Healthy Air Episode #16

Episode #16
Preventing Hazards in the Indoor Environment | Loren Witkin

In this episode, Loren Witkin talks about pandemic and post-pandemic IAQ issues. He discusses the tension among two big themes in the built environment, how they respond to wildfire-related challenges, and how to prevent indoor hazards.

Loren is the CEO of Citadel EHS and founded the company with the goal of creating an employee- and client-focused consulting firm that fused a thorough understanding of the built environment within the fields of environmental, health, and safety (EHS). As part of his vision to bring all employees into ownership roles, Loren drove the formation of the firm’s ESOP in 2003 while simultaneously overseeing all phases of corporate development, client management, and complex project management across multiple disciplines. A creative and focused leader, Loren has 30+ years of experience in the EHS industry, both in the public and private sectors, with numerous state, federal, and industry accreditations and certifications to his name. During his career, Loren has served as a panel member, speaker, and presenter on various EHS matters to universities, public agencies, cities, school districts, and industry conferences nationwide. He held tenure at UCLA as one of the first asbestos/lead program managers in California, where he developed policies relating to the identification and remediation of environmental contaminants for 17+ million square feet of property. He is also a founding corporate member of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, a member of the Los Angeles Downtown Breakfast Club, and of the Urban Land Institute. 

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Loren’s background [1:10]
  • What motivated Loren to found Citadel [5:24]
  • Citadel EHS’s mission and focus [8:59]
  • Citadel EHS thinks of their competition as collaborators [10:16]
  • Pre-pandemic and post-pandemic IAQ issues [11:33[
  • Pandemic drew attention to air quality issues [13:41]
  • Critical collaboration between service lines [15:12]
  • Employee and tenant retention are top concerns [18:05]
  • Wildfire-related challenges and key questions [24:35]
  • Challenges and opportunities on the horizon [27:20]
  • Tension among themes in the built environment [33:04]
  • Loren’s predictions on building technology changes in the next ten years [35:36]
  • How Citadel EHS stays on top of the market [37:49]

RESOURCES:

QUOTES:

Citadel is an employee-owned and client-focused consulting firm that fuses a thorough understanding of the built environment within the fields of environmental, health, and safety.”

“Citadel is 100% employee-owned. We want to share what we make with those that make it, and that includes everyone. Our roles may be different, but they’re equally as important.”

“I think highly of our competition, and I use competition loosely because I think there are a lot of ways that we can collaborate, to extend our geography or skill base for example.”

“What changed with the pandemic is that the indoor environment became much more important. There were real health issues associated with the spread of diseases and pathogens.”

“Whether the hazard is biological, physical, or chemical, ventilation is crucial. And understanding your building’s systems is crucial for the prevention of these issues.”

“Focus on indoor air quality overlays all of our service lines, ensuring a complete, integrated set of services for our clients. Collaboration between various practice areas is key.”

“Employers are concerned about retaining and recruiting staff. They want to articulate what they’ve done to ensure safety in the work environment, but what are the best options?”

“Wildfire-related challenges are certainly impacting our clients. We can’t control the situation, but we can control how we prepare and respond with some key questions.”

“Two big themes within the built environment are 1. Sustainability and 2. Health and Safety. Where are these two trends aligned? And where is there tension? And what can be done?”

Healthy Air Episode #15

Episode #15
Data Sharing Is The Name Of The Game | Ronald Ro

In this episode, Ronald Ro talks about healthy energy-optimized homes and the importance of sharing information. He discusses the human component of sensors and data resources. He also shares how they help consumers and business users understand their air quality score and make good decisions to make their spaces healthier.

Ronald Ro is the Chief Commercial Officer and Co-founder of Awair. He is passionate about building products that inspire. After serving his career as an Engineer at the Boeing Company, Ron worked for Samsung’s Consumer Electronics Division and its Corporate Strategy Office for four years, leading the company’s new business and technology commercialization efforts. Ron then joined Cisco’s Emerging Technology Group and was instrumental in launching, building, and scaling new products. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, a master’s degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering, and an MBA from the University of Michigan. 

