As predicted in the earlier editions, concerns over Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) have driven it to the forefront of current workplace problems. More than ever, health, economic and legal matters associated with IAQ seem destined to make it a dominant problem for developers, owners and managers of commercial and institutional properties well into this millennium. Indoor air problems have definitely made the engineer’s and facility manager’s jobs more difficult and put the owner at greater risk.
We have become more conscious of human concerns and have become more aware of the cost associated with achieving indoor air quality. Employers are being plagued by “sick buildings,” associated absenteeism, and lower productivity. Elements of risk and liability associated with poor IAQ have caught the attention of our litigious society. Thus, employee and occupant lawsuits continue.
The IAQ problem is real and it is not going to go away. The ASHRAE standard 62, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, and its future revision process will continue to force us all to consider the indoor environment even in “healthy” buildings. This book is designed to help those who are responsible for managing that environment. It encompasses the whole range of contaminants, thermal conditions and other factors that contribute to, or detract from, occupant comfort and a productive workplace. Focusing on IAQ issues from a management perspective, this book is not intended to be a detailed, technical book. However, enough detail is provided for it to be a practitioner’s handbook designed to help owners, managers, operators or anyone responsible for operating and maintaining a facility. While not directed primarily at the design professionals, those who offer owners technical and financial support will find it beneficial to examine the IAQ issue from management’s point of view.