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Green Building Blog

Why Good IAQ Matters in the Age of COVID-19

Mon, Jun 29, 2020 @ 04:11 / by Jim Newman posted in HVAC, IAQ, indoor air quality, COVID-19

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Some estimates place the cost of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) to the United States' economy at $200 Billion in today’s dollars. In the age of COVID-19, good IAQ as we have known it is no longer enough.  

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Three Coronavirus Prevention Techniques for Your Building - a Comparison

Tue, May 19, 2020 @ 05:27 / by Jim Newman posted in HVAC, ASHRAE, indoor air quality, BOMA, coronavirus

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As those of us in the building management and maintenance field prepare to “re-open” buildings, the health and safety of our tenants, guests, patients, staff and residents remains top-of-mind. Soon the general public will leave the comfort and safety of their homes where they have been limiting human contact for weeks, and venture out into the world with other people.guy with cold

We must be prepared for them so they can feel safe when returning to shop, work and play in “the new normal.”

Nothing about building maintenance will be normal – perhaps for quite a while.  Every commercial building in the US and probably in most industrial nations, is now taking – or should be taking – extra precautions to ensure safety. People should feel safe going back to work, and building owners and managers must enact measures to both ensure safety and prevent, or at least minimize, potential litigation.

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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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Best Practices for Achieving High-Performance HVAC Systems

Thu, Mar 14, 2019 @ 02:26 / by Jim Newman posted in HVAC, indoor air quality, High Performance Buildings, Energy Management Strategies, energy conservation

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Jim Newman recently contributed an article highlighting keys to designing and maintaining a higher performing HVAC system for maximum profitability.

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Sizing Up Equipment Selection for Energy Efficiency

Wed, Dec 07, 2016 @ 02:19 / by Guest Post by Klas C. Haglid, P.E., R.A., CEM, BPE, Inc.® posted in HVAC, ASHRAE, energy efficiency, Energy Savings, indoor air quality

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Energy Recovery Ventilators Can Enhance Indoor Air Quality While Saving Energy and Money

FRESH AIR FUNDAMENTALS. Fresh air being key to good health, it's a shame we cannot rely on the supply and quality of our indoor air these days. Thanks to technology, our building envelopes - the physical separation between the interior and exterior of a structure - have grown significantly tighter. One hundred years ago people enjoyed generous amounts of OA (Outside Air) flowing through gaps in doors, windows, joints, and cracks. A cool draft through an old building was typical and necessary for a good ghost story. However, the cost of energy and technology has changed our perspective on drafts as well as mechanically cooled or heated air. We don't want to pay extra to heat or cool more air than we have to due to excessive outdoor air coming in or conditioned air leaving the building before delivering its full potential. Tighter envelopes lessen the avenues for air entry and escape in order to achieve energy savings. So ... tighter envelopes that reduce energy costs as well as the amount of emissions fleeing into the atmosphere is a good thing, yes? Naturally, but as with most things, you can have too much of a good thing.

According to the EPA, "Indoor levels of pollutants may be 2 to 5 times - and occasionally more than 100 times - higher than outdoor pollutant levels {and} have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health."

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