Sick Building Syndrome is a building-associated, but nonspecific illness and no contributory agent is apparent or found. SBS is a worldwide and complex problem. Employers are experiencing higher absenteeism and lower productivity as a result of SBS related issues1. The root cause of this problem has been tied together with efforts made since the 1970’s to create more energy efficient building environments. Structures were made “tighter”, and as a result, reliance on mechanical ventilation increased. The balance between energy savings and indoor air quality for the occupants has continued to struggle for a common middle ground.
According to the American Standards for Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), a building is deemed “sick” when 20% or of the building occupants, voluntarily complain of discomfort symptoms for periods exceeding two weeks, and affected occupants observe rapid relief away from the building. Professional judgment and rationale are key ingredients when trying to determine whether or not SBS issues are present in the building-of-concern. If you, or an employee, are concerned about SBS related issues, or feel you might be exposed to SBS conditions, contact Environmental Analytics to investigate and provide accurate assessments and simple solutions for your complaint.
1- Information taken from: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/sbs.html