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Ronald’s background [1:26]
  • Awair’s mission and focus [5:35]
  • Hardware and software data overview [7:05]
  • Good decisions require more than just data [9:00]
  • Data sharing is the name of the game [11:47]
  • Helping you understand your air quality score [14:14]
  • Ronald’s predictions on building technology changes in the next ten years [19:43]
  • How COVID-19 affected Awair [22:39]
  • ASPIRE Group [27:27]
  • The future of IAQ [28:42]
  • The future of sensors [32:52]

RESOURCES:

QUOTES:

My daughter was born with a respiratory issue, and I became triggered about air quality. Purifiers, humidifiers, anything we could do to mitigate the issues that were happening.”

“There is so much talk about making buildings tighter for energy efficiency. But what’s next for the occupants? As we optimize for energy, how do we keep our homes safe and healthy?”

“We measure 7 components of air quality, but we offer more than data. Our focus is to help all stakeholders collectively make good decisions in keeping our spaces healthy and safe.”

“Awair goes the next step in not just providing data, but then taking it a few steps further to ask, What does this mean for an individual, for their personal health and well-being?”

“Data sharing is the name of the game. The most forward-thinking clients understand the importance of sharing information, and it gives them an advantage over the competition.”

“We came up with a “0 to 100” score that could give people an easy way to digest what they’re being exposed to. Below 60 is the danger zone, and you need to take action immediately.”

Healthy Air Episode #14

Episode #14
Industrial Hygiene Technology Innovation | Jacob Persky

In this episode, Jacob talks about applying control mechanisms in a tightly controlled environment and industrial hygiene technology innovation. He also discusses how the world has changed as a result of the pandemic and what to look for when returning to the office.

Jacob Persky is the principal and co-founder at RHP Risk Management. He is an environmental consultant with 20 years of experience as an industrial hygienist. He considers himself to be an exposure scientist and specializes in helping clients to contextually understand and manage health risks from exposures to hazardous substances. Jacob holds a Master of Public Health degree from Benedictine University, a BS degree in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois, and is a board-certified Industrial Hygienist. His work has taken him to many diverse work settings in the fields of semiconductor manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, railroading, healthcare, facilities management, and oil and gas, and in interesting locations throughout the US and abroad to Mexico, Australia, Brazil, and Bolivia.

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Jacob’s background [1:03]
  • Jacob’s motivation to start RHP [2:48]
  • RHP’s Mission [3:38]
  • Types of exposures that Jacob is analyzing [4:25]
  • Understand the nature of the airborne pathogen transmission risk COVID-19 [6:49]
  • Building safety: what should commercial building owners do [8:55]
  • Building safety: what should health care facilities do [10:45]
  • Building safety: what should tenants and employees do [11:54]
  • Environmental consultants role [15:01]
  • Performance and operation of HVAC [17:03]
  • Building safety: what should insurers do [18:17]
  • Building safety: what should legal compliance officers do [20:00]
  • Infection control ventilation compliance requirements regulations [21:02]
  • Jacob’s advice for ensuring regulations compliance [26:11]
  • Jacob’s grade to the entire public health practice [26:59]
  • Jacob’s opinion on having certificates to ensure public health and safety [29:48]
  • Jacob’s predictions on technology innovation [32:43]
  • How RHP stays on top of the market pulse [34:00]

RESOURCES:

QUOTES:

Our mission is to provide exposure science and risk assessment solutions to advance public health by helping clients make informed decisions to differentiate concepts of hazard and risk.”

“We understand the pathogen vectors and the control mechanisms for reducing exposure potential. These principles of infection control have been practiced in hospitals for many years.”

Whether you’re selecting a proven technology or an emerging technology, it’s really important to test, validate and develop data that demonstrates why your building is now safer.”

Post-pandemic, insurance companies need to get creative and find ways to differentiate their high-risk policyholders from their low-risk policyholders.”

“To ensure compliance, do something and document it. The worst thing you can do with this pandemic is to not do anything and claim that you didn’t know better.”

“We’re in the age of genomics and personalized data and microsensors. In the future, we’ll shift to an integrated approach to understanding exposures and personalized risk.”

