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Improper design of buildings—architect
Leading local Green and Healthy Building architect David Fojo said a major category which can be measured to determine whether a building is sick or healthy is its indoor air quality. “There should be no toxic gases present in the air. Frequently, building or furnishing materials send off small amounts of toluene, benzene or other VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air,” Fojo said. The holder of a Master’s Degree from Yale University in Environmental Design, Fojo said because many buildings do not have adequate fresh air changes per hour, these toxins can build up to levels that affect health.
“There should be no mould, mildew of fungus in the air. This is a particular problem in T&T and buildings should be designed so that no surface is ever chronically moist,” Fojo pointed out. A particular problem in T&T, he said, is that retaining and exterior walls and floor slabs are not designed and detailed properly causing mould, mildew and fungus to grow, sometimes on the inside of walls, cupboards, bathrooms, walk-in-closets and in carpeting. Detrimental health consequences, Fojo warned, can be significant.
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