Portland Oregon Commercial Building Testing
Commercial buildings are not occupied continuously like our homes, but many folks spend a lot of time at work. Indoor air quality problems can become significant because the systems and materials in commercial buildings tend to be large and complicated. We work with building management and maintenance staff to identify the problems and focus on the solutions.Our objective is to help you achieve the most healthy and productive building conditions possible.
Once we have identified the areas to be inspected we make sure these areas are accessible. All employees should be advised we are coming if it is on a work day. We always invite head of maintenance to escort us. All electrical components should be on. We will need to shut down ventilation and HVAC systems for a few minutes then restart them. Any areas of chemical storage areas we need to conduct testing. Alarm & fire systems will be tested in most cases. Egress will also be inspected. Additional testing will be conducted depending on the season.
On larger buildings we need to have access to the framing if possible. In some cases we have had to cut drywall in worst case. We utilize digital scopes to visually see inside walls in many cases. If we suspect an issue with foundation core samples will be taken. In some cases soil samples are needed.
It all boils down to how much information does the client want?
The quality of indoor air inside of offices, schools and other workplaces is important not only for employee and occupant comfort, but for their health and safety as well. When occupants complain that the air quality in a workplace is not comfortable. When there are complaints of illness including headaches, fatigue and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, we classify that condition under “Sick Building Syndrome”. In many cases the symptoms stop when the person leaves the building. This is an indication that the building air quality may be at fault. The World Health Organization estimates that more than half of all asthma cases and allergic-type responses are due to indoor air contaminants.
There are many causes of poor indoor air quality and we test for them, including the following areas:
Chemical Contaminant Sources (VOC’s, formaldehyde, pesticides)
Biological Contaminants (mold, bacteria, allergens)
Particulate Contaminants (asbestos, silica, respirable dust)
Moisture and Humidity Control
Fresh Air Ventilation