Indoor Air Quality & Complaint Investigations

Mold & Indoor Air Quality

Lawrence has many years of experience investigating "sick building" syndrome and building-related illness complaints, as well as providing a wide variety of proactive services regarding indoor air quality (IAQ). With the absence of federal IAQ-specific regulations, Lawrence's IAQ services conform to consensus guidelines and protocols of professional organizations, such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE), American Hospital Association (AHA), American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), ASTM, USEPA, World Health Organization (WHO), and European Community (EC) standards.

Microbial (Mold) Sampling Evaluations: Lawrence has conducted microbial investigations at industrial, health care, and office buildings, and for facilities that have experienced water disasters and fires resulting in water damage. Microbial contamination can result in building occupant respiratory illness and infection, especially among hospital patients with compromised immune systems. Fungal and bacterial proliferation may occur in buildings with excessive moisture in building materials, carpeting, and ceiling tiles or in an HVAC system. Lawrence's staff examines special microbial sources, such as water spray systems, humidifiers, fan coil units, porous insulation in HVAC systems, and water damaged occupied spaces. We conduct indoor and outdoor sampling of these sources using a variety of sophisticated instrumentation to determine the species and concentration of airborne fungi and bacteria. Based on the investigation results, our staff develops remediation protocol and specifications to reduce, eliminate, or control microbial contamination and monitor remediation contractor's activities for compliance with protocols and specifications.

IAQ Building Diagnostic Evaluations: Lawrence generally begins a building evaluation by reviewing a building's ventilation system design and operating procedures. In addition, Lawrence reviews the system's preventative maintenance program and inspects the condition of system components, including air filters, condensate drain pans, cooling coils, and humidifiers. Lawrence also performs direct-reading measurements of indoor air contaminants, including respirable particulates and carbon dioxide, as well as temperature, and relative humidity (RH). Lawrence also inspects the building for microbial reservoirs and amplifiers as well as sources of odors, chemical contaminants, and combustion products.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems Evaluations: HVAC system deficiencies are almost always associated with IAQ problems. These deficiencies can occur in the design, installation, maintenance, and operation of the HVAC systems. Our HVAC inspection includes evaluating the condition and maintenance of ventilation system components, operation of the air intake system, effectiveness of the air delivery system in occupied spaces, and the re-entrainment and infiltration potential of contamination that can enter the building from sources such as cooling towers, exhaust fan outlets, plumbing vents, flues, and motor vehicle exhausts.

Air Contaminant IAQ Sampling Evaluations: When an IAQ evaluation reveals active or potential contaminant sources, Lawrence may be retained to conduct subsequent air sampling and analysis to document the extent of contamination. An IAQ sampling evaluation is also a way to determine whether certain baseline guidelines are being met. Lawrence has performed customized IAQ sampling evaluations for a variety of air contaminants, including volatile organic compounds (VOC?s) emitted from construction materials, office furnishings, and printing operations, as well as combustion processes and pesticides.