CSI Crime Lab

Posted by on 20 July 2015

 CASE STUDY

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILED, CSI-STYLE CRIME LAB
SOLVED FAULTY EXHAUST PROBLEM WITH AEROSEAL
Odor From Decomposing Bodies Permeated The Miami Valley Autopsy Lab And Its
Adjacent Offices – Aeroseal Saved The Day For Engineers…And Other Occupants



                                                        morgue


When decomposed bodies are found in Ohio’s Montgomery County, they wind up at the Miami Valley
Regional Crime Lab for autopsy. And for years, occupants of the three-story facility knew whenever a
new body arrived because the strong smell of the rotting corpses would permeate the building. Despite
spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of years trying to solve the problem, nothing
seemed to work. Replacing the HVAC system didn’t work. Nor did installing high-efficiency fans,
adding an exhaust system incinerator, insulating the walls or any other strategy used so far.

Finally, the third engineer entrusted with solving the dire problem saw an episode of PBS’s “Ask This
Old House” that included a feature on aeroseal technology, a duct sealing process that seals leaks from
the inside of the ductwork. He believed he might have finally found an answer to the problem.

Aeroseal1.



Once hired, it took the aeroseal experts at Service Tech Corporation just two days to completely
seal the supply and exhaust ductwork using aeroseal. Temporary access holes were cut into the
ducts, and the aerosol-based sealant was blown into the ducts’ interior.

The microscopic particles of sealant do not coat the walls of the ductwork but instead, stay
suspended in air until they come across a leak. At this point, they accumulate around the edges
of the leak and then to other sealant particles until the entire hole is sealed.

The final report generated by the computer-controlled aeroseal system showed a 98% reduction
in leakage. More importantly, the facility director – and the building’s other occupants –
declared the problem 100% solved!

 

“I knew we had leaks in the ventilation system that allowed the spread of odor throughout
the entire building, but there was no way we could access and seal the ductwork without
completely tearing down the entire structure. Over several years, we spent well over a
hundred thousand dollars in new equipment and outside consultants trying to solve the
problem, but nothing worked. Then we tried aerosealing, and the problem was solved.”

“I wish all of our projects went this fast and smooth. The aeroseal team was in and out in
just a couple of days. The fact is, any ductwork that has been installed a while ago has
leakage issues. I’m looking at using aerosealing the ductwork throughout many of our
facilities.”
Bill Epperson, Associate Engineer
Montgomery County Government

“Aerosealing the ductwork not only solved our critical ventilation issue, but it allowed us
to lower fan speeds while increasing HVAC efficiency. There is no doubt that the duct
sealing process had a significant impact on reducing energy usage and saving the county
money.”
Jeff Hatton, Energy Management
Montgomery County Government

 

Aeroseal Newsletter Jan 2015

Posted by on 22 June 2015

IAQ Considerations For Hospitals

CDC Guidelines For Healthcare Facilities

                                                               Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.22.37 AM

 

Indoor air quality is a concern in any commercial environment but it is particularly significant in hospitals and other healthcare facilities where the spread of environmental and airborne pathogens can have particularly serious consequences. According to reports from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and others, nosocomial infections (also known as Healthcare Acquired Infections – or HAI) in U.S. hospitals are on the rise.

More than 2 million people each year enter U.S. healthcare facilities and contract infections unrelated to their initial healthcare concern. These infections increase a patient’s average hospital stay from 4.5 days to 21.1 days and kills 90,000 U.S. patients each year – more than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.

The cost of treatment is also staggering. Healthcare Acquired Infections add an average of $57,000 to a patient’s hospital bill – that’s an additional $28 billion to $30 billion to the nation’s health costs each year.

While airborne pathogens represent a fraction of the total instances of HAI, the detrimental effect that such an outbreak can have on both patients and healthcare workers can not be underestimated. The CDC, therefore, has developed guidelines for minimizing healthcare-associated infections that include ventilation standards for specialized care environments such as isolation rooms, protective environments and operating rooms. The original report,Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities , includes recommendations for reducing the spread of contaminants via water, services and other environmental factors and comes in two parts.

Given the recent attention being paid to these concerns, we thought a review of some of the most applicable recommendations was in order. A quick review of the following report highlights will provide a good overview of the types of recommendations contained in the report and allow you to identify areas that may call for further attention.

