How to Evaluate an Odor in Your Building

What’s that smell? Is it dangerous? Should I be concerned? Odor evaluations can be one of the most difficult indoor environmental quality (IEQ) investigations to perform. Odors are also an issue that can quickly escalate from murmuring to a major problem for building owners and management. Approached correctly, though, an odor evaluation can show building… Read more »

Lead in School Drinking Water

Is School Water Safe to Drink? The reality is that lead in school drinking water continues to be a serious concern, with children in many schools potentially drinking water with dangerous levels of lead. Even when water entering a facility meets all federal and state public health standards for lead concentrations, older plumbing materials found… Read more »

The Smart Way to Manage Hazardous Building Materials in Schools

Imagine the following situation, then ask yourself one question: “Could this happen in my school?” The school’s new Athletic Department administration has received a donation to improve the weight room used by the school’s student-athletes, starting with removal of the tile flooring. The Athletic Department hires a flooring contractor to remove the existing tile flooring… Read more »

Air Sensor Technology and Indoor Air Quality

A direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a heightened awareness of indoor environmental quality by both building occupants and property owners in the built environment. Direct-reading air quality instruments have long existed to monitor indoor air quality pollutants in real-time. Still, in recent years, advances in sensor technology have resulted in an expansion… Read more »

Turning Liability into Opportunity

We have all seen the headlines: bacterial outbreaks, chemical contamination, mold lurking behind walls. They are attention-getters that play upon our fear of the unknown and how it may harm us. This is the realm of environmental health, the study, and management of human health impacts arising from physical, chemical, and biological agents in our… Read more »

Green Building Certifications: Do You Need One?

How healthy is the building? Is the air and water quality in this building safe? Is ventilation adequate? Questions like these were gaining popularity prior to the COVID pandemic, but are now top of mind for anyone who works in or visits the space. Employers, employees, residents, management, visitors — all care about the health… Read more »

Protecting Schools Against the Risks of Wildfire Smoke Particulate Matter

Wildfires are occurring more frequently than ever before, and the smoke from those fires is threatening the health of not only those who live near the fire but can adversely impact schools and communities hundreds of miles away. Air quality degradation due to wildfire smoke often puts school administrators in the uncomfortable position of balancing… Read more »

Healthy Building Fundamentals: An Overview of the Process

The healthy building movement is not a new idea (it is decades old), but voices in support of a closer look at building health were amplified sharply by the COVID pandemic. Property owners who gave the healthy building concept little thought pre-pandemic are now taking a closer look — and for good reason: Building health… Read more »

How to Prevent Mold Growth on Rental Properties

Mold Growth Prevention on Rental Properties Mold growth prevention and mold removal methods are two of the most frequent tenant-related issues faced by rental property owners and managers — both residential and commercial. While proactive building maintenance and incident response procedures certainly play a critical role in keeping mold and mold-based problems from occurring, getting… Read more »

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 »