Indoor Air Quality News

Indoor Air Quality Conference, Expo Set For October

"The Unification Conference" -- to take place Oct. 6-9 at the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. -- will serve as the first combined annual meeting of three organizations in the indoor environmental arena: the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), the American Indoor Air Quality Council and the Indoor Environmental Standards Organization (IESO).

"The collaboration of these three organizations at this conference creates a dynamic meeting with expanded educational and exhibiting opportunities," said Bob Baker, president of IAQA. The combined memberships of the three organizations represent more than 5,500 separate individuals and companies. Conference organizers forecast attendance in Orlando will easily exceed 1,500 professionals from the various disciplines related to indoor air quality.

More 25 hours of the conference's educational program will be dedicated to various aspects of mold, one of the most publicized issues currently affecting the indoor environment. Other educational tracks will tackle indoor air quality research, state regulations, insurance, government programs, and the law. The speaker lineup includes dozens of notable industry experts. Presentations will impart useful, practical information that attendees can take home and apply to their daily business activities.

Conference attendees will also learn details about the unification and consolidation plan recently proposed by the three organizations. Members of IAQA and the Indoor Environmental Standards Organization will take part in a historic vote that may shape the future of the indoor air quality industry for decades to come. The American Indoor Air Quality Council has already approved the proposal.

Discounted "early-bird" conference registration is open through Aug. 30. Individuals and companies registering by that deadline will qualify to take advantage of a $100 discount, members and non-members alike. Exposition hall passes are also available. For further information on the conference or to register, visit http://www.iaqa.org.

Hurricane Guide for Restoring Water Damaged Buildings Released

On Aug. 16, Atlanta-based indoor air quality firm, Air Quality Sciences, Inc. (AQS), announces the release of a guide to educate commercial property owners and managers on the initial steps required to begin the hurricane recovery process. The guide, "Post Hurricane Basics: Restoring Your Property," outlines best practices for beginning the process of remediating a water damaged building.

Only two months into hurricane season, five tropical storms or hurricanes have already left a trail of destruction and floodwater damaged buildings. Wind is destructive, opening buildings to water damage from land (run off), sea (storm surge) and air (rain) sources. Excessive water damage poses a significant risk to health and property. "When commercial buildings are damaged by a natural or manmade water disaster, the restoration process can be long and complex," said Anthony Worthan, president of AQS. "The sheer size of the building, the number of players involved, and the implications for the business make the process infinitely more complex than it is for water damaged homes."

One of the most significant impacts of moisture damage is the growth of mold that can be destructive to the external and internal building materials and furnishings. Resulting mold growth also can present a health hazard to building occupants and restoration crews. Quick and appropriate measures immediately after the water damage can lessen the potential for extensive mold growth, reduce long-term health consequences for building occupants, and maintain the building's structural integrity.

After damage has been surveyed, safety is secured, and cleanup begins, it is important to ensure that these floodwaters have no long term, negative impacts on buildings and occupants. The updated guide outlines the steps and best practices to follow when initiating the cleanup. The information included is based on more than 15 years of extensive experience in managing the remediation of water-damaged properties caused by natural and man-made disasters. This guide is not intended to be a comprehensive remediation plan, but a sound foundation for assessing the situation and moving toward an effective and affordable solution. The guide is featured on the Building Consulting page of the company's Web site at http://www.aqs.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?mid=168&tabid=82&ItemId=12.

Green USA Releases Green Schools Report

On Aug. 4, Global Green USA released its Green Schools Report touting the multiple financial, health, academic and environmental benefits of high performance, environmentally sustainable buildings for education facilities.

Global Green's report (available at http://www.globalgreen.org) outlines numerous advantages from building green schools including:

  • Improved learning -- Students progressed 20 percent to 26 percent faster in classrooms with the most daylight.
  • Increased Attendance -- Better indoor air quality leads to fewer absences from illness.
  • Lower Operating Costs -- Districts can save 20 percent to 40 percent on utility costs for new schools.
  • Reduced Energy Dependence -- With on-site solar power, schools can further reduce their electricity costs and reduce dependence on the energy grid.

Florida's Lodging Industry Seeks To Create Healthier Indoor Environment

On Aug. 22, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it is partnering with The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) to help Florida's lodging industry create a healthier indoor environment and reduce the generation of solid waste in hotels and motels across the state. The partnership is the latest component of DEP's Green Lodging initiative, which encourages hotels and motels to adopt cost-saving 'green' practices that conserve energy, reduce water consumption, protect air quality and reduce waste.

"Florida's Green Lodges, along with organizations that provide information on green products and services, are taking a leadership role in their industry," said DEP Secretary Colleen M. Castille. "Their environmental commitment serves as an example and challenge to other hotels and suppliers to adopt innovative green practices, conserve resources and save money."

Through the public-private partnership, CRI will provide Florida's lodging industry with technical assistance on products and services that preserve air quality and reduce the generation of solid waste in their facilities. They will also provide web-based listings of products certified by CRI's Green Label, Green Label Plus and Seal of Approval testing programs such as carpet, cushion, adhesives, vacuum cleaners, extractors and cleaning solutions. CRI will promote the Florida Green Lodging Certification Program to hotels and motels throughout the state and will encourage CRI management and staff to utilize certified Florida Green Lodges for conferences, meetings and travel.

For more information about the Florida Green Lodging Certification Program, visit http://www.floridagreenlodging.org.

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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