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Posts Tagged ‘NIOSH 2549’

Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) Measurement for LEED/Green Building Evaluation

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

LEED Testing


Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) may be evaluated when building designers/managers are pursuing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System for New Construction (LEED-NC) EQ Credit 3.2. The latest LEED-NC guidance document specifies that the maximum allowed concentration of TVOC measured in a building (post construction, pre-occupancy) is 500 µg/m3; the guidance also mentions using the sampling/analytical methods in the US EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air. However, none of these sampling and analytical methods address TVOC in particular, and thus the existing methods must be modified. In addition, TVOC is not defined (in terms of boiling point range, etc.) in the latest LEED-NC guidance and therefore is left open for interpretation; historically, many definitions of “TVOC” exist in literature.

For TVOC measurement, the analytical technique used must always reference one compound for calibration purposes. All compounds detected are then assumed to have the same response factor as the calibration compound. For instance, handheld instruments are most often calibrated using isobutylene or methane, and laboratory-based methods may reference TVOC as hexane (C6), toluene, or some other chemical species.

In practice, indoor air quality practitioners may use several different techniques for evaluating TVOC in buildings. Each sampling & analytical method has its own benefits and drawbacks, cost implications, and applicability.


Odor Scan Evaluation of a Composting Facility

Friday, February 4th, 2005

Odor Scan Evaluation of a Composting FacilityColumbia Analytical recently conducted a field evaluation of Odor Scan, a suite of methods that has been designed to address compounds that have very low odor thresholds and are irritating at low levels. The suite consists of sampling and analytical methods for carboxylic acids (volatile organic/fatty acids), amines, reduced sulfur compounds and odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs), and high molecular weight aldehydes and alcohols. Two of these methods (ie. amines, carboxylic acids) were developed and validated by Columbia Analytical.

The study was conducted to evaluate the new methods under field conditions and to collect data to profile the airborne contaminants and odors associated with a composting facility. Due to the wide range of compounds anticipated and the fact that some analyte overlap exists among the methods, this sampling event was also used to compare sampling and analytical methods and sampling media.