General considerations:

  • Use AIA guidelines as minimum standards where state or local regulations are not in place for design and construction of ventilation systems in new or renovated health-care facilities. Ensure that existing structures continue to meet the specifications in effect at the time of construction.
  • Ensure that heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) filters are properly installed and maintained to prevent air leakages and dust overloads.
  • Engineer humidity controls into the HVAC system and monitor the controls to ensure adequate moisture removal.
  • Locate duct humidifiers upstream from the final filters. Incorporate a water-removal mechanism into the system and locate all duct takeoffs sufficiently downstream from the humidifier so that moisture is completely absorbed.
  • Incorporate steam humidifiers, if possible, to reduce potential for microbial proliferation within the system, and avoid use of cool-mist humidifiers.
  • Locate exhaust outlets >25 ft from air-intake systems. Locate outdoor air intakes >6 ft above ground or >3 ft above roof level. Locate exhaust outlets from contaminated areas above roof level to minimize recirculation of exhausted air.
  • Use portable, industrial-grade HEPA filter units capable of filtration rates in the range of 300–800 ft3/min to augment removal of respirable particles as needed.
  • Select portable HEPA filters that can recirculate all or nearly all of the room air and provide the equivalent of >12 ACH.
  • When ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is used as a supplemental engineering control, install fixtures 1) on the wall near the ceiling or suspended from the ceiling as an upper air unit; 2) in the air-return duct of an AII area; or 3) in designated enclosed areas or booths for sputum induction.
  • Seal windows in buildings with centralized HVAC systems, including PE areas.
  • Emphasize restoration of appropriate air quality and ventilation conditions in AII rooms, PE rooms, operating rooms, emergency departments, and intensive care units.
  • Provide backup emergency power and air-handling and pressurization systems to maintain filtration, constant ACH, and pressure differentials in PE rooms, AII rooms, operating rooms, and other critical-care areas.
  • HVAC systems serving offices and administrative areas may be shut down for energy conservation purposes, but the shutdown must not alter or adversely affect pressure differentials maintained in laboratories or critical-care areas with specific ventilation requirements (i.e., PE rooms, AII rooms, operating rooms).
  • Whenever feasible, design and install fixed backup ventilation systems for new or renovated construction of PE rooms, AII rooms, operating rooms, and other critical-care areas identified by ICRA .

During Construction And Remediation

  • Establish a multidisciplinary team that includes infection-control staff to coordinate demolition, construction, and renovation projects and consider proactive preventive measures at the inception; produce and maintain summary statements of the team’s activities.
  • Incorporate mandatory adherence agreements for infection control into construction contracts, with penalties for noncompliance and mechanisms to ensure timely correction of problems.
  • Establish and maintain surveillance for airborne environmental disease (e.g., aspergillosis) as appropriate during construction, renovation, repair, and demolition activities to ensure the health and safety of immunocompromised patients.
  • Before the project gets under way, perform an ICRA to define the scope of the activity and the need for barrier measures.
  • Determine if the facility can operate temporarily on recirculated air; if feasible, seal off adjacent air intakes. If this is not possible or practical, check the low-efficiency (roughing) filter banks frequently and replace as needed to avoid buildup of particulates.
  • Seal windows and reduce wherever possible other sources of outside air intrusion (e.g., open doors in stairwells and corridors), especially in PE areas.
  • Seal off and block return air vents if rigid barriers are used for containment.
  • Ensure proper operation of the air-handling system in the affected area after erection of barriers and before the room or area is set to negative pressure.
  • Create and maintain negative air pressure in work zones adjacent to patient-care areas and ensure that required engineering controls are maintained.
  • Provide construction crews with 1) designated entrances, corridors, and elevators wherever practical; 2) essential services (e.g., toilet facilities) and convenience services (e.g., vending machines); 3) protective clothing (e.g., coveralls, footgear, and headgear) for travel to patient-care areas; and 4) a space or anteroom for changing clothing and storing equipment.
  • Clean work zones and their entrances daily by 1) wet-wiping tools and tool carts before their removal from the work zone; 2) placing mats with tacky surfaces inside the entrance; and 3) covering debris and securing this covering before removing debris from the work zone.
  • In patient-care areas, for major repairs that include removal of ceiling tiles and disruption of the space above the false ceiling, use plastic sheets or prefabricated plastic units to contain dust; use a negative pressure system within this enclosure to remove dust; and either pass air through an industrial-grade, portable HEPA filter capable of filtration rates of 300–800 ft3/min., or exhaust air directly to the outside.
  • Commission the HVAC system for newly constructed health-care facilities and renovated spaces before occupancy and use, with emphasis on ensuring proper ventilation for operating rooms, AII rooms, and PE areas.

