Building Investigations

Indoor Air Quality and Sick Building Investigations

Sick Building SyndromeMore and more we hearing about problems and potential liabilities associated with poor indoor air quality (IAQ) and exposures to hazardous materials in the work place or at home. Office work areas are routinely being identified with limited ventilation which is resulting in employee health complaints and lost worker productivity. Owners, operators and managers of tenant spaces are increasingly being drawn into sick building syndrome health related litigation and the number of cases is rising every day.

EnviroHome, Inc. has developed an Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) program to address these concerns. The program establishes a baseline of indoor environmental quality within a building, and through periodic monitoring, ensures that the baseline is being maintained. The baseline inspection includes identification and documentation of all areas of IEQ concern including air quality, water/moisture entry concerns, building material concerns (asbestos, lead-based paint, mold & mildew growth, etc.), and assessment of the work areas for baseline indoor air quality parameters (CO, CO2, temperature, relative humidity and VOCs).

The program details are outlined below:

Baseline Indoor Environmental Quality Survey. The baseline survey is designed to establish the baseline indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and identify and document existing areas of concern and deficiencies. The survey includes inspection and evaluation of the adequacy of the HVAC system, identification of potential building material hazards (asbestos, lead-based painted, VOCs, etc.), and identification of existing or potential moisture entry concerns through moisture mapping. The baseline survey also includes airborne monitoring for fungal (mold) concerns, monitoring of indoor air quality comfort levels - CO2, CO, relative humidity, temperature, and the monitoring of indoor particulate and VOC levels that maybe associated with work activities and/or interior furnishings and equipment. When concerns are identified, the program includes the development and implementation of corrective plans designed to remove or reduce the impact of the identified concern. In those cases where removal is required, abatement specifications and procedures will be developed.

Inspection of Commercial Property Environmental Remediation and MitigationThe program recommendations can include the development of Operations and Maintenance Plans (O&M) which outline the procedures to be implemented for the safe management of regulated and/or hazardous materials (asbestos, lead-based paint, etc.) that are identified in the building. The baseline IEQ results will be summarized in a final report that serves as the building owner’s and management’s reference document.

Periodic Re-inspection and Monitoring. Monitoring programs, including followup periodic on-site inspections, are conducted to identify any new concerns or sources of IEQ problems. Under federal AHERA legislation, building owners are required to conduct periodic monitoring to assess the condition of asbestos materials that are being managed in-place. This re-inspection meets that requirement and much more.  The re-inspection also includes inspection of the HVAC systems and review of maintenance records. Re-inspection results and recommendations are summarized in report form to serve as documentation for the landlord or building owner.

Annual Air Monitoring and Verification of Baseline IEQ. Once a year air monitoring is performed to evaluate the current IEQ levels and to be utilized as a comparison against the baseline levels. Any decline in IEQ or variations from the baseline levels would be investigated. The annual air monitoring results and recommendations are summarized in report form to serve as documentation for the landlord or building owner.

Emergency Response. The key to minimizing damage from any emergency is to react quickly. Mold and mildew takes 24-48 hours to initiate growth after a water entry (leak or flood). If you can eliminate the water and dry-out the building within that time frame, you eliminate a microbial liability. EnviroHome, Inc.'s staff is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to respond to water entry emergency response and asbestos or hazardous material disturbance incidents.

Building Switch-over/Renovation. Individual unit renovations associated with tenant switch-overs often include remodeling and the movement of walls, floor coverings and ceiling finishes.  Hazardous building materials such as asbestos and lead based paint (LBP) must be identified prior to any disturbance.  EnviroHome, Inc. will conduct inspections prior to disturbance and provide removal specifications as needed.  VOC’s and chemical off-gassing from new carpets, paints, and wall coverings can result in tenant exposures and liabilities to landlords. The cutting, sanding and installation of building materials can create significant dust concerns and IAQ problems that, if not cleaned-up professionally, can result in health problems to tenants and clientele. EnviroHome, Inc. will conduct pre-occupancy inspections which are designed to ascertain that all building materials have stabilized and the unit is safe to occupy. EnviroHome, Inc. can also recommend and provide engineering controls and micro-cleaning services that can speed-up the time for building material stabilization and reduce the time and revenue lost due to unoccupied periods.

EnviroHome’s IEQ program provides building owners and managers with the total confidence that all IEQ liabilities are being managed and monitored to ensure the maintenance of a healthy indoor environmental quality (IEQ) within their building.