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The construction process is an exciting time for building owners, design architects and engineers as the long-awaited building or renovation begins to take form. The various phases of construction are also a time when many problems arise related to IEQ and potentially resultant litigation. New awareness of construction IEQ has begun to catalyze prevention and betterment strategies that will work for all involved parties if properly implemented.

Some examples of IEQ risks
during construction and renovation include:

  • Outdoor contaminants introduced through the building's HVAC system and building envelope related to asphalt roofing fumes, demolition particulate, carbon monoxide, and microbiological disruption during excavation and demolition.
  • Improper filtration, barrier installation and pressure relationships between construction areas and occupied spaces.
  • Incorrect storage of building materials prior to installation, e.g., ductwork stored outdoors exposed to moisture, particulate and fungi.
  • Indoor pollutant sources generated from the construction processes such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from adhesives, caulks, paints and strippers, polyurethane, etc.
  • Particulate generated from floor sanding, concrete and wallboard demolition, and removal and installation of mineral wood insulation.
  • Installation of carpeting and fleece surfaces before clearance sampling for acceptable VOC and particulate levels, allowing the "sink" effect of contaminant absorption.
  • Installation of saturated building materials that have not been thoroughly dried.
  • Trapped construction debris.
  • Installation inconsistent with specifications (e.g., HVAC controls, wall assemblies and perimeter drainage systems).
  • Lack of HVAC system cleaning upon completion of construction.

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