Some decades ago, the phrase “sick building syndrome” became synonymous with poor productivity, low morale, and absenteeism. At the time, the causes of the syndrome were not clear and they were often derided as myths or hysteria. Now, thanks to years of research and scientific discovery, we have learned that a building is a system, just like the human body. Dysfunction of one component can affect the health of the entire building environment. And probably the most important component of the building system is the breathing air quality. After all, indoor air quality is not only a health issue. In the case of commercial buildings, it is a legal obligation to maintain a work environment that is healthy and safe.
And when it comes to air quality, it seems odd that we have directed most of our attention to commercial buildings rather than our personal homes where we spend the greatest amount of time. What about the quality of the air in the bedrooms of our children and elderly parents? These groups are typically more susceptible to airborne contaminants than working-age adults.
Maybe the problem stems from the fact that air is invisible. Without special diagnostic instruments, we are unable to see how air enters and exits the building. We all want fresh air. So where does it come from? In most residential homes and many commercial buildings, it leaks in through holes, gaps, cracks, and other penetrations. If your home is built over a crawl space it is probable that most of the air in your home came from there. Not the best source for healthy air.
Building scientists have known for many years that “naturally ventilated” buildings are a problem. In mild weather, we can open the windows and allow outside air to flow in. This air is fresh, although there may still be issues with pollen, mold spores, and other outdoor contaminants. But what about hot and cold weather when the windows are closed?
Indoor air quality is the key component in all buildings. Fortunately, the building codes are changing the way we design and construct buildings. But while we are making strides to improve air quality in new buildings, what about existing buildings? It is a fact that over 80% of all the buildings that will be in existence 30 years from today are already constructed. Obviously, we cannot build our way out of the problem. We have to find ways to address issues with our existing stock of commercial and residential buildings.
DocAir has spent the 17 years researching, refining, and testing methods to make buildings work better, focusing on ways to improve and maintain indoor air quality. Today, DocAir provides diagnostic, design, and remedial services for clients throughout the southeastern United States.
DocAir works with architects, developers and planners in the construction of high-performance buildings that can be certified to any of the green standards. But most of the work to be done is for existing buildings. DocAir specializes in retrofitting, repairing, and upgrading these older buildings so that they can perform like new ones. Every building, old and new, can become DocAir certified and allergy-proof.
Nothing is more important than the quality of the air we breathe. DocAir is making the world a better place to live, and breathe, one building at a time.
Barry C. Westbrook, Senior Industrial Hygienist
”Working with DocAir was a great experience. They are one of the most honest companies I have worked with. If you are having air quality concerns I would definitely recommend calling DocAir.Tamara DavenportDocAir Customer