Air Date: 1-30-2015 | Episode: 354
This week we welcome Lan Chi Nguyen Weekes, M.A.Sc., P.Eng. and Donald Weekes, CIH of In Air Environmental. InAir and their dynamic duo leaders are widely recognized as being a step ahead when it comes to providing state of the art consulting services related to IAQ, Green Buildings and industrial hygiene…
This week we welcome Lan Chi Nguyen Weekes, M.A.Sc., P.Eng. and Donald Weekes, CIH of In Air Environmental. InAir and their dynamic duo leaders are widely recognized as being a step ahead when it comes to providing state of the art consulting services related to IAQ, Green Buildings and industrial hygiene. We look forward to hearing what they see as the current and future trends in the industry along with a review of the ASHRAE conference where ASHRAE and IAQA finalized the merger of the two organizations.
Lan Chi Nguyen Weekes is a co-founder and partner of InAIR Environmental Ltd., an indoor environmental quality consulting firm located in Ottawa, Canada. Lan Chi’s profile includes over 26 years of engineering experience with 23 years in the indoor environment field. She holds a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from the École Polytechnique of Montréal and a Masters in Applied Science in Building Environment from Concordia University in Montréal, Québec. Lan Chi has served as President of the Ottawa Valley Chapter of ASHRAE and of the Ottawa Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council. She is currently serving on the Environmental Health Committee and TC1.12 for ASHRAE and on the technical committee for Healthy Building 2015, Boulder, Colorado.
Donald Weekes, CIH is InAIR Environmental’s Certified
Industrial Hygienist and has been providing environmental and occupational health and safety assistance for more than 35 years. He is affiliated with the American Industrial of Hygiene Association (AIHA) as past Chair of the Indoor Environmental Quality Committee and as a Fellow of the Association. He is a four-time recipient of the AIHA’s Best Seller award for the ‘Report of the Microbial Task Force’ in 2001 and 2002, the ‘Assessment, Remediation and Post-Remediation Verification of Mold in Buildings’ publication in 2004, and the Green Book, aka ‘Recognition, Evaluation and Control of Indoor Mold, book in 2008.
Lan Chi Nguyen Weekes and her husband Don Weekes were today’s guests on today’s episode of IAQradio. Mechanical Engineer Lan Chi and CIH Don are partners in InAIR Environmental Ltd., a Canadian environmental consulting firm.
Nuggets mined from today’s episode:
• Lan Chi’s life story is inspirational. Lan Chi and her family fled Viet Nam as “boat people” emigrating to Quebec, Canada. Her parents chose Quebec because of their French language fluency.
• Bread and butter work for their firm includes: building investigations, HAZMAT, Legionella, LEED and BOMABest.
• Differences in asbestos regulations between the US and Canada. In the US asbestos regulation is handled federally with Asbestos Containing Materials with 1% or greater content being regulated. In Canada most HAZMAT regulation is done on the provincial level with Asbestos Containing Materials from a high of .5% or greater in Ontario to a low of .1% or greater in Quebec being regulated. Canada uses a three tier classification system for asbestos abatement with Level 3 being the most rigorous. Asbestos remediation costs tend to be lower in Canada due to a skilled pool of contractors who have lower employee training costs. In Canada asbestos remediation training is lifetime versus the costly annual refresher courses required in the US.
• Emerging issues IAQradio listeners should be concerned with include: infectious disease in isolation rooms, the effect of energy savings on IAQ and health concerns with nanotechnology.
• Their firm’s “LEED work” has evolved into demonstrating the value to general contractors teaching of involving IAQ consultants from the design stage onward to document the construction process rather than calling them to take air samples the day before the building opens.
• An uptick in Legionella related work due to a fatal outbreak resulting in a government guideline requiring risk management plans. Risk management requires that all building water systems be investigated. Even rainwater captured for watering grass and plants need to be considered.
• Odour investigation tips: odor investigations are difficult because odors are subjective, avoid having preconceived notions, listen to building occupants (“trust but verify”), locate odor sources and eliminate sources.
• In Canada mould isn’t the problem it used to be. Mould was never as litigation driven in Canada as it was in the US.
• Sensors installed in buildings provide “big data”. What should be done with the data?
According to Don, the ASHRAE 2015 convention was a momentous occasion, first time since 1959 that ASHRAE’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a merger with another association.
Lan Chi encourages people to volunteer and get involved with industry organizations and help push the profession forward.
Global Watchdog Pete Consigli encouraged by industry unification efforts.
Today’s Music: ASHRAE License to Chill, YouTube
Z-Man signing off