All living organisms need oxygen to sustain life. Humans respire like any other organism and, like any organism, are adversely affected by poor air quality or ambient air where the normal concentration of oxygen (21%) is altered. Building architects, construction managers and, for that matter, building owners solve the issue of how to provide good air quality to their building occupants through the use of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment (HVAC). Proper HVAC construction usually follows the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards for acceptable air quality (and other affiliated standards).

Although most buildings are constructed with air quality in mind, changes in areas surrounding the exteriors of buildings or interior changes to buildings affecting the initial air movement design can have a negative impact on individual human health. Poor air quality can make certain individuals drowsy, unproductive, irritable and in more severe cases, suffer allergic reactions and possibly more serious effects.

Ventilation surveys assess the present air movement and cubic feet per minute (cfm) ratings for the air handling units presently servicing the subject building. Proper air exchange in a given volume would be a minimum of four (4) exchanges of the entire volume of air in a space per hour, or once every fifteen minutes. Ventilation surveys can also encompass investigations into the construction of ventilation systems, the development of other potential sources of contamination including, asbestos, molds, yeast, bacteria, and fungi.

Ventilation surveys rely on the expertise of the technician as well as readings obtained from real-time sampling equipment and analytical data (where applicable).


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