Mold in Classrooms and Other IEQ Problems in Schools

Schools are ground zero for indoor environmental quality (IEQ) concerns. Asbestos, lead, mold, PCBs, and many other issues become especially sensitive when classrooms or other student-occupied spaces are involved. FACS experts are often asked to do more than develop a plan for the abatement of hazardous materials. The schools we serve depend on our IEQ… Read more »

Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) and Wildfire Smoke Preparation Planning

Wildfire preparation plans are essential for helping staff at schools, hospitals, and other commercial buildings prepare for smoke intrusion and other complications that may arise from wildland fires, but they often fall short on covering something that can be just as critical: power outages. Last year’s fire season in California provided real-life examples of the… Read more »

Reducing Risks in Healthcare Occupations

When you visit someone in the hospital, you may take extra care to wash your hands when entering and leaving the building. You are probably also more aware of the surfaces you touch while inside, and you may even be concerned about the cleanliness of your shoes when you get home. Those are normal precautions… Read more »

PCB Screening Surprises: Don’t Get Caught Unaware

Are you concerned about the new PCB screening requirement affecting building demolitions in the San Francisco Bay area? If you’re a commercial building owner or building construction contractor, you should be — even if you don’t operate in California. In an effort to reduce the amount of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) pollutants entering San Francisco Bay,… Read more »

Mold Control Added to Colorado Residential Rules

Colorado law now includes mold and dampness control as a warrant of habitability requirement. That change is part of the Colorado Residential Tenants Health and Safety Act (HB 19-170). The new rule also shortens the time landlords are given to respond to tenant complaints related to the livability of residential properties. The move immediately drew… Read more »

New EPA Lead Hazard Standards Will Soon Apply

Owners and managers of child-occupied buildings constructed prior to 1978 will soon face more stringent lead hazard reduction requirements from the EPA. The move is meant to help lower the risk of childhood lead exposure and curb the various physical disorders lead can cause. In this article, we’ll provide an FAQ overview of the final… Read more »

California Protection from Wildfire Smoke: An Overview

Are you prepared for a wildfire smoke emergency? If you’re a California employer, monitoring air quality and taking action to protect the health of your employees against high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) during wildfires is no longer an option. You’re now required by law to take certain actions, unless you qualify for an… Read more »

The Hidden Factor That Can Sink a Construction Project

Put yourself in this situation: Excavation is underway at the construction site when a recently-hired laborer complains of an “odd smell” in the air. Nobody else on the crew senses anything unusual, so work continues. The next day, the employee calls in sick with a severe headache. He says he’s afraid it’s related to whatever… Read more »

PCB Assessments Required for Building Demolitions: Important Changes to Note

Beginning July 1, 2019, property owners, demolition contractors, real estate developers, and anyone planning to demolish a structure built or remodeled between January 1, 1950 and December 31, 1980 in the San Francisco Bay Area will face stringent new permit requirements aimed at reducing the amount of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) entering San Francisco Bay. These… Read more »

When Is an Asbestos Survey Required?

You could save yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars by getting this right. True or False: The U.S. completely banned the use of asbestos in building materials in 1989. That means any commercial building constructed in 1990 or later poses no asbestos risk. Consequently, you don’t need to worry about getting an asbestos survey prior… Read more »

7 Steps to a Mold and Moisture Plan for Property Management

Property managers are paid to keep occupants happy and facilities on track. Throw in a recurrent “black mold” problem, water damage from a leaking pipe, or a full-blown flood and mold growth emergency … and the property manager’s job can seem overwhelming. That’s why strategic planning is crucial. With a properly thought-out plan in place,… Read more »