The world has changed forever as a result of the pandemic. It’s exciting to see industrial hygiene jargon go mainstream with a broadened awareness about the importance of healthy air.”

Healthy Air Episode #11

Episode #11
Enhancing the Intelligence of Buildings | Tyler Smith

In this episode, Tyler Smith shares the services Johnson Controls offer and the benefits of operating a healthy building. He talks about Johnson Controls’ overall business unit and offerings compared to other healthy buildings. Lastly, he discusses how they help deliver on the clean air delivery rate and infection control objectives, and how Johnson Controls explains ROI to their customers.

Tyler Smith is the Executive Director of Healthy Buildings at Johnson Controls, the global leader for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings. Tyler has spent over 15 years with Johnson Controls and held roles focused on leveraging building management systems and HVAC equipment to drive important outcomes such as improvements, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality. From 2018 to 2020, Tyler led Johnson Controls’ Critical Environments business unit, which designs and manufactures systems for critical spaces, such as hospitals and laboratories. Since Spring 2020, Tyler has been instrumental in leading Johnson Controls’ COVID-19 response with a focus on helping our customers open and operate healthy buildings.

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Tyler’s background [1:18]
  • The scope and scale of Johnson Controls’ business [3:30]
  • Services offered under healthy buildings and Johnson Controls [5:15]
  • Johnson Controls’ overall business unit and offerings compared to other healthy buildings [7:15]
  • Key milestones and strategies for healthy buildings at Johnson Controls [10:14]
  • The foundations of clean air within Johnson Controls [13:15]
  • Clean air delivery rate [16:21]
  • How costs and ROI are explained to customers [18:36]
  • Customers’ feedback [21:16]
  • Johnson Controls’ partnerships [25:15]
  • The most valuable technologies today and future predictions [27:41]
  • Tyler’s predictions of buildings’ evolution in the next 10 years [29:29]
  • How Johnson Controls stays on top of the market pulse [31:00]

Resources:

QUOTES:

I think what has kept me in the game and kept me so engaged and excited about working for Johnson Controls is how on the bleeding edge of our industry our company has stayed.”

“The pandemic forced us to rethink and acknowledge the opportunity and responsibility we have to leverage the vast capabilities and services in our healthy buildings business segment.”

“We’re not just trying to sell our clients a HEPA filter or a UV light. We’re there to arm in arm partner with them to understand what’s going on within their building.”

“We’re finding that being very outward in their advertisement and marketing of those healthy building investments that they’re making is important to nearly all of our clients.”

“Using infection control science, we educate clients and help customers understand what to do, how to do it, and ensure the health, safety, and wellness of their stakeholders.”

“We see a digitally connected building as really key to helping our customers unlock the full value of operating a healthy building.”

Healthy Air Episode #10

Episode #10
Building Better Buildings Together | Vicki Worden

In this episode, Vicki Worden talks about one of Green Building Initiative’s signature programs, the Green Globes certification. She explains how it stands apart from other building certification programs, its cost, and its scoring system. She also shares how health and wellness are incorporated in what GBI offers and how they helped clients in response to the pandemic.

Vicki Worden is the President and CEO of the Green Building Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making buildings healthy places to live and work while reducing their impacts on the environment. GBI makes aspirational goals achievable through user-friendly tools built upon comprehensive standards and supported by outstanding staff and expert assessors. GBI has third-party certified 1000s of buildings across North America. Its Green Globes certification and Guiding Principles Compliance verification program support every building situation, from individual buildings with sole owners to some of the largest corporate and government portfolio owners in the world, including the Department of Defense in both the US and Canada.

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Vicki’s background [1:23]
  • Overview of GBI’s mission, priorities, reach, and structure [4:31]
  • Green Globes certification program [6:07]
  • GBI’s scoring system [10:54]
  • How GBI reconciled sustainability, health, wellness, and its standards during the pandemic [14:45]
  • Challenges in 2021 [17:54]
  • GBI’s future direction [20:01]
  • GBI’s concerns and discussions [21:59]
  • The changes Vicki foresees over the next ten years [24:37]
  • What technologies move the needle of GBI’s mission [26:39]
  • How Vicki stays on top of the pulse and the bleeding edge of the market [28:14]
  • Vicki’s thoughts on the industry moving to gender equity [30:54]

Resources:

QUOTES:

“The Green Building Initiative’s mission is really straightforward. We’re focused on improving the built environment and reducing climate impacts.”

