Building Occupiers, Owners & Property Managers

Building Occupiers, Owners & Property Managers

  • Our assessments identify root causes, guide investments and validate solutions to solve indoor environmental quality risk factors
  • IEQ assessments and certifications are a marketing vehicle to drive customer traffic, colleague/tenant acquisition & retention
  • IEQ assessments, certifications & education progresses sustainability/safety/compliance initiatives plus promote wellbeing and productivity
  • Our National presence enables a single vendor & consistent experience to quickly react and root cause all IEQ complaints
  • Our consultative support and recommended corrective actions support solution implementation to optimize value, safety and efficacy

Case Studies From Our Clients

Legionella / Office Building

Problem

Despite having extremely low levels for multiple years, a commercial office building discovered high levels of Legionella, which can cause Legionnaires’ Disease, on one particular quarterly assessment. 

Actions

They hired Indoor Science to regularly sample their water for Legionella bacteria. 

Conclusion

Indoor Science recommended instituting a water management plan in conformance with ASHRAE standards and helped the property manager evaluate different remedial actions. Indoor Sciences’ regular water sampling was able to quickly diagnose a serious health risk and help prevent this issue in the future.

VOCs / Commercial Office

Problem

During a construction project in the basement of a commercial building, contractors used an oil-based sealant rather than a low-VOC water-based sealant. The emissions created a strong chemical odor in the property which prompted everyone in the first two floors to evacuate. 

Actions

Indoor Science conducted an indoor air quality assessment and found highly elevated concentrations of total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) throughout the first two levels. 

Conclusion

Indoor Science recommended improved ventilation of the affected areas and was able to monitor the reduction of TVOC levels. When the concentrations were no longer elevated a few days later, Indoor Science recommended the space be reoccupied.

Radon in Department Store

Problem

A high-end department store had unusually high rates of cancer among long-term employees. The store wanted to evaluate the property for common carcinogens such as radon, asbestos, and formaldehyde.  

Actions

Indoor Science deployed radon measuring devices throughout the department store discreetly so the clientele would not be alarmed. 

Conclusion

After monitoring the store for over 48 hours, extremely high levels of radon were discovered in a back area of the store. The peak concentration was nearly 20 times higher than the EPA action level. Indoor Science identified an area in the foundation where excessive radon was entering the store. After the problem was mitigated, Indoor Science was able to confirm that the space had safe levels of radon.

Odor / Commercial Office

Problem

A commercial office was experiencing an objectionable odor. Several companies had been hired to determine the source before turning to Indoor Science.

Actions

Indoor Science started the assessment with a thorough olfactory evaluation of the space. Walls, floors, furnishings, and electrical outlets were sniffed for the odor source, without any success.  We then proceeded to slowly and thoroughly sniff the ceiling throughout the office. Indoor Science found the source of the odor on the ceiling of the foyer. The paint used on the foyer ceiling had spoiled and was emitting an objectionable odor.

Conclusion

Indoor Science’s investigation skills were able to identify the problem before any expensive samples were collected.

Ventilation / Commercial Office

Problem

A commercial office tenant was concerned about COVID-19 risks in their leased space.   

Actions

Indoor Science measured airflow throughout the office and found several areas with deficiencies.  This was despite the building engineer’s insistence that all was fine based on his computer readouts.  

Conclusion

We were able to demonstrate that the building engineer’s readings were wrong and that ASHRAE ventilation standards were not being met.  Further investigation led to the discovery that two key VAV boxes providing airflow to the office were stuck closed.  The two areas with insufficient airflow exactly matched the two areas of the office where employees were complaining most frequently.

Mold / Commercial Office

Problem

An office building had a faint must odor throughout the facility and Indoor Science was hired to identify a source. 

Actions

During our investigation we found mold in the first few feet of ductwork in several of the air handling units. A root cause evaluation identified that the cooling coils, despite the appearance of being clean, were clogged deep within. This led to excessive velocity across the coils, which in turn led to condensation from the coils being picked up and deposited into the first few feet of ductwork. The dust and moisture together lead to mold growth and the odor was circulating around the building. 

Conclusion

Indoor Science recommended coil cleaning to address the root cause and mold remediation to correct the immediate health hazard.

Mold and Asbestos in Performing Arts Studio

Problem

A performing arts studio sustained severe water damage throughout their property due to an aging roof. Indoor Science was hired to conduct moisture readings and mold air testing in the facility to evaluate the extent of the damage. 

Actions

The assessment showed water damage was present on both floors of the property and that property had highly elevated levels of mold spores in the air. Additional dampness was uncovered in areas with no suspected water damage. 

Conclusion

Indoor Science discovered water-damaged asbestos-containing materials, which was not present in the original scope of the project.

museum exhibit
Particulate Matter / Museum

Problem

Indoor Science conducted an assessment to evaluate airborne particulate matter (PM) levels within a museum’s storage facility in response to ongoing dust concerns and complaints. The dust was originating from a neighboring manufacturing tenant. 

Actions

Indoor Science conducted continuous particulate monitoring for PM2.5 and PM10 over one week. It was determined that the museum’s storage room had PM levels that were above the recommended industry limits. Measurements taken away from the neighboring manufacturer were within acceptable limits. 

Conclusion

Indoor Science made recommendations for establishing a positive pressure, sealing up openings along the demising wall, and improving the filtration used in the storage facility.

hospital building
Mold in Hospital

Problem

A pediatric hospital in the Middle East had multiple cases of fungal infections following open heart surgery. Indoor Science was hired to conduct root cause analysis to identify the problem. 

Actions

Through intensive investigation, we found a number of issues. There was no discernible positive pressure in the cardiac intensive care unit, which allowed for naturally ventilated hallway air to seep into the critical area. Open windows in the hallways lead to elevated humidity throughout the hospital, causing condensation buildup on several supply diffusers. On top of that, multiple “jump ducts” found in critical areas hindered the hospital’s ability to create the correct pressure relationships.  

Conclusion

Indoor Science’s expertise and science-backed procedures were able to create a report that identified 19 unique contributing factors that increased risk of fungal infections.

Brown Water from Faucet
Brown Water in an Office Building

Problem

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an old high-rise office building was experiencing a low level of occupancy.  Those still working in the building complained that the water looked brown and contaminated. They weren’t sure if it was safe to wash their hands with this water, which was concerning due to the importance of hand-washing during the pandemic.  The building maintenance staff would go around and open the water taps for a minute each working day but there was uncertainty if this approach was sufficient.

Actions

Indoor Science collected water quality samples for regulated metals, total coliform bacteria, E. coli, and Legionella. The domestic hot water lines were elevated for copper at 3 times the EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level! Indoor Science worked with the building maintenance staff to develop a plan which involved a more systematic method for water flushing.

Conclusion

Follow-up testing demonstrated that the new water flushing plan was able to keep copper levels below federal regulations.

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