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Marcelo Kohan is a registered Architect, licensed in New York & New Jersey. He’s a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). His experience lies in both residential and commercial architecture.


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Are you familiar with SICK BUILDING SYNDROME (SBS)?

It refers to combination of physical problems that a significant amount of occupants (20%) may experience at any building (usually a working place), for a period of 2 weeks, mostly caused by poor indoor air quality (IAQ).

Flaws in HVAC systems, use of improper air filtration, as well as mold, contaminants trapped in some building materials, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), found in cleaning compounds, etc. can cause SBS.


Symptoms are:


• headaches
• dizziness
• nausea
• fatigue
• loss of concentration
• shortness of breath
• sensitivity to odours
• eye, nose and throat irritation
• skin irritation

The best way to deal with this problem is to increase the Fresh Air Exchange with the outside air, eliminate mold growth, limit the amount of VOC’s, eliminate indoor smoking, etc.
The use of certain indoor plants are also found to be effective to purify the air.

If you happen to feel any of the above symptoms at your working place, don’t hesitate and tell your boss about it, I’m sure he/she will be thrilled and eager to correct the situation.