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IEQ, IAQ, and Corona

Zman
Zman Member Posts: 6,466
edited April 2020 in Indoor-Air Quality
I woke up this morning thinking about air quality and the origins of many of the mechanical codes surrounding indoor air quality and indoor environmental quality. It is my understanding that most of the codes that regulate IEQ and IAQ were born out of necessity in the late 1800's and early 1900's as a response to occurrences like The Spanish Flu and a general lack of understanding of other indoor air problems like carbon monoxide and VOC's.

I have also noticed that the majority of properties I visit have issues with IAQ. There is either a lack of mechanical ventilation either by design or more commonly, the outside air ventilation system is in some state of disrepair. I was recently commissioned to make energy efficiency recommendations for a large condo building. When reviewing the HVAC system, it was discovered that out of the 8 components of the HVAC system that were supposed to be assuring correct OA exchanges, one was operating correctly, three were completely disassembled (with enough dust on the parts that is was clear it happened years ago), two had broken belts, and the other two "worked" but were incorrectly controlled.

As everyone starts thinking about how to restart the economy and start packing humans into their cubicles again, I thought it would be a good time to start this conversation. In the end, I see a win-win here. Our clients get a safer, healthier environment to work and live in and HVAC companies get a much-needed jump start in their businesses.

Attached are a few articles that Robert Bean PE used as part of his course "Integrated HVAC".
I am pretty sure @DanHolohan has a few articles on the subject in his digital treasure chest as well.
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
Albert Einstein
mikeapolis

Comments

  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,087
    Hi @Zman , Good thinking! I'll add that we need to be looking at the many sources of indoor air pollution also. From building materials, to radon, humidity control and gas stoves, there is much we can do to either encapsulate or remove polluters inside. The health benefits and subsequent $ savings could probably pay for the upgrades.

    Yours, Larry
    mel57
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,415
    Agreed. Very much so. Indoor air quality is an area where remarkably little has been done -- for a number of years. Yes, folks do design in ways and means of bringing in outside air, or cleaning inside air, but it tends to be a bit of an afterthought -- and once in, maintenance is often neglected. Even when it is designed in and installed properly, energy conservation tends to trump adequate air exchange and quality.

    It would be nice to think that better indoor air quality might be one outcome of this!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,581
    What @Jamie Hall said I agree with 100% "and once in, maintenance is often neglected. Even when it is designed in and installed properly, energy conservation tends to trump adequate air exchange and quality."

    When HRVs first came out (mid 90s?) I thought there would be millions of them sold.

    I was wrong.

    You see commercial buildings roofs covered with exhaust fans and they all should be replaced with HRVs in my opinion. The energy saved would be fantastic.
    Zman
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,215
    I am all for IAQ and install a lot of it.

    Here is something that troubles me. I noticed recently, some were pushing IAQ products as a solution to combat Covid-19. Shame on them and buyer beware. Anything like that could astensibly be considered a medical device and would need FDA approval.
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,466
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,466
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
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