An IAQ Investigation
We first take detailed occupant surveys, says James Bakos, P.Eng. at Wardrop Engineering in Saskatoon. This stage is followed by a comprehensive site inspection of the entire building environment incl...
We first take detailed occupant surveys, says James Bakos, P.Eng. at Wardrop Engineering in Saskatoon. This stage is followed by a comprehensive site inspection of the entire building environment including HVAC systems, building structure, noise and lighting levels, and much more. Occasionally a whole range of symptoms is caused by a single problem.
“There was a building here where people thought they were being exposed to toxins when the problem was a 9% humidity level,” Bakos says. When the humidity improved, symptoms disappeared.
Generally several potential problems are uncovered in an investigation and we recommend more detailed investigations, Bakos says. In 10 to 20 % of cases that is where things grind to a halt because building owners don’t want to spend more money on what may be a complex set of problems.
Bakos cites one particularly bad example where a leaking roof led to mould growth on a large portion of the top floor of a building. He suspects the mould might be the dangerous stachybotrys but the building owner doesn’t want further investigation. The floor was closed but the mould is still there. And Canada doesn’t have any regulations that would force a detailed investigation without an order from the health department. Wardrop recommended a detailed microbiological investigation and appropriate remedial measures. “I am very concerned about the occupants on the floor below,” Bakos says.