The LUT Group’s Facility Services commissioned an indoor air quality assessment from Rakennusterveystalo. The assessment was commissioned because employees at Mukkulankatu 19 in Lahti had detected undesirable odors and developed physical symptoms in the facilities.
The assessment aimed to determine whether the construction materials are emitting harmful substances into the air or whether the floor material is damaged. In addition, the assessment will set a baseline for continued surveys of indoor air and building structures.
The assessment revealed elevated VOC levels (volatile organic compounds). The assessment report states that the affected area or the cause of the problem cannot be determined exactly. Rakennusterveystalo recommends a more detailed inspection that examines the condition of the materials beneath the surface, assesses possible impurities in the structures and defines the origin of the elevated VOC levels.
Rakennusterveystalo reviewed the final report with the owner of the property on 5 May 2020. The owner then investigated the construction process and materials used, and the outcome of the investigation was discussed on 14 May. The owner of the property presented documents indicating that the drying times before surface treatment were up to code and harmful substance contents had been analyzed in accordance with regulations before the beginning of construction.
We have been in contact with the environmental health officer of the City of Lahti on 15 May and submitted the reports by Rakennusterveystalo and the property owner.
Rooms A126, A141, A152, D267 and auditorium 2B are currently closed for further investigation. The property owner is preparing an inspection plan together with Ramboll and planning the establishment of an indoor air quality group to coordinate further measures. We will provide more information as the situation progresses.
More about VOCs:
When is a VOC analysis necessary?
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are measured e.g. to analyze indoor air quality and the cause of physical symptoms presented by people in certain indoor areas. The analysis inspects harmful odors and moisture-related emissions and assesses air quality in offices or industrial facilities. VOC tests also detect compounds emitted into the air by industrial processes and assess employees’ exposure to them.
What does a VOC analysis tell us?
It describes the quality of indoor air. It helps to detect compounds that create an odor in the facilities. A combination of air and material samples provides information about the source of odors or irritating substances in indoor air.
Source: Web site of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health