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Green Building Blog

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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Lessons from the ASHRAE Conference: The 4th Step to Achieving True Sustainability in Buildings

Thu, Feb 01, 2018 @ 01:32 / by Jim Newman posted in solar, Energy Independence, Green Design, renewable energy, clean energy, High Performance Buildings, Sustainable Design, resilience, resiliency

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If steps 1, 2 and 3 are Energy Efficiency; Green Building; and High Performance, what’s next? Resiliency!

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Making Green and Sustainable Design Really Work!

Fri, Aug 05, 2016 @ 03:16 / by Jim Newman posted in Green Design, energy efficiency, Integrated Design, Sustainable Design, Working with Architects

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How engineers can work better with the architect so they can design and build a more energy efficient building and better serve the client.

Energy efficiency has been the buzzword among building engineers, and many architects, for some time now. But if a new building is being constructed, added on to or renovated, energy efficiency may not be top-of-mind to the developer. Here’s why it should be, and some tips on how to incorporate energy efficiency measures that make everyone – especially the client – happy.

One of the best things you can do is start thinking about energy early on. The earlier the better! Why? Creating an energy efficient building that is also functional and aesthetically pleasing takes time. Whether or not you’re building for LEED® certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), you can build to USGBC’s guidelines for energy efficiency. Help your client understand that there are no “cookie-cutter” answers here. Each project is unique and will require its own unique solutions. It may cost a little more up front, but it will save the client money throughout the life of the building.

Traditional vs Integrated Design

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Three Things Automotive Suppliers Should Consider about LEED

Wed, Oct 02, 2013 @ 03:40 / by Jim Newman posted in saving water, Green Design, USGBC, Green Building, LEED, LEED Cerified Buildings, LEED Certification, LEED Certified, Energy Savings

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Why should it matter if an automotive supplier’s building is LEED® certified? Doesn’t it cost too much? Will you get a return for your investment? Does anyone really care about it anymore? The truth is:

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