Is your building making people sick?
Commercial properties have an immense impact on their occupiers’ overall health and wellness. The first step towards creating a healthier commercial building is to see where you currently stand. Here are 2 things to consider when analyzing your property:
While the whole world is looking at environmental air quality, there’s another area that can be far riskier: the indoors. Studies show that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Today’s population spends an immense portion of their day inside, meaning they’re constantly facing the effects of mass pollutants.
An easy way to boost air quality is by always using high-performance air filters. Make sure ducts are cleaned out periodically to avoid the build-up of dirt, grime, and residue. Using a filter that protects against common allergens will help keep your residents and tenants safe during cold and flu season.
Another thing to look at is where your air is being sourced from. Ideally, vents should be in an area that is receiving fresh and unpolluted air. It’s a bad sign if the entire building’s air source is being derived from a parking lot or above a busy street – both of which will contain potentially hazardous chemicals and pollutants.
As a basic rule, commercial property managers and owners should make sure that their building’s air quality and ventilation systems are compliant with ANSI/ASHRAE standards.
In the case of commercial buildings, materials matter. There are many finishes and materials that leech off VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. These chemicals can off-gas into the indoor environment and cause a myriad of health issues.
Knowing what your building is made of is the first step. Look into the different materials used in the property’s construction and understand their effects on human health. Beyond the property itself, furniture can also harbor dangerous chemicals. Always make sure to choose furnishings that emit low levels of VOCs.
Be Ready to Make the Changes
CRE property owners need to understand that these health hazards should be considered as property defects. These issues require action, which means there will be inevitably be a bill to pay. Don’t push these problems off to the backburner. Any building element that has VOC-heavy materials or is polluting the indoor air quality is harming your occupants.
It’s time for CRE to take responsibility for the issue and start cleaning up the mess. Here are 2 things you can do to start making your commercial building healthier:
- Choose Safe Cleaning Supplies
Keeping a commercial property clean is a key element in boosting it’s health rating – but property managers need to be careful about what supplies they’re using. Many cleaning solutions pose a danger to human health, with the elderly and children at the highest risks. Your building’s arsenal of cleaning supplies should be carefully chosen based on safety ratings.
- Call In an Expert
The best way to help improve a building’s health is to accurately diagnose the problems. If you’re unsure about where your building stands in terms of health, don’t hesitate to contract a professional. Calling in an inspector is a great way to analyze the full scope of a commercial property.