Building Performance

Wednesday, June 2, 2004 Issue 2   VOLUME 4 ISSUE 6  
Industry Perspectives
Tips from the Experts
News and Events
From the Files
Upcoming Issues/Topics
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Industry Perspectives
Risk Communication: A critical strategy for managing occupant concerns in facilities
An interview with Kevin Coghlan, M.S., C.I.H.
by Linda Goodspeed

A risk communication program that addresses only the quantitative, scientific risk and ignores people’s perceptions of risk will not reduce building occupant’s concerns about environmental exposures. In fact, in most cases, this limited approach will increase occupant concerns. Exponentially.

Tips from the Experts
Ergonomics Can Significantly Impact Your Business
by Guy A. Fragala, Ph.D., P,E., C.S.P.

Recently, you may have heard the term ergonomics used in conversation, but do you really know what it means and how the concepts can be applied to help you in your business? Ergonomics is the science which attempts to optimize the design of objects, systems, and environment to ensure the best possible match for human use. Ergonomics affects everything which involves people. Work systems, sports and leisure, and health and safety should all embody ergonomics principles to minimize stress and reduce the risk of injury.

Conserving Water used in Cooling Towers
by New Mexico Office of the State Engineer

Not only do cooling towers consume a great deal of water; they also frequently use water inefficiently. These tips from A Water Conservation Guide for Commercial, Institutional and Industrial Users, courtesy of the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, highlight ways to improve the water-use efficiency of a cooling tower by reducing the water lost to bleed-off.

From the Files
Prompt Response Helps Woods Hole Return to Business
by EH&E Staff
Courtesy of WHOI

In the fall of 2002, a fire occurred at the end of the business day in a four-story laboratory that is part of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Woods Hole, MA. The fire was limited to a power supply for a piece of research equipment in one of the labs located on the first floor, but smoke and soot spread to other parts of the building. The building was evacuated and smoke/soot damage was extensive, but fortunately there were no injuries. While the lab in which the fire occurred and adjoining spaces were isolated, the rest of the building was reoccupied once approval was given by the local fire department. However, occupant concerns about potential health impacts from the residual soot and odors prompted Ron Reif, Manager of Environmental Health and Safety at WHOI, to contact EH&E to perform an assessment.


News and Events

Detection of Airborne Rhinovirus and its Relation to Outdoor Air Supply in Office Environments, co-authored by Ted Myatt, Sc.D., EH&E, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  Copies are available upon request to

Legal Advice in IAQ for Healthcare Facilities: Avoiding Infections Related to Healthcare Construction, written by John McCarthy, Sc.D., EH&E and David Governo, Governo Law Firm LLC, published in Indoor Environmental ConnectionsTM, February 2004. Copies are available upon request to .

Progress on the No-Lift Front - An Interview with Guy Fragala, Ph.D., C.S.P., P.E., published in Nursing Homes Magazine, April 2004. Copies are available upon request to .

Quantifying Synthetic Vitreous Fiber Contamination in Commercial Office Buildings, co-authored by Kumkum Dilwali, M.S., published in AIHA Journal. Copies are available upon request to .

EH&E was recently selected by the MA Department of Industrial Accidents for funding of a training program addressing ergonomics and injury prevention for the healthcare industry. This training program will be overseen by Dr. Guy Fragala and is targeted towards reducing injuries experienced by workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities. For more information on this program, contact Dr. Fragala at (617) 964-8550.

June 7-8 – The Impact of Mold on Human Health. Dr. John McCarthy, Dr. Susan Doll and David Shore will be participating as part of this Harvard School of Public Health Symposium. The symposium, presenting a scientific and balanced view of a controversial topic, will be held at the Harvard School of Public Health, Kresge Building, Snyder Auditorium, Boston, MA. For more information and to register visit or call (617) 384-8692.

June 9 (Randolf, MA), June 11 (Marlboro, MA), June 16 (Woburn, MA) - Preventing Mold During Summer Recess.  Kevin Coghlin and David Shore will present practical tips on managing ventilation systems and building operations to prevent mold this summer.  Registration is available through Kathy Anderson at (617) 964-8550.

June 16 - Biosciences Safety and Environmental Compliance Briefing. Given the ever-changing regulations facing the life sciences and biotechnology industries, compliance with biosafety, laboratory safety and environmental affairs can be a challenge. EH&E’s experts including Dr. Guy Fragala, Dr. Brenda Barry, and Nanette Moss will provide practical advice on how to implement and maintain on-going compliance programs. This EH&E morning briefing will be held at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester. Registration is available through Kirsten Buchanan at (617) 964-8550.

For additional information on any upcoming event, please send an email request to Kirsten Buchanan
Upcoming Issues/Topics

  • Infection Control During Construction in Hospitals
  • Building Performance Begins During Construction
  • Review of Issues Affecting Biotech
  • Emergency Preparedness Against CBR Attack
  • 2004 Update for the Environment of Care in Hospitals

Have a suggestion for a topic? Send it toBob Foster
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