Some highlighted recommendations for ventilating protective environment (PE) rooms.

  • Incorporate ventilation engineering specifications and dust-controlling processes into the planning and construction of new PE units (Figure 1).

FIGURE ONE

  • Install central or point-of-use HEPA filters for supply (incoming) air.
  • Ensure that rooms are well-sealed by 1) properly constructing windows, doors, and intake and exhaust ports; 2) maintaining ceilings that are smooth and free of fissures, open joints, and crevices; 3) sealing walls above and below the ceiling; and 4) monitoring for leakage and making any necessary repairs.
  • Ventilate the room to maintain >12 ACH.
  • Locate air supply and exhaust grilles so that clean, filtered air enters from one side of the room, flows across the patient’s bed, and exits from the opposite side of the room.
  • Maintain positive room air pressure (>5 Pa [0.01-inch water gauge]) in relation to the corridor.
  • Maintain airflow patterns and monitor these on a daily basis by using permanently installed visual means of detecting airflow in new or renovated construction, or by using other visual methods (e.g., flutter strips or smoke tubes) in existing PE units. Document the monitoring results.
  • Install self-closing devices on all room exit doors in PE rooms.
  • Do not use laminar air flow systems in newly constructed PE rooms.
  • Ensure that the patient’s room is designed to maintain positive pressure.
  • Use an anteroom to ensure appropriate air-balance relationships and provide independent exhaust of contaminated air to the outside, or place a HEPA filter in the exhaust duct if the return air must be recirculated (Figure 2).

FIGURE TWO

Infection-Control and Ventilation Requirements for AII Rooms

  • Incorporate certain specifications into the planning and construction or renovation of AII units. (Figure 3).

FIGURE THREE

  • Maintain continuous negative air pressure (2.5 Pa [0.01 inch water gauge]) in relation to the air pressure in the corridor; monitor air pressure periodically, preferably daily, with audible manometers or smoke tubes at the door (for existing AII rooms), or with a permanently installed visual monitoring mechanism. Document the results of monitoring
  • Ensure that rooms are well-sealed by properly constructing windows, doors, and air-intake and exhaust ports; when monitoring indicates air leakage, locate the leak and make necessary repairs.
  • Install self-closing devices on all AII room exit doors.
  • Provide ventilation to ensure >12 ACH for renovated rooms and new rooms, and >6 ACH for existing AII rooms.
  • Direct exhaust air to the outside, away from air-intake and populated areas. If this is not practical, air from the room can be recirculated after passing through a HEPA filter.
  • Where supplemental engineering controls for air cleaning are indicated from a risk assessment of the AII area, install UVGI units in the exhaust air ducts of the HVAC system to supplement HEPA filtration or install UVGI fixtures on or near the ceiling to irradiate upper room air.

Hopefully this review of the report highlights proves of value as you prepare for your next healthcare-related project. You can view bothPart I and Part II of the report by visiting the CDC website or clicking on the provided links.

Case study Aeroseal duct sealing services: 20 story Commercial Office block

Posted by on 4 February 2015

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20 story commercial office building in the CBD of Sydney-Prime real estate with Stunning views of Sydney Harbour. After years of use, the seals of the ductwork had perished. The sealing methods used on the initial install overtime had cracked resulting in leaks. The use of thermal imaging technology identified where the LOST conditioned air was escaping and where the building equipment was failing.

The 365° glass facade glad building presented with high thermal gains.  The ESD Eng. expert noted increases in energy use, decreasing comfort levels and airflow issues. Some tenants had installed additional ducted air conditioning within the ceiling space. The client was seeking NABERS star energy reductions and improved tenant relations. Our job was to resolve the failing integrity of air distribution – seal all leaking duct.

Aeroseal duct sealing services was contracted to seal the top 11 floors on the Eastern side of this prestigious “A” grade office building, to improve the thermal comfort as the main priority with energy savings being justified for the cost of the Aeroseal. With around 35 metres of duct in the riser and around 30 meters of duct per floor we would be asking almost the impossible of the Aeroseal product to seal around 365 meters in one stage- it was clear that this would be a very challenging project for our highly trained Aeroseal technicians.

We decided after consultation to seal the riser and the top 5 floors with one injection using our atomized AVP sealing system- with great results. Aeroseal was able to reduce leakage from 1,515 CFM to 60.3 CFM in under 1 hour with Aeroseal. With this major improvement with the integrity of the ductwork comfort levels inside the commercial building was improved with a more even temperature inside the building and the use of pedestal fans (owned by the occupants) would no longer be required. For the first time the Variable speed drive reduced the fan speed by 14% saving while delivering the same airflow to the occupants.          

