Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Weighing the Costs of IAQ

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Weighing the Costs of IAQ

Article excerpt

Every real estate manager works hard to create a quality building environment that meets tenants' needs. Whether it is how fast a maintenance request is processed or how cool the office is on an August afternoon, managers know that a satisfied tenant is the key to a successful building. Thus, real estate managers are unlikely to ignore legitimate tenant complaints about indoor air quality (IAQ).

At the same time, real estate managers-as business agents for the property's owners-must find a balance between high-quality space and services and costefficient operations. This equation is a difficult one, and one that is influenced by the size, location, and market niche of each property. Managers must show flexibility and discipline to satisfy both tenants and the bottom line.

Yet, it is this lack of flexibility and a poor understanding on the different physical and market limitations of properties that mar the ventilation and indoor air quality standards recently proposed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Instead of flexibility, the proposed Standard 62-89R attempts to impose strict, detailed procedures for HVAC maintenance, operations, and ventilation that are inappropriate and cost prohibitive for many buildings.

Among the standards that managers will find particularly difficult to meet are proposed changes in air classifications that would raise energy costs, requirements to update manuals whenever interior spaces are modified, and strict HVAC maintenance timetables. …

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