Building Sciences & Indoor Environment covers the environmental aspects in the design, analysis, and operation of efficient, healthy, and comfortable buildings. Building sciences can be defined as a body of information that draws upon the knowledge of engineering, architecture, chemistry, physics, biology, and life sciences to understand the natural behavior of the building as a structure. Indicators affecting indoor air quality and comfort, are measured using the following standard IAQ parameters: Temperature, Relative Humidity, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, and Oxygen Percentage. Other parameters could include Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), Formaldehydes, Particulates, and Microbial amplification (mould spores). Hot Zone has completed numerous mould assessments, and indoor air quality projects, and have expansive knowledge in all areas of the indoor environment; Mould Assessments, Water Damage Assessments, Air Sampling/Surface Sampling for Mould or Bacteria, Indoor Air Quality Assessments and Studies, Air Quality Management and Sampling During Construction, and Radon Measurements/Sampling Programs/Mitigation. Hot Zone’s group assists our clients in meeting their and occupant's expectations for sufficient indoor air quality.
Building Sciences & Indoor EnvironmentMore Info
Excessive dampness and mould growth on building material surfaces and room contents, can introduce unhealthy symptoms and should not be tolerated in indoor environments. A mould assessment determines the presence of mould or mould growth but does not determine the duration of the growth or provide information regarding mould exposure. A visual inspection is recommended as the primary means for assessing indoor mould. Mould sampling is recommended only when the results of a visual inspection are inconclusive, or when clear evidence of mould growth or contamination is a requirement.
Water Damage Assessments
A water damage assessment is a very important first stage in identifying and mitigating the effects of a water loss or water damage on a building. Whether a residential, commercial, or industrial building, an assessment can help building owners or managers and insurance adjusters understand the scope of the water damage, and then develop a plan to implement drying, repairs, and/or restoration of the buildings damaged site. Delaying a water damage assessment, can lead to white water (fresh) turning into grey or black water (waste water) within a 48 hour period.
Air Sampling & Surface Sampling for Mould or Bacteria
Where sampling is required, Hot Zone uses an independent 3rd party environmental microbiology laboratory that participates in the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Environmental Microbiology Proficiency Analytical Testing (EMPAT) program, staffed with experienced and trained mycologists. Hot Zone uses the latest equipment and sampling media when conducting airborne mould spore sampling and/or surface sampling, and bases our interpretation of sampling results on the criteria suggested by Health Canada, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) .
Indoor Air Quality Assessments and Studies
Studies indicate Canadians are indoors for 90% of their time during the week, usually in built environments like homes, schools, workplaces/offices, places of worship, or gyms. Many factors contribute to poor indoor air quality, such as: smoking, cooking, cleaning chemicals, vapour from building materials (off-gassing), dusts, mould, allergens, temperature, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and oxygen levels. The purpose of an indoor air quality assessment is to help identify issues in the air quality of your building, and to develop effective solutions to promote and improve the health and safety of your building occupants and the air they breathe.
Air Quality Management and Sampling During Construction, Renovation, or Demolition
Hot Zone can provide air quality management and sampling during construction, renovation or demolition projects. We can provide silica monitoring, nuisance dusts, total respirable particulates sampling, and mould spore trap sampling, and, we can also assist in developing a dust management plan during a planned construction, renovation, or demolition to ensure compliance with local or provincial regulations.
Radon Measurements & Sampling Programs & Mitigation
Radon is an invisible, odourless, tasteless, and radioactive gas that is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 1, carcinogen to humans. It is formed by the disintegration of radium, which is one of the decay products of uranium. Radon is measured in units of picocuries per litre, or becquerels per cubic metre, and usually enters a building through cracks in the floor, through wall slab joints, and drainage systems. Indoor radon concentrations are usually higher than outdoor concentrations, once inside a building, radon cannot easily escape. Radon measurements and sampling durations can vary greatly, from a “Grab Sample” (seconds to minutes), “Short-term Average” (days), “Long-term Average” (weeks or months), to “Continuous” measurement.