Indoor Air Quality – a fascinating business

Two years ago, I got a call from one facility management company, owned by landlord, typical way to take care of business in Hong Kong. Same group is owning and taking care of several fancy buildings, also this, one of the highest skyscrapers in Hong Kong. “Are you familiar with solving indoor air quality problems and can you come here within two hours”?  Is the Pope a Catholic? I asked myself and rushed to the meeting.

I have worked with Indoor Air Quality since 1988 and every day learning more and more from this fascinating business. You can be detective, engineer, doctor, chemist and psychologist at the same time, COOL - Yeah.

One of the most expensive rent for offices in the world, I knew before stepping inside my client’s facility, but still suffering indoor air quality problem, how come? New tenant has just move in and took three floors. Each floor looked exactly similar, everything you were able to see were just eye-catching great. They have used similar materials in every floor, but only in certain areas they had strange odor.

You must act like doctor and psychologist by doing first things first, therefore we installed several Lifa Air’s LA-series air purifiers inside the area whereas employees were suffering from poor air quality having headache etc. After first aid was given, normal daily base business was running in the office. It important immediately lower the tone on site, reduce tension and let occupants to cool down.

Even though air purifiers will diminish level of pollution and improve immediately air quality, don’t be too satisfied. Release your inner chemist and engineer for figuring out what is the reason behind poor air quality. In this case we brought in several very sensitive odor and gas measuring instruments, took material samples, used electron microscope and elemental analysis.  We were sniffing strange odors like a dog, checked everything from floor to ceiling. We were able to identify very fast that emissions are coming from floor but couldn’t understand why only in certain areas, thus in all areas similar material was used and no elevated moisture were detected.

Then comes time for detective to step in and we started by comparing what type of glue material has been used when and where material come from. We checked from contractor stock what they still had left and -bingo!!! We figured out the reason: Glue that contractor has used everywhere, even in emitted area were exactly in the similar glue jar, with emission free certificate, but there was different glue inside an that was used in emitting areas (someone has changed it)!!!

When I started in 1988, there were not many who really understood what indoor air quality was. People were concern am I able to make my living from that. Smoking was allowed everywhere, nowadays in many areas not even outdoors. None knew about PM2.5 10 years ago, now it’s almost impossible to find a person who haven’t hear about it.  

In my mind working in indoor air quality is exciting and I feel strong flame and passion for IAQ. I hope you liked reading this and I’m willing to share my experience in the future too. In the meanwhile, don’t be too shy to buy our excellent products regarding air duct cleaning and air purification.

Have a nice autumn.

Vesa Mäkipää


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