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|Posted: Mon 13 Aug - 04:48 (2018) Post subject: Indoor Air Quality
|Newer Derek Grant Jersey , larger buildings which are highly energy efficient due to sealed windows and heavy insulation primarily depend on mechanical ventilation. Older, small, and low occupancy office buildings can be adequately ventilated through natural sources which include air leakage through opened windows and doors, as well as through cracks in the windows and walls, and other openings.
In a modern office building, the heating ventilation and air conditioning system is designed to keep occupants comfortable and healthy by controlling the amount of outside air that is added to the building atmosphere John Gibson Jersey , filtering both incoming and recirculated air to remove particulates and controlling the temperature. The HVAC system includes all heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment serving a building: furnaces or boilers, chillers, cooling towers, air handling units Jakob Silfverberg Jersey , exhaust fans, ductwork, filters, steam (or heating water) piping. A ventilation system consists of a blower to move the air, ductwork to deliver air to the room, and vents to distribute the air. A good ventilation design will distribute supply air uniformly to each area and especially areas with office machines. An effectively designed area will not have the supply and exhaust vent too close together because fresh air may be removed before it is adequately distributed throughout the area. Exhaust fans are often located a significant distance away from supply vents. A simple way to determine if the ventilation system is running a vent as a supply or an exhaust is by holding a tissue near the vent.] If the tissue moves Ryan Miller Jersey , the air is being circulated and the direction the tissue is blown will determine the type of vent.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is an increasingly important issue in the work environment. The study of indoor air quality and pollutant levels within office environments is a complex problem. The complexity of studying and measuring the quality of office environments arises from various factors including:
- Building floor plans are frequently changing to accommodate increasingly more employees and reorganization.
- Office buildings frequently undergo building renovations such as installation of new carpet, modular office partitions and free-standing offices, and painting.
Many of the apparent health symptoms are vague and common to both the office and home environment. Guidelines or standards for permissible personal exposure limits to pollutants within office buildings are very limited.
Many times odors are associated with chemical contaminants from inside or outside the office space, or from the building fabric. This is particularly noticeable following building renovation or installation of new carpeting. Out-gassing from such things as paints, adhesives, sealants Brandon Montour Jersey , office furniture, carpeting, and vinyl wall coverings is the source of a variety of irritant compounds. In most cases, these chemical contaminants can be measured at levels above ambient (normal background) but far below any existing occupational evaluation criteria.
Various building studies indicate that the most likely sources of this problem are - poor ventilation, poor thermal conditions, too high or low humidity Ondrej Kase Jersey , emissions from office machines, copiers and other building contaminants and poor ergonomic layout of workstations.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has established a general guideline of 20 cubic feet of outside air per minuteper person for an office environment. This is a sufficient amount of air to dilute building contaminants and maintain a healthy environment. Indoor air quality complaints increase significantly in offices that are not supplied sufficient outside air.
A ventilation system should provide for a comfortable environment with respect to humidity and temperature. The overall goal of climate control is to provide an environment that is not too cold, hot, dry or humid Chris Wagner Jersey , and that is free from drafts and odors. Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air and extremes in humidification levels can influence how comfortable you may be. When the air is too humid, it makes people feel uncomfortable (wet, clammy) and can promote mold growth. On the other hand, low humidity conditions (which typically occur in the winter months) dry out the nasal and respiratory passages. Low humidity may be associated with an increased susceptibility to upper respiratory infections. Static electricity problems (affecting hair and clothes, particularly synthetic fibers) are good indicators of an office with low relative humidity.
Excessively high or low temperatures in an office area can also lead to symptoms in building occupants and reduce productivity. High temperatures have been associated with fatigue, lassitude Ryan Kesler Jersey For Sale , irritability, headache and decrease in performance, coordination and alertness. A number of factors interact to determine whether people are comfortable with the temperature of the indoor air. The activity level, age, and physiology of each person affect the thermal comfort requirements of that individual. Extreme heat, which is unlikely to be found in an office environment Ryan Getzlaf Jersey For Sale , can result in heat rash, exhaustion, and fainting. Workers who may be less alert or fatigued from a high temperature environment may be more prone to accidents.
An inadequately ventilated office environment or a poorly designed ventilation system can lead to the build up of a variety of indoor air pollutants. Air pollutants can originate within the building or be drawn in from outdoors. Examples of sources that originate outside a building include:
- pollen, dust and fungal spores
- general vehicle exhaust
- odors from dumpsters
- re-entrained exhaust from the building itself or from neighboring buildings
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