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Maintaining IAQ During Construction Projects
January 10, 2012
When undertaking renovations or other major construction projects at a facility, maintaining indoor air quality should be on the list of project to-dos. Even when using the lowest VOC emitting products available, there will probably still be some dust, fumes or vapors to contend with.
Isolate occupants and the HVAC system that serves them from the construction zone. Isolate the construction zone from the occupied areas with physical barriers, such as plastic sheeting, that inhibit air movement.
Exhaust air from the construction zone directly to the outside such that it is maintained at a negative pressure with respect to other areas. If the HVAC system serving the construction zone serves other areas, completely seal potential return air paths to prevent construction dust, fumes and vapors from being recirculated to other zones.
As well, evaluate the need to upgrade the filtration system during construction projects. Don't underestimate the importance of frequent air filter inspections and changes both in the new and old systems during and shortly after the construction process.
Also, consider the use of gas-phase filtration to eliminate chemicals that may be generated during the construction project.