“In the last few years, we have much better data on how green buildings are performing on all measures from tenant satisfaction and retainment to occupant health and investor value.”

“Our process has been proven to streamline the certification process by removing cost and time hassles that are traditionally associated with green building certification.”

“We have about 400,000 square feet of certified space under the GBI umbrella today in both the US and Canada and beyond.”

“Within 12-18 months, we’ll be operational in Mexico, Central and South America, and Europe. Within three years, Green Globes and our tools will be available in four different languages.”

Healthy Air Episode #9

Episode #9
Verifying healthy buildings | Sean McCrady

In this episode, Sean McCrady talks about the history and future of healthy buildings, including a new Verified Healthy Building Mark.

Sean is the Director of Assets and Sustainability, Real Estate & Properties at UL. Sean is a certified environmental infection control consultant, certified microbial consultant, certified indoor environmental consultant, and a LEED and WELL accredited professional, and also a Fitwel Ambassador. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a BS in environmental science. 

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Sean’s background [1:14]
  • What led Sean to healthy buildings and has kept him there so long [2:59]
  • An overview of the various roles that Sean has held in the industry [4:53]
  • What stands out to Sean about the industry today [6:55]
  • A challenge Sean faced in his career and an important insight he learned [9:49]
  • The most interesting part of the industry to Sean [12:20]
  • The risks posed by buildings today [13:47]
  • Why buildings are so mismanaged [17:51]
  • How Sean organizes his own business [20:11]
  • How the pandemic has impacted Sean’s business [21:32]
  • The healthy building verification mark [23:17]
  • The tension between health and safety in buildings and sustainability [32:55]
  • What tech Sean is paying attention to [35:05]
  • The changes Sean foresees over the next ten years [38:49]
  • Resources Sean recommends [40:52]

Resources:

QUOTES:

“When you’re part of the science community and you’re part of something that’s always evolving, it keeps your work fresh and interesting.”

“The things that are tried and true are still tried and true when it comes to what we do to manage indoor air quality and indoor environmental quality.”

“It’s not exciting, but fundamentals like looking at the ventilation, filtration, and hygiene remain arguably the most impactful things we can do to improve our indoor air quality.”

“Oftentimes the best tools in your toolkit are your nose and brain. We can smell things at parts per trillion and nuisance odors can be well below regulatory health and safety limits.”

“It’s not just about people not getting enough air. It’s about optimizing the built environment so you have happier, higher functioning people with a better sense of well-being.”

“Rather than figure out why buildings weren’t managed as well as they could have been in the past, I’m hoping we can look toward the future and change the way we operate.”

“The impact to our clients and customers will become more apparent when more people begin coming back to their workplaces.”

“Understand what is important if you own or manage an asset or are responsible for corporate facilities. The right verification program is about fit and what makes the most sense.”

“Post-COVID, I think we’ll see many innovative ideas in new buildings, more inclusion of natural ventilation where we can and a refocus on how to best manage our existing buildings.”

“The people in charge of buildings, hopefully, are taking it upon themselves to learn more and learn what they need to do to protect these assets once the workforce returns.”

Healthy Air Episode #8

Episode #8
How COVID is impacting occupational health and safety | Larry Sloan

In this episode, Larry Sloan talks about industrial hygiene and how the pandemic is elevating the importance of occupational health and safety.

Larry stepped into his role as CEO at the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) in October of 2016. Prior to this, he served as CEO for seven years at SOCMA, a trade association representing the interest of the US specialty chemical industry, where he started his nonprofit career at the Adhesive and Sealant Council, a trade association representing adhesive and sealant manufacturers. He was promoted to his first CEO role there in January of 2005.

Larry began his career as a chemical engineer at Air Products and later worked for Nalco Chemical Company in marketing, manufacturing, and sales capacities. He earned a BS degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and later graduated from Northwestern Kellogg’s Graduate School of Management where he earned his MBA. 

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Larry’s background [1:18]
  • How Larry’s chemical engineering background informs how he thinks about his role and organizational leadership right now [6:58]
  • A look at the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) [8:57]
  • How the pandemic has shifted things for the American Industrial Hygiene Association [12:41]
  • Larry’s recent publications, about the joint consensus statement on aerosol transmission [16:26]
  • The impact of the pandemic on the industrial hygiene profession [22:48]
  • The role that industrial hygiene professionals play in making sense of data and sensors [28:24]
  • As children and teachers are returning to school, what should our priorities be? [30:05]
  • Are we learning from the pandemic? [33:05]
  • What will the AIHA’s conference look like this year [36:56]
  • What information Larry is reading currently [38:38]
  • Closing thoughts [41:55]

Resources:

  • Resources Mentioned:
    • Synergist Weekly – https://www.aiha.org/publications/the-synergist/synergist-weekly
    • Synergist Newswire – https://www.aiha.org/publications/the-synergist/synergist-newswire
    • Journal of Occupational Environmental Health – https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/yjoh20/current
    • Probability Matters podcast – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/probability-matters/id1496778324
  • The American Industrial Hygiene Association – https://www.aiha.org/
  • Larry’s LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrence-sloan-bb88a6/

QUOTES:

“My engineering background, focus on process and making sure that the steps are clear and transparent to all the different stakeholders has really benefited me in my role as CEO.”

“We snapped into action and recognized that this pandemic was a once in a lifetime opportunity to really flex our muscle and to demonstrate leadership with respect to COVID.”

“I really consider COVID to be a black swan event that has really raised the visibility of the profession in AIHA.”

“I think that the COVID pandemic is going to elevate and sustain a very keen awareness about the importance of occupational health and safety to business management.”

“All of these emerging and innovative technologies allow for more automation and really help to enhance the situational awareness to deal with COVID-19 in the workplace.”

“When the next pandemic comes, hopefully, a long time from now, we’ll be better prepared. We’ll have PPE, incubators, respirators, and all the things we should have stockpiled years ago.”

“What does the workplace of the future look like? The pandemic has obviously shined a light on what precautions are going to be put into the workplace for many, many years to come.”

“Mark Cuban challenged us and said ‘If you’re all about worker health and safety, you need to develop guidance documents because there isn’t a lot of guidance from federal agencies.’”

“We’re trying to generate awareness in children about a career in occupational health. Many children aren’t even aware that we’re a profession and of our great value proposition.”

“School operators and engineering teams need to consult with industrial hygienists to figure out what can be done to enhance air quality in the classroom.”

Healthy Air Episode #7

Episode #7
Buildings Need Reason and Purpose | Aaron Lapsley

In this episode, Aaron Lapsley talks about how the role of buildings is changing – the purpose they serve, the way that both owners and occupants view them, and what this means for the built environment industry as a whole.

Aaron works with designers, developers, owners, and operators of real estate to make the most out of technologies in and around their facilities. He helps them improve facility user experience, occupant health and safety, and building performance using data and digital solutions.

He is the Principal and Founder of System2 Consulting and worked previously as the Head of Digital Buildings Practice, Global Technology & Data Solutions at Cushman & Wakefield. His career includes work at Switch Automation, GPG Advisors, and Deloitte.

He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Aaron’s background [1:15]
  • How Aaron got started in building design [2:00]
  • How Aaron’s multi-faceted background is affecting his view on the industry [5:36]
  • How split incentives are affecting buildings [9:37]
  • An overview of LEED and Reset accreditation [14:47]
  • Reducing the carbon footprint of buildings [21:34]
  • What trends in buildings will outlast the pandemic [25:39]
  • Where technology and data intersect with buildings [31:12]
  • The technologies about which Aaron is most excited [36:24]
  • What technologies Aaron believes will win over the next 20 years in buildings [42:15]
  • Aaron’s information diet and recommended resources [45:15]

Resources:

QUOTES:

“You can’t sustainably run a large commercial building without having a management team that is sustainability-focused and data-enabled.”

“I think the pandemic has made the invisible a bit more visible for people that have been paying attention.”

