12/01/2022 | Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) is a big deal and one that I get calls about regularly. Office buildings, single-family homes, multi-family residential properties, schools, and many other facilities are frequent places we get asked to help resolve complaints about IEQ. Oftentimes, a problem is identified during some other assessment.
Sometimes it’s obvious – the filters on the RTUs have not been changed routinely. It’s amazing how many buildings built near the end of the last century have air intakes adjacent to parking lots or, worse, loading docks. Designated smoking areas next to air intakes are another issue.
Sometimes it’s more difficult. It took a couple visits, but we finally collected an indoor air sample for volatile organic compounds and worked out that an AC unit had small leak of refrigerant and that was getting into the indoor environment and bothering a couple of employees.
An article “Our Buildings are Making Us Sick” in Vox’s The Highlight talks about ammonia from blueprint machines. It also mentions using ozone generators as air purifiers. I am not sure how many blueprint machines using ammonia are still out there – most have been replaced with inkjet or large format laser printers.
I know from professional experience that some employees are sensitive to ozone and only find out when a new laser printer is installed in the office. Yes, laser printers are a source of ozone. So it might not be the old blue print machine, but it might be the new laser printer.
Too many employers/parents/landlords write off complaints as being a whiny employee, child or tenant. Don’t ignore the complaints! Sure, it might not be anything, but it could be affecting more than just the person making the complaint. Oftentimes, it goes a long way to maintaining the relationship to show a little empathy and call out a professional to do a little snooping.
I have left some sites frustrated that I could not find a problem, but then discover that just my being there and NOT finding a problem calmed a lot of fears and concerns.
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Gold River, CA-based CREtelligent opened its doors in 2015 as eScreenLogic, a Commercial Real Estate (CRE) environmental due diligence firm focused on desktop, RSRA, Phase I, and Phase II site assessments. In late 2020, eScreenLogic rebranded to CREtelligent to better reflect the company’s vision. Since then, the company has grown quickly and today provides the full spectrum of property due diligence services to commercial real estate professionals.
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