Atlanta Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Surveys in High-Rise Commercial/Residential Buildings
We have provided Indoor Air Quality to high-rise building owners and tenants since 1984 in Atlanta. Our offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Boston have further added to our knowledge and experience in the unique problems of high-rise and large commercial residential buildings, as well as the problem in large densely populated communities.
Our experience includes Post-9/11 Building Air Quality in the areas surrounding Ground Zero in New York City (NYC). This included testing/sampling for asbestos, lead, arsenic, mercury, concrete, dust, PCB’s, VOC’s, mold bacteria, and many other items.
We have developed a distinctive approach to evaluating individual tenant spaces and entire high-rise buildings for air quality, including molds and chemicals. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and Building Related Disease (BRD) are more likely in large commercial spaces because of the complexity of the HVAC systems, variety of tenants, space constraints and the surrounding area. As buildings age, the potential for isolated problems increases while the possibility of building-wide problems decreases.
SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN HIGH RISE BUILDINGS AND COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS
- LOCATION: Heavy commercial or industrial area with carbon monoxide, diesel exhaust, dust, smokestack emissions, cooling towers, and noise.
- AIR INTAKE LOCATIONS: Location of intake on the ground level adjacent to loading docks below ground intakes or on roofs where exhaust and intakes are adjacent.
- VERMIN: Rats, mice, birds, and pets who can spread germs and disease.
- BUILDING AGE: Over time buildings and building systems deteriorate, become inoperable or accumulate debris. Common problems include sewer gas, mold,
- debris in HVAC Systems.
- VARIED OCCUPANCY: Combining offices, computer equipment, printers, health care facilities, daycare, restaurants, schools, warehouses, factories, studios and residential apartments, condos, timeshare all in the same building each with different environmental needs results in air quality differences for numerous tenants.
- MOLD: Problems due to leaking pipes, roof leaks, flooding, condensation, window leaks.
To test and remediate air quality problems, we offer a phased approach to identify the problem rapidly and cost-effectively.
PHASE I – INITIAL INVESTIGATION
For tenant space – 1 day
For entire buildings – 1 to 4 days
- We identify complaints through preliminary discussion with occupants and building services personnel.
- A thorough inspection of HVAC Systems and occupied spaces.
- Direct reading instrument testing/sampling for temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide, moisture, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
- Limited testing/sampling for highly suspect agents such as mold, bacteria, chemical, insects, dust and allergies.
- A formal report identifying problems and recommended corrective measures, OR recommendations for additional tests based on initial findings. In 70-80% of the time we can identify the problems in the Phase I survey.
PHASE II – IN-DEPTH STUDY
Where situations cannot be resolved by a Phase I evaluation, and the extent of the problem is greater than anticipated, or more testing/sampling and evaluation is necessary; a Phase II Investigation would be performed. Each situation is unique, but the following are some of the tests that could be performed.
- More extensive examination of the interior of the HVAC System including opening ductwork and test for molds, bacteria or chemicals—both air sampling and bulk/surface sampling.
- Testing/sampling and analysis of airborne bacteria;/fungi (Bioaerosols), Mycotoxins or Endotoxins.
- Microscopic assays – Air-O-Cells and Transparent Tape Imprints for mold, bacteria, fibers, dander, or pollen.
- Particulate assays – microscopic identification of fibers, pollens, fungi, or asbestos. This can include forensic analysis using Scanning Electron
- Microscope (SEM).
- Chemical assays – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), specific chemicals and identification of unknowns including Industrial Hygiene.
- Indoor allergens – dust mites, cat and dog dander, cockroach allergens, endotoxins.
- Fire residue – in the event a fire was involved either inside or vegetation wildfire, we can test for fire residues.
- Final formal report identifying problems and solutions.