Green building designs are heralded for their use of sustainable materials and appliances to curb their environmental impact. But what type of effect does that have on the indoor air quality (IAQ) of its occupants?
Research suggests that although the consensus is that the environment in these office spaces are healthy, there's potential danger in overlooking a looming threat. It's serving as further proof to the value of highly accurate tools like the testo 440 IAQ and air velocity multifunction instrument.
The hidden risks of sustainability
Part of the idea behind the green-friendly movement is to reduce, reuse and recycle – especially when it comes to building materials. IAQ is evaluated as a part of many green building certification schemes around the world, but only factors into an average of 7.5 per cent of final scores across 31 countries, according to a study from Science Direct and authored by Anne Steinemann.
Although IAQ is measured during and immediately after construction, the tests could be overlooking certain waste-based components that could cede toxic elements over time. Fly ash was highlighted as just one example, which is used as an additive but could contribute to imperceptible heavy metals in the environment, the study reported. Another would be the limited intake and exhaust of air supply as the blueprint could call for a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system design that aims to mitigate the need for cooling and heating.
Equip yourself to combat the problem
The aforementioned issues could create serious health risks for the environment if infrequently monitored. An initial evaluation that passes the building for IAQ could leave it at the end of a technicians to-do list considering it already earned a passing grade, but this is only asking for trouble.
The testo 440 multifunction instrument makes it easy to conduct quick and accurate IAQ tests for a variety of parameters:
- Absolute pressure;
- Mould detection.
Rather than viewing IAQ testing as a task that's more trouble than its worth to conduct, technicians can rely on the testo 440 and its ease of use to effortlessly log data that can help identify problems before they arise.
Don't let the fact that the building you maintain is built with sustainable materials distract you from the fact that IAQ is always changing and has a number of factors in play. Contact a Testo representative today to learn more.