Talk About Timing

CONFERENCES, CRUISES, AND COVID-19

Summer is almost here, and I know many people are planning their summer vacations. I’ve already taken my big vacation this year, and I must say, it was a pretty great trip. This past February, I went on my very first cruise. Talk about timing. To be clear, I booked this trip back in 2019, well before COVID-19 began popping up all over the world.


Hidden Underfoot

THE BEST NAME FOR A CRAWL SPACE DOG

This month, I want to talk about something that has been described to me as the “most terrifying” part of a building: the crawl space. In early February, I got a call from one of my clients asking me to come out to El Paso to do an air quality survey in a building near the border. This job came with a stipulation that I would have to go into the crawl space …


First Rule of (Building Science) Fight Club

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT!

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters humanity has ever invented. You can open an app to check your updates after dinner, and suddenly it’s past midnight! That said, of course I’m on social media. It’s 2020 after all! There are two forms of social media I use: LinkedIn and Instagram. LinkedIn is a good opportunity for me to learn about …


Setting Sail?

WHERE IS TRAVIS THIS MONTH?

In February, things get low. The humidity gets low, the temperature gets low, and the number of occupants’ complaints gets low as well. This means I’m not as busy in February. After the busy year that was 2019, I’m okay with that. A low February means I get to take a vacation.


Particles, Fibers, and Dust, Oh My!

DIAGNOSING AN UNHEALTHY BUILDING WITH AIRBORNE PARTICLE COUNTS

Airborne particles are an often-overlooked aspect of indoor air quality (IAQ). Even among my own peers, particles are rarely a top priority. In this area, I’m an outlier.
When I do indoor air quality surveys, not only do I look at the standard environmental indicators like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, temperature, and relative humidity, but I also collect airborne particle counts at that time.


Tools of the Trade

WHAT MAKES AN IAQ EXPERT

Technology is only as smart as the person using it. A quality graphing calculator might be able to determine the force needed to break free of the Earth’s gravity, but I’m not a rocket scientist. You could give me the fanciest calculator on the market, but you shouldn’t use any equation I come up with to build rockets. It’s not enough to have a quality piece of equipment; you need
to know how to use it.


Stairway to Nowhere

WHEN THERMAL BRIDGING GUIDES MOLD INTO YOUR BUILDING

Over the last 10 years, whenever I get a call in late August or early September, I can guess what the problem is before I even answer the phone. The ends of my summers are almost always spent in hot, humid stairwells, looking at mold.


What’s that Smell?

STRANGE STORIES OF CHASING ODORS

Of all the work I do with indoor air quality (IAQ), chasing odors tends to lead to some of the strangest stories. It’s not my favorite part of my job, but when a client calls with an odor problem, I’m not going to leave them hanging.


No Do-Overs

4 WAYS TO FAIL YOUR LEED IAQ TESTING

One of the most misunderstood aspects of receiving LEED 3.2 indoor air testing clearance is how a building can fail or succeed. At Building Air Quality, we’ve worked on a number of projects in recent years where general contractors have been successful, and other projects where the contractor failed miserably. We know where many mistakes are made and how to prevent them. Here are four mistakes …


A Better Building

IAQ POINTS IN LEED CERTIFICATIONS

Everyone wants a better building, which is why so many new buildings aim to meet the high standards outlined by the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED-certified buildings are recognized internationally for green building design, occupant comfort, productivity, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions.