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LEED | Conformity

Building compliant LEED certification

LEED Buildings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

We offer the opportunity to do some analysis for your LEED certification. This certification confirms that the building was built and designed using strategies that aim to achieve high performance in key areas of human health and the environment: ecological site development, water saving, the energy efficiency, choice of materials and indoor environmental quality. The environmental impact of the design, construction and operation of buildings is enormous. However, it can be significantly reduced, if not eliminated, by practices designed to design, build and operate high-performance, market-friendly buildings. These buildings provide the benefits of green operation and management that reduce operating costs, improve building value, increase worker productivity, and reduce the risk of poor air or environmental quality. interiors.

The parameters we can evaluate are:

  • Total Volatile Organic Compounds
  • 4-phenyl-cyclohexene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Carbon monoxide
  • PM 10

TOTAL VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (TVOC)

As their name indicates, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are defined in three main points: they are a grouping of two or more elements; they are of biological origin because they contain carbon and hydrogen; and, finally, they are considered volatile since they evaporate at room temperature and can be easily vaporized. Carbon and hydrogen are used in the manufacture of several chemicals; this means that VOCs are present in a wide range of these products and that there are several possible sources of VOC emissions in indoor air. Many VOCs are known to be toxic, and some, such as benzene and formaldehyde, have been identified as carcinogens. Although no adverse health effects have been identified for other VOCs, there is still uncertainty about the potential for long-term exposure to such chemicals at present in the houses. While there is agreement that most VOCs pose little health risk, vigilance is still required as the effects of VOC exposure differ from one setting to another; it depends on the rate and duration of exposure, and most importantly, the sensitivity of each person to the different chemicals. As a precautionary measure, it is recommended to reduce VOC levels.

It is the organic character of VOCs, since they are based on hydrocarbons, which makes them volatile: that is to say, they evaporate and vaporize at room temperature. One can think, for example, of gasoline, a petroleum product from a multitude of organic compounds, which reacts as such. It is also possible to think of glues made of parts of boiled animals (hydrocarbons) that are used in the production of wood products, vinyl floor coverings, etc., and which vaporize or produce gaseous effluents (release gaseous), even after hardening. What makes the understanding of VOC activity more difficult is that vaporization evaporation is not distinguished: both are considered to be the change of a solid in the liquid or gaseous state or in the state of liquid vapor. To be more accurate, it is necessary to refer only to the notion of vaporization in cases of matter emanating from a biological organism not transformed by humans. Other biological organisms, such as molds that spread their spores into the air, mites' faeces, dust, have the ability to vaporize harmful proteins that affect the lining of the lungs. The latter play an important role in the pollution of the indoor environment with emissions that are sometimes benign, but most often dangerous for health, in the short or long term.

A high proportion of VOC is found in common household products such as: furniture, mattresses, cabinets, building materials, wallpaper, cleaning products and glue. These products may release gases into the indoor air; this is called "gas emanations". Consideration should also be given to the fact that building materials such as insulators containing asbestos and paint containing lead can release harmful dust and particles when handled, especially during renovation work. which require their displacement or withdrawal. It is important to know the health risks that certain household products and building materials may cause, and the precautions you should take before starting work that could compromise the health of residents or your family. In addition, if exposed, young children are most at risk because their respiratory system is not fully developed. It is therefore necessary to protect them more and to be attentive to the appearance of the symptoms relating to the exposure of VOC: irritations of the eyes, the respiratory and digestive tracts, headaches, sensations of drunkenness, dizziness and nausea.

4-PHENYL-CYCLOHEXENE

Homes and offices with newly installed carpets are generally easily identified by the "new carpet" smell associated with the flooring. This odor is the result of various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are emitted by new carpets.

4-Phenylcyclohexene is a carpet-related chemical that is being investigated more and more over the years. 4-Phenylcyclohexene, also known as 4-PCH, is a by-product formed during the polymerization of certain carpet supports. According to some reports, exposure to very low concentrations of 4-PCH after installing new carpet could lead to health problems for building occupants.

It has also been reported that 4-PCH and other volatile carpet compounds can react with ozone in indoor environments to produce formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a colorless and odorous chemical that is used in the manufacturing process of many other building materials and even some household products. "Exposure to formaldehyde can cause burns, tearing, irritation of the nose and throat, nausea, headaches and difficulty breathing in some exposed humans at high levels," said Vincent M. Daliessio, CIH, project manager at EMSL Analytical. Laboratory for indoor air quality (IAQ) and formaldehyde analysis. "High concentrations can also trigger asthma attacks in people who suffer from the disease. "

FORMALDEHYDE (HCHO)

Formaldehyde is a colorless gas commonly used around the world as a disinfectant and preservative. It is also used in many household products and some building materials. When present at high levels in the air, it gives off a pungent odor. Formaldehyde is found at low rates in all homes and buildings. The main sources of formaldehyde in indoor air are:

  • Furniture, cabinets and building materials made of chipboard
  • Latex paints, glues, adhesives, varnishes and lacquers;
  • The textile part of furniture and wrinkle-resistant fabrics
  • Some molded plastics, furniture and accessories

Formaldehyde is an irritant. Short-term exposure to high levels of formaldehyde can cause burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat. Long-term exposure to moderate levels of formaldehyde may be associated with breathing problems and allergies, especially in children. In the case of industrial workers who are regularly exposed to high levels, formaldehyde can cause cancer of the nasal cavity. Formaldehyde levels in Canadian homes are generally well below levels likely to cause cancer, but it is good to check.

CARBON MONOXIDE (CO)

It is a toxic gas that is odorless and colorless. It does not irritate the airways and eyes. These are why it is impossible for a human to detect it by his senses. This gas comes from appliances or vehicles that burn a fuel such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, fuel oil ... The carbon monoxide detectors are the only warning devices that can detect the presence of this gas in the air. Carbon monoxide when breathed is very dangerous to your health and can lead to death. This occurs when the device or vehicle is not functioning properly or when it is used in a closed and poorly ventilated space. Babies, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory or cardiac health problems are very sensitive to the effects of this gas. Carbon monoxide when inhaled, it takes the place of oxygen and so decreases are added to the tissues. The symptoms observed vary according to the intensity of the intoxication.

  • Low exposure: frontal headache, nausea and fatigue;
  • Average exposure: persistent frontal headache, feeling of heartbeat, nausea, dizziness, dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, rapid pulse, decreased reflexes and judgment;
  • High exposure: weakness, fainting, convulsion, coma and death.

PM 10, see next chapter on this topic.