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Green Building Blog

Battling ANTs of COVID-19, Four Tips for Powering Through Tough Times

Tue, Apr 14, 2020 @ 05:28 / by Jim Newman posted in Sustainability, indoor air quality, Energy Management Strategies, resilience, resiliency

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Spring is supposed to be a time of growth, renewal and hope. Many cultures and religions celebrate sacred holidays, most of which take place communally, with family and friends.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year many of us are observing these special occasions alone or with family and friends but only virtually.

While we are celebrating with social distancing, we can pause to give thanks for what we have, and offer immense gratitude to the doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery store workers, maintenance and sanitation workers and all those other front-line workers who are giving so much of themselves to help others.

Two weeks ago I shared on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), an article by one of my favorite local speakers and writers, Josh Linkner. He wrote about ANTs. Not the kind that are the bane of any facility manager or building owner, but Automatic Negative Thoughts as described by psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen.

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Breathe Deeply, or Don’t: Why IAQ Matters Today

Thu, Mar 19, 2020 @ 01:28 / by Jim Newman posted in IAQ, Green Design, sick building syndrome, Building Energy Management Systems, indoor air qulity, BEMIS, Internet of Things

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When giving a talk on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in 1991, I was discussing one of the consequences of poor IAQ – Sick Building Syndrome. A woman raised her hand and said, “I have that.” The room went silent. She continued, “I was teaching at school and they started painting. By the time I left that first day I had tingling in my fingers. The second day I had tingling all the way up to my elbows. On the third day I went home very sick. I went to several doctors in the area who weren’t able to diagnose it – they all said it was in my head. I finally found a holistic doctor who diagnosed it as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).”

With the proper diagnosis, she could finally start treatment. To this day she is still hyper-sensitive to the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) such as the odors from fresh paint, carpet and glue found in many buildings.   

VOCs. Viruses. Stale air. Mold

sick and smelly

They spread through the air and can lead to Sick Building Syndrome. Left unchecked, they can cause serious health issues.

Sometimes the underlying source is easily seen, detected and mitigated. Sometimes exposure causes long-term health issues for those exposed.

Most often, especially in flu season or as a result of adverse events such as flooding or an epidemic like COVID 19, it pays to monitor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

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Coronavirus and Building Wellness – What You Need to Do NOW

Tue, Mar 17, 2020 @ 11:57 / by Guest Post by Jeff Seippel posted in HVAC, IAQ, Green Design, Sustainability, indoor air qulity, Sustainable Design, resilience, Energy

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Having worked in the HVAC optimization and wellness field for the last 15 years, I have never seen a better opportunity to have a long overdue discussion about how our mechanical systems direct and drive building wellness. The current worldwide focus on halting the spread of COVID-19 has brought this topic to a level of urgent action.

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5 Ways to Kill Your PACE Project in 2020

Thu, Jan 23, 2020 @ 02:03 / by Jim Newman posted in solar, PACE, energy efficiency, Energy Savings, energy efficient lighting, energy conservation

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Updated from “5 Ways to Kill Your PACE Project,” January 2017

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The Times They Are a Changin’, or Are They?

Mon, Jan 13, 2020 @ 02:16 / by Jim Newman posted in HVAC, Building Energy Management Systems, High Performance Buildings, BEMIS, energy conservation, Internet of Things

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It’s 2020 and we are in for BIG changes in this decade!  Or are we?

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