Indoor environmental quality basics help you avoid the common indoor air quality issues and illnesses.
Do you believe that the building you are working in is making you sick? Avoiding common indoor air quality issues and the most common building-related illnesses and complaints.
You have probably lived through at least one scenario where you ask yourself, “Is this building making me sick?” Maybe upon investigation you found something that was obviously amiss and easily corrected. But a number of things likely went wrong, and the complaints were validated. In this month’s column, we intend to help you avoid some common indoor air quality issues and proactively defuse the most common building-related illnesses and complaints.
The most common indoor environmental quality concerns stem from construction and renovation projects and include transient smells, nuisance odors, noise, and dust. Building occupants can experience mucous membrane irritation and headaches as well as aggravated allergies or asthma-like symptoms from these contaminants, even at very low concentrations. In addition, excessive noise can have a definite effect on focus, concentration, and productivity. If contaminates are repeatedly introduced into the occupied areas, workers are going to let you know about it, and rightfully so. However, most of these conditions affecting indoor environmental quality and employee comfort, productivity, and health are preventable and reversible. Based on our many years of experience dealing with IAQ complaints in occupied spaces, the following tips can keep your employees happy, healthy, and productive. First, ensure the ventilation systems supporting the occupied complaint areas are consistent with all appropriate recommendations of the latest version of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.1 In other words, make sure enough fresh air is being brought in, supply volumes meet design, and filtering is adequate.