Outcomes Delivered: Aeroseal customer witnessed quantifiable reliable value and a firsthand experience of improved occupant comfort. Note: Once the energy loss was diagnosed as leaking ductwork, the treatment was unanimously identified as www.aerosealductsealing.com.au

 

Sydney

Aeroseal Duct Sealing Services presented to AIRAH NSW Division “Critical Updates” Meeting

Posted by on 24 June 2014

duct leakage testing presentation

Click to download PDF

june event critical updates australian standards the bca

Owen Ryan, Business Development Manager for Aeroseal Duct Sealing Services gave a run down on AS4254.2:2012 which calls for leak testing of air ducts over 3000 l/s with a requirement to be under 5% leakage.  He also presented the Aeroseal Process to over 80 members of AIRAH. The Meeting had already been briefed on BCA2013 and revised Australian Standards including AS1668.2:2012, AS4254.1:2012 and AS1682 Parts 1 & 2. It was an extremely informative night with 6 speakers and was well steered by Simon Hill L.AIRAH. Aeroseal Duct Sealing Services looks forward to “sealing from the inside” the duct sealing issues for NSW members of AIRAH. Presentations are available to view and download from www.airah.org.au under Resources, Division Meeting Presentations, New South Wales.

Aeroseal Duct Sealing Services performed it first on site sealing

Posted by on 1 June 2014

first on site sealing

Aeroseal Duct Sealing Services performed it first on site sealing. Aeroseal DSS was called to a site where the HVAC Contractor required assistance in sealing ducts which were running down a 12 storey fire rated riser. We are unable to advise the Client or location as we are respecting the Client’s request for privacy in this matter. We have sealed several systems on site with duct runs of over 300 metres. All system are now sealed and achieving their required air flows and pressures. Further proof of Aeroseal’s claim to “Seal from the inside”

Clean Air Staff complete their 5 day training course on Aeroseal Duct Sealing

Posted by on 2 May 2014

training day 01

training day 02

training day 03

Ben Tricase, Technical Manager for Aeroseal LLC (USA) conducted the course at Clean Air’s office and workshop in Acacia Ridge, Brisbane. It covered both theoretical and practical training with Clean Air staff able to seal a demonstration rig of duct and fittings of various types. This put to the test the various claims Aeroseal LLC had made about the abilities of their product. The Clean Air team devised various hurdles for the Aeroseal Process to prove its effectiveness.

Test and Results:
1. A 15mm hole in a dead leg of duct
Completely sealed with a solid plug formed in the hole.

2. A perplex window in an access panel
There was no build on the persplex which remained visually clear even after 3 practice sealing sessions.

3. An unsealed access panel
A complete gasket was formed around the circumference of the panel frame. The Access Panel was still easily removable from the frame.

4. A myriad of holes via perforated sisal
All holes sealed completely

5. A jagged tear on a radius bend
Sealed completely in matter of minutes

6. Several holes in small looped flexible duct
All holes sealed completely with no build-up of sealant internally. Resisted further tearing of the liner.

7. P3 Ductboard - painted internally
All holes sealed from the inside with no build-up of sealant internally.

8. Perforated metal blocking 70% of the duct
No build-up of sealant on or in the perforated holes. Sealant flowed around to seal leaks further down the duct. This is a similar situation to Attenuators or Dampers.

Even the most sceptical of the participants conceded that the Aeroseal process had delivered on all its promises to “Seal from the inside”.

Aeroseal Duct Sealing Services presents at AIRAH Queensland Division meeting

Posted by on 18 March 2014

airah qld flyer aeroseal

airah flyer aeroseal

Owen Ryan, Business Development Manager for Aeroseal Duct Sealing Services presented the Aeroseal Process to over 50 members of AIRAH. The Meeting entitled “Section J and AS4254.2 Update” had already been briefed on BCA Section J amendments and AS4254.2:2012 which calls for leak testing of air ducts over 3000 l/s with a requirement to be under 5% leakage. The audience was pleased to hear that there was now a solution to an issue which has plagued the HVAC industry since its inception. It was agreed that in the new world of energy efficiency there is no room for such a waste of energy as conditioned air from leaky ducts. Aeroseal Duct Sealing Services looks forward to solving the duct sealing issues for fellow members of AIRAH. Presentations are available to view and download from www.airah.org.au under Resources, Division Meeting Presentations, Queensland.