Causes and prevention of symptom complaints in office buildings:Distilling the experience of indoor environmental qualityinvestigators

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The goal of this project was to develop empirically based recommendations for practical strategies, suitable for use by those who own, lease, or manage office space, to prevent building-related symptoms in office buildings. Ideas from six experienced building investigators were gathered and prioritized in a multi-day workshop. The top ranked problems identified were, in priority order: excessive building moisture, inadequate outdoor air, dust on indoor surfaces, indoor gases and odors, inadequate thermal control, and inadequate attention by management to indoor environments. The highest priority strategies recommended for preventing building-related symptoms were: managing water at building exteriors, operating ventilation systems per ... continued below

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Mendell, Mark J.; Diamond, Richard C.; Fisk, William J.; Brennan,Terry; Hathon, Lee; Odom, J. David et al. January 1, 2005.

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Description

The goal of this project was to develop empirically based recommendations for practical strategies, suitable for use by those who own, lease, or manage office space, to prevent building-related symptoms in office buildings. Ideas from six experienced building investigators were gathered and prioritized in a multi-day workshop. The top ranked problems identified were, in priority order: excessive building moisture, inadequate outdoor air, dust on indoor surfaces, indoor gases and odors, inadequate thermal control, and inadequate attention by management to indoor environments. The highest priority strategies recommended for preventing building-related symptoms were: managing water at building exteriors, operating ventilation systems per design intent, providing at least minimum ventilation rates, and maintaining indoor temperatures at 72 F {+-} 2{sup o}. Findings in the scientific literature were generally consistent with these recommendations. IEQ investigators showed considerable agreement on the most important causes of symptom complaints in office buildings and the key methods for preventing these problems. Despite the range of climates in which they worked, the investigators agreed that the highest priority prevention strategy was managing water at building exteriors. These recommendations, generally consistent with available research findings, provide useful practical guidelines for those who own, manage or maintain office buildings. The empirical knowledge of practitioners offers more guidance here for choosing health-protective strategies than current science, although efficacy of these empirically based strategies generally has not been confirmed.

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  • Indoor Air 2005, Beijing, China, September 14-19,2005

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  • Report No.: LBNL--56382-Conf.
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 861237
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc785147

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  • January 1, 2005

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 1, 2016, 7:17 p.m.

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Mendell, Mark J.; Diamond, Richard C.; Fisk, William J.; Brennan,Terry; Hathon, Lee; Odom, J. David et al. Causes and prevention of symptom complaints in office buildings:Distilling the experience of indoor environmental qualityinvestigators, article, January 1, 2005; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc785147/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.