If you need indoor air quality (IAQ) testing and sampling in high-rise and commercial residential buildings in the New York City Area, call us at 973-366-4660 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and a free estimate.
Written By: Robert E. Sheriff, MS, CIH, CSP, President
February 28, 2020; Updated September 2021
New York City Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Surveys in High-Rise Commercial/Residential Buildings
We have provided Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) to high-rise building owners and tenants since 1984 in New York City. Our offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Boston have further added to our knowledge and experience in the unique Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems of high-rise and large commercial residential buildings, as well as the pollution in large and densely-populated communities.
Our of our most memorable experiences includes a post-9/11 Building Air Quality survey in the areas surrounding Ground Zero in New York City (NYC). This involved testing/sampling for asbestos, lead, arsenic, mercury, concrete, dust, PCBs, VOCs, mold bacteria, and many other items.
We have developed a distinctive approach to evaluating individual tenant spaces and entire high-rise buildings for air quality, including sampling for molds, bacteria, Legionella bacteria, and chemicals. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and Building Related Disease (BRD) are more likely in large commercial spaces because of the complexity of the HVAC systems, variety of tenants, space constraints and surrounding environment. As buildings age, the potential for isolated Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems increases, while the possibility of building-wide problems decreases.
SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN HIGH RISE BUILDINGS AND COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS
- LOCATION: Heavy commercial or industrial area with carbon monoxide, diesel exhaust, dust, smokestack emissions, cooling towers, and noise.
- AIR INTAKE LOCATIONS: Location of intake at below-ground intakes, on the adjacent to loading docks, or where exhaust and intakes are adjacent on rooves can result in exhausted air being re-entrained into the air intakes.
- VERMIN: Rats, mice, birds and pets who can spread germs and disease.
- BUILDING AGE: Over time buildings and building systems deteriorate, become inoperable or accumulate debris. Common problems include sewer gas, mold, and debris in HVAC Systems.
- VARIED OCCUPANCY: Combining spaces such as offices, computer equipment, printers, health care facilities, daycare facilities, restaurants, schools, warehouses, factories, studio apartments, residential apartments, condos, and timeshares all in the same building present problems reaching sufficient air quality for everyone. If each of these types of facilities has different environmental needs, there will be air quality differences for all tenants.
- MOLD: Problems due to moisture (leaking pipes, roof leaks, flooding, condensation, window leaks, etc.) can arise.
- ALLERGENS: Cockroach, dust mite, and rodent allergens can cause allergic reactions. Dog and cat allergens can even be brought in on occupant’s clothing not just from the pets themselves.
To test and remediate air quality problems, we offer a phased approach to identify the issue rapidly and cost-effectively.
PHASE I – INITIAL INDOOR AIR QUALITY (IAQ) INVESTIGATION
- For tenant space – 1 day
- For entire buildings – 1 to 4 days
This investigation includes:
- We identify complaints through preliminary discussion with occupants and building services personnel.
- A thorough inspection of HVAC Systems and occupied spaces.
- Direct reading instrument testing/sampling for temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide, moisture, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Limited testing/sampling for highly suspect agents such as mold, bacteria, chemicals, insects, dust, and allergens.
- A formal report identifying problems and recommended corrective measures, OR recommendations for additional tests based on initial findings. (70-80% of the time we can identify the issues in the Phase I survey).
PHASE II – IN-DEPTH STUDY OF AIR QUALITY
Where situations cannot be resolved by a Phase I evaluation, and the extent of the problem is most significant than anticipated, or more testing/sampling and assessment is necessary, a Phase II Investigation would be performed. Each situation is unique, but the following are some of the tests that could be achieved.
- More extensive examination of the interior of the HVAC System including opening ductwork and performing tests for molds, bacteria or chemicals—both air sampling and bulk/surface sampling.
- Testing/sampling and analysis of airborne bacteria;/fungi (Bioaerosols), Mycotoxins, or Endotoxins.
- Microscopic assays – Air-O-Cells and Transparent Tape Imprints for mold, bacteria, fibers, dander, or pollen.
- Particulate assays – Microscopic identification of fibers, pollens, fungi, or asbestos. This can include forensic analysis using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
- Chemical assays – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), specific chemicals and identification of unknowns including Industrial Hygiene.
- Indoor allergens – includes dust mites, cat and dog dander, cockroach allergens, and endotoxins.
- Fire residue – in the event a fire was involved either inside or outside such as vegetation wildfire, we can test for fire residues.
- Final formal report identifying problems and solutions.
Contact us today at 973-366-4660 or email email@example.com to discuss your unique Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) needs and obtain a complimentary, no-obligation quotation for indoor air quality testing/sampling and consulting services tailored to your organization’s requirements.
Our primary service areas are New Jersey NJ, New York NY, (New York City), Pennsylvania PA, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, Massachusetts, (Boston) MA, Rhode Island RI, Washington DC, Wisconsin WI, Maryland MD, Michigan MI, Illinois (Chicago) IL, Virginia VA, Indiana IN, Georgia (Atlanta) GA, Alabama AL, North Carolina NC, South Carolina SC, Tennessee TN, Texas (Dallas, Ft Worth) TX, Oklahoma OK, DC, Arkansas AR, Florida FL. We can service most other areas of the U.S. but additional travel charges will be applied.