, your staff distributed copies of the actual sampling data findings and explained each test and the results. The director asked a few questions and at the end of the meeting he seemed satisfied with the results and expressed his gratitude and stated that he felt that HBI had done a thorough job.

Property Manager, Commercial Real Estate, Virginia

It was great working with your employee this year. She did a great job working in our building she was very professional with our tenants in regards to respecting their space and gets along well with our crew members. I hope she is willing to return next year.

Chief Engineer, Major Commercial Building in Sacramento

Thank you for the expedient response to our request and the professional nature in which Healthy Buildings have responded to our concerns regards IAQ in the clinic, much appreciated.

Senior Occupational Health Specialist, Washington, DC

Healthy Buildings has the team and experience to develop effective and efficient hotel sustainability programs. Their commitment to business-oriented sustainability decisions makes them a player you most definitely want to have on your team. They will work with you to meet your bottom line goals while greening your operations and maintenance practices; ultimately reducing your operating costs, generating marketing opportunities, and strengthening your business model by integrating sustainability into all aspects of your hotel.

Sustainability Manager, Major Hotel in New York City

I had the opportunity to utilize Healthy Buildings as my LEED Consultant on the Porterville Developmental Center New Main Kitchen Project in Porterville, CA. The project has attempted LEED (v2.2) Gold status.  I cannot say enough about the Healthy Buildings team and their professional work ethic, deep knowledge of LEED and sustainability and their willingness to go the extra mile to ensure client satisfaction.

Project Engineer, Seals/Biehle, Inc.