“Buildings need to work with reason and purpose. Most of the services within a building are technology-enabled in some capacity and affect technology in a serious way.”

“Many buildings aren’t helping the people that enter, whether it’s a bad user experience, making them sick or unhealthy, or not being optimally set up to prevent disease transmission.”

“The world is starting to move towards paying attention to real estate, particularly office buildings as a product.”

“One of the challenges with LEED is it’s just so disconnected from what actually happens in the real world.”

“I have a home monitor and look at it constantly. It’s so interesting to see you indoor air quality data and understand the effect your toaster has on your particulate matter.”

“You have to think through what the building needs to do and how it needs to actually function and operate in a better way. Start with the things people are annoyed with.”

“It’s more than how the building looks or what the cash flow statement is for the building. It’s about how the building actually functions and provides services for people.”

“A focus on sustainability, operational efficiency, health, wellness, and safety creates a better user experience that drives people to be excited about the built environment.”

 

 

Healthy Air Episode #6

HA 1 |Indoor Air Quality

Episode #6
Improving a building’s impact on human cognition and health | Simon Turner – Founder of Building Cognition LLC

In this episode, Simon Turner shares the biggest changes he’s seen in buildings throughout his career. Simon’s interest for the past 30 years has been the impact of buildings and their features on human cognition and health. He served as the CEO of Healthy Buildings International – a company he grew and sold after 32 years in the industry – as well as his current role as Building Cognition, where he helps CEOs and real estate executives find ways to make their buildings more productive.

Simon has credentials in LEED AP and WELL AP, holds an HND in Applied Biology from Nottingham City University, and was recently honored as a Life Member of the Building Owners and Managers Association.

Keeping air safe has never been more important. Now that we are in the next normal, it is critical that the air we breathe in shared indoor spaces is healthy and safe for continued occupancy. Are we ready to face this challenge and mitigate airborne exposure risk indoors? Welcome to Healthy Air, a podcast that talks about the future of buildings and how to keep air safe and healthy. Keep up with the latest industry trends, latest technologies, and regulatory changes with your host, Erik Malmstrom, industry experts, and the SafeTraces team here on Healthy Air.

SHOW NOTES:

  • An overview of Simon’s background [1:00]
  • How Simon got started in the indoor air quality industry [1:42]
  • A history of how the awareness around this industry started [3:54]
  • How the pandemic has affected the indoor air quality industry [8:30]
  • Commercial Real Estate and how the industry is responding to the pandemic [11:45]
  • Why ventilation is so important in mitigating risk [14:46]
  • The dollars and cents of indoor air quality [20:07]
  • How are building owners validating how well a building is ventilated [22:20]
  • The implications of building indoor air quality for public health [24:55]
  • Looking back at the last 30 years, what changes can we anticipate in the next 10 years [30:02]
  • What resources Simon uses to stay up to speed in his own knowledge [33:30]
  • How listeners can follow Simon [35:34]

Resources:

QUOTES:

“This pandemic blindsided a lot of people. It just came out of the blue and now buildings are empty, employees aren’t coming to work and everything changed boom, overnight.”

“Expecting regulators to pick up on all the nuances quickly, when they were under competing pressure from different elements of society to get it right, must have been bewildering.”

“Some policymaking left me bewildered that we’d limit exposure to outdoor air and ask people to stay indoors when it was clear the best-ventilated spaces were the safest spaces.”

“Personally, I think the commercial real estate industry will never be the same again.  Everything has changed.”

“Many buildings are much better ventilated than people’s own homes. Early in this pandemic I learned that very few people realized how badly ventilated their own homes were.”

“When ventilation rates doubled, large increases were seen in people’s ability to process information, manage risk, make executive decisions, and execute higher-order mental processes.”

“Around the country, depending on climate, it’s estimated it would cost between $14 and $40 per person per year to double ventilation rates.”

“A building’s selling points should be less focused on whether or not it has a prestigious address, and more focused on its ability to improve the productivity of the people who work there.”

“The commercial real estate industry in general needs to listen very carefully to what it’s tenant employers that rent space and buildings want.”

 

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