Janna Hafer


Urban Frontier House Living

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Before we can start monitoring our Twelve Month Performance Period (the 12 months where we track all sorts of data for the Living Building Challenge documentation), we need to have an Indoor Air Quality Test performed. All of the pollution generating construction activities (such as sanding, woodcutting, painting, etc.) need to have been completed. Furniture is supposed to be moved in and cleaning is to have been done. The testing requirements are very specific and include things like:

• Ventilation rates
• Carbon monoxide levels
• Carbon dioxide levels
• Temperature
• Humidity
• Respirable Suspended Particulates
• Total Volatile Organic Compounds

I wasn’t at all sure how to get this accomplished so I called my good buddy, Kevin Oliver, at Northern Industrial Hygiene. He was very familiar with all the jargon and spoke “the language” fluently. Whew! He showed up with all kinds of gadgets and two pressurized canisters (for measuring the total volatile organic compounds) that he had ordered from a lab in Los Angeles. He set up in two locations – one on the first floor and one on the second floor – and then we returned in four hours to gather more data and collect the gizmos. I am not concerned about the results as I feel we have been very diligent about vetting everything that has gone into the house. However, it’s always nice to be sure. The results should be back in seven to ten days.

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