The Fastest Way to Find Legionella in Your Building

If your building has Legionella in its water, would you want to wait 10–14 days to find out? That’s how long it would take to complete a culture sample, the traditional method to test for Legionella bacteria in a water source. This means that if your building does have a Legionella problem, it could be almost two weeks before you know for sure.


Is Your Building a COVID-19 Hotspot?

NEW TEST DETECTS COVID-19 ON ENVIRONMENTAL SURFACES 

Last month we featured an article about how adenosine triphosphate (ATP) tests can be used to measure the cleanliness of surfaces after cleaning. While ATP tests are effective, they only test for the presence of bacteria and other microorganisms. More recently, a new molecular-based test has been developed by EMSL Analytical, Inc. that is specially designed to detect the presence or absence of the COVID-19 virus on surfaces.


Don’t Fail on the Follow-Through

UTILIZE ATP TESTING IN YOUR BUILDING

For the past several months, cleanliness has taken on a whole new level of importance. Beyond the value of hygiene, during the COVID-19 pandemic, your building’s cleanliness may literally be a matter of life or death. Building owners and property managers are responsible for acting quickly if they learn that someone who has been in their building recently tested positive


Don’t Be Hoodwinked!

WHAT BUILDING OWNERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MYCOTOXINS

With a number of unsavory individuals overselling their expertise about mycotoxins, this month we want to educate our readers on this topic. Here’s what building owners need to know about mycotoxins, including their potential danger to humans and the best way to remove mycotoxins from your building.


Mold, Fire, and Lead

THE RISK OF LEAD EXPOSURE IN REMEDIATION

For most of human history, lead was a popular material in art and construction, thanks to its extreme malleability and corrosion resistance. Ancient Egyptians used lead for sculptures and pottery glazes. The Greeks lined the hulls of their ships with lead. And the Romans used lead to build their elaborate water systems. Found in everything from roofing to makeup, lead’s widespread use resulted…


Why are we still using 150-year-old technology to test…

Between 2000 and 2019, the number of reported Legionnaires’ disease cases in the United States rose by 800%. This disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria and kills over 10% of people infected. Almost 10,000 cases of legionellosis (an umbrella term for two illnesses caused by Legionella bacteria) were reported in 2018 alone. This deadly waterborne disease is …


What We Don’t Know

CHRISTINE WILLIAMSON PUTS BUILDING SCIENCE IN YOUR HANDS

Christine Williamson is a building scientist who made it through architecture school, in her own words, “by the skin of my teeth.” Learning to be an architect is famously difficult, but Christine suspected, quite correctly, that learning architecture would be very different than actually working as an architect.


Danger in the Air

ARE YOUR TENANTS BREATHING IN BAD WATER?

When the day’s stress gets to you, taking a deep breath can help you find a sense of clarity again. However, if that breath is taken near an untreated hot tub or in a building with a dirty hot water tank, you could be inviting deadly bacteria into your body.


That’s So Last Year

IS YOUR BUILDING SUFFERING FROM OUTDATED ‘TRENDS’?

With the new year comes a new opportunity to be hip — or at least more put together than last year. Commercial buildings don’t often have to worry about being trendy, but there are some outdated problems we see in buildings every day that could easily be addressed. Here are some outdated “trends” you can fix that will improve both the look of your building and its indoor air quality.


Something in the Air

STRANGE CASES OF IAQ MYSTERIES

While most indoor air quality issues are pretty straightforward, the mix of environmental factors and human elements can create some surprising circumstances. It’s not all mold from water damage or problems with the HVAC system. Just look at these strange IAQ mysteries we’ve solved over the years.