Office environmental health firm launched.
The firm's principal partners are Harvey Russack, 48, a well-known Manhattan entrepreneur, and John Calderon, 53, of Lane Associates, Inc., a Long Island-based second-generation mechanical engineer and contractor with over 30 years expertise in the field of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Russack and Calderon have coordinated a team of professionals to create resolution strategies for the variety of problems found in buildings suffering from sick building syndrome (SBS) and/or building related illness (BRI).
The HPI group includes Carl Borsari, P.E., of Carl Borsari Associates; Frank Salami, industrial engineer; Herman Sabath of Consulting and Testing Services, Inc.; Asher Derman Ph.D., of Green October, Inc. and Mitchell Rabin of The Ecological Institute, Inc.
In the 1970s, two trends developed that had a profound effect on indoor air quality. The first trend was the energy crisis that forced developers to tighten and weatherproof buildings. The resultant sealed-window environments reduced energy costs, but it also restricted the flow of fresh air.
The second trend was the increased use of synthetic, petroleum-based building materials and the use of toxic adhesives, cleaning supplies and other compounds. This introduced pollutants into the air inside a sealed office building and, combined with inadequate maintenance procedures, resulted in even more unhealthy office environments.
Today's offices are more crowded, and the increased use of load generating equipment such as computers and copiers adds another environmental stress.
Among the symptoms experienced by workers in sick buildings are stuffy nose, sneezing, dry cough, tightness of the chest and sore throat. Other symptoms may also appear, including: mental fatigue, irritability, forgetfulness, headache, nausea, skin irritation and burning, itching eyes.
The symptoms do not usually fit the pattern of any particular illness. Sometimes the symptoms disappear when the occupants leave the building.
With more than 52 million office workers in the U.S., sick building syndrome and building-related illness are a major health concern. HPI cited recent findings - by the National Energy Management Institute in conjunction with the University of Michigan; The Rocky Mountain Institute in conjunction with The U.S. Green Building Counsel; and the American Managