Conducting Air and Water Testing in your Commercial Environment?

There are a multitude of reasons to ensure your workplace has safe and healthy air and water. Employees in safe and healthy environments will enjoy less sick days and increased productivity. Achieving such an environment is also crucial to attracting and retaining skilled workers in the current market. The process of fixing a work-space’s air has the added benefit of potentially decreasing energy related operating costs dramatically.

The Certification Program

Environment Assured offers a certification program. Environment Assured will test a commercial space or product and if it meets international health standards, we will label the space or product as “EA Certified”. Any product or space that is “EA Certified” has undergone rigorous testing and meets or exceeds World Health Organization standards for environmental health and safety.
Below there is a brief explanation of the categories used for the EA certification and some example for each level of each category.

AIR:

The air assessment of the property under the EA certification scheme begins at the Bronze level, which test for the main toxic air pollutants present over the whole area of the property. The Bronze certification recognizes that the property meets the basic safe air requirements, stated by LEED and WHO. Each higher level of certification (Silver, Gold and Platinum) requires the assessment of more toxic air pollutants. The movement from Bronze towards Platinum level symbolizes the progression of the property moving from a ‘safe’ indoor environment to a ‘safe and healthy’ one.

  • PM 2.5 (<10 ug/m3)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) <9 ppm (LEED standard)
  • Formaldehyde 50 ppb (LEED standard)
  • Mold spot test
  • TVOC’s 600 ug/m3
  • Nitrogen dioxide + nitrogen oxide 500 ug/m3 (WHO standards)
  • Presence of plants in adequate locations
  • PM 2.5 (<10 ug/m3)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) of 1000 ppm
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) <9 ppm (LEED standard)
  • Formaldehyde 50 ppb (LEED standard)
  • Mold air simple test
  • TVOC’s 400 ug/m3
  • Nitrogen dioxide + nitrogen oxide 500 ug/m3 (WHO standards)
  • Ozone 0.05 ppm (US Food & Drug Administration)
  • No bacteria or viruses present
  • Presence of plant in adequate locations
  • PM 2.5 (<10 ug/m3)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) of 800 ppm
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) <9 ppm (LEED standard)
  • Formaldehyde 50 ppb (LEED standard)
  • Mold air simple test
  • TVOC’s 200 ug/m3
  • PM 10 (50 ug/m3) (LEED standard)
  • Nitrogen dioxide + nitrogen oxide 500 ug/m3 (WHO standards)
  • Ozone 0.05 ppm (US Food & Drug Administration)
  • No bacteria or viruses present
  • Presence of plant in adequate locations
  • PM 2.5 (<10 ug/m3)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) of 600 ppm
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) <9 ppm (LEED standard)
  • Formaldehyde 50 ppb (LEED standard)
  • Mold air simple test
  • TVOC’s 100 ug/m3
  • PM 10 (50 ug/m3) (LEED standard)
  • Nitrogen dioxide + nitrogen oxide 500 ug/m3 (WHO standards)
  • Ozone 0.05 ppm (US Food & Drug Administration)
  • No bacteria or viruses present
  • Presence of plant in adequate locations

FOOD:

The food assessment aims to categorise the type of food being sold/consumed at the property. The EA certification allocates the different certification levels Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum according to how environmentally friendly the food products are (whether organic or not, and how much of the food groups consumed are organic). Obtaining a higher certification level requires meeting much more stringent conditions on the food products, regarding their source, organic, eco-friendly and socially aware.

  • Only one of the food groups is organic produce
  • Two of the food groups are organic products and considers food miles.
  • Three of the food groups are organic and Fair Trade products, also considers food miles.
  • All the food groups are organic, Fair Trade and Rainforest alliance Products, considers food miles and use of protected designation of origin (PDO) products (product originating in a specific region where the quality of product is due exclusively to a particular geographic environment.)

SUSTAINABILITY:

The sustainability category is designed to reduce the overall negative environmental externalities of the chosen area by assessing and ranking it depending on different factors. Beginning at the Bronze level, the reutilization potential of the product is calculated as a score from 1 to 100, based on the number of products that are recycled or contain rapidly renewable content as well as readily available recycling facilities. Progressing to a silver classification, there must be no chemical or allergens present. In order to get a gold certificate, there must be eco-friendly surroundings that don’t pose a threat to flora or fauna in the area.

  • No chemicals or allergens present
  • No chemicals or allergens present
  • Recycling services installed and in correct use
  • No chemicals or allergens present
  • Recycling services installed and in correct use
  • Eco-friendly surroundings
  • No chemicals or allergens present
  • Recycling services installed and in correct use
  • Eco-friendly surroundings
  • Composting

DESIGN:

The goal of the design category is to promote the use of safe, sustainable and beneficial living spaces through the production of safe furniture and features tailored for optimal beneficial conditions to live and thrive in. If there is a presence of furniture that contains banned chemical presents you will be awarded no greater than a bronze certification. The standard progresses according to the design of different aspects. Progressing from bronze certification, linens and material items such as mattresses will require free trade sourced fabrics. The design category also incorporates other aspects of actual building design, which will grant you the highest platinum classification. These include whether the area is soundproofed and whether there is aspects of biophilic design integrated into the area.

  • Light blocking curtains
  • All of Bronze category
  • Well lit room with natural daylight e.g use of Hunter Douglas – Silhoutte
  • Safe furniture free of chemicals and other pollutants
  • Ergonomic furniture
  • All of Silver category
  • Soundproof room design free of noise pollution
  • Organic linens and linens throughout
  • All of Gold category
  • Seasonal sunlight shading e.g Hunter Douglas – ‘Duette’
  • Essence of biophilic design present
  • Strong use of free trade furniture and materials

ENERGY EFFICIENCY:

The goal of the energy efficiency category is to encourage the use of more efficient solutions than are required in a building. The Bronze level quantifies the total consumed energy cost and the use of basic efficiency devices. At the Silver level, a plan to use renewable energy must be developed. At gold and platinum level there must be an improvement in energy efficiency, leading to higher savings in both electricity and heating consumption. Innovative and high efficiency solutions are necessary to get the Platinum EA certification.

  • Building solution: double glazing windows
  • Heat: thermostat
  • Electricity: saving electricity light
  • Building solution: carpeting
  • Heat: biomass heat
  • Electricity: medium efficiency devices
  • Building solution: thermal insulation
  • Heat: heat pump
  • Electricity: high efficiency devices
  • Building solution: green technology for buildings
  • Heat: CHP
  • Electricity: CHP

WATER:

The overall goal of the Water category is to move people to responsible water stewardship. At the Bronze level, a facility water audit is conducted to analyze the presence of dangerous pollutants and toxins. At Silver certification the use of proper and effective filtration system is done. At Gold there is a water sterilization. A building that has achieved Platinum level is consumed in such a way that water is not only safe but healthy to use and drink; free of pollutants and microbes but still containing minerals. At this level there is excellent water accessibility in the whole property.

  • No heavy metals
  • Microbes
  • Agricultural and industrial chemicals
  • Chlorine and chloramines (safety standard by US EPA)
  • Disinfection byproducts
  • pH (proper water pH standard – Water Research Center)
  • All of Bronze level
  • Usage of proper and effective filtration systems
  • All of silver
  • Water sterilization in place
  • All of gold
  • Accessibility of water (enough safe and healthy water sources in the building)

For more information on any of our services please feel free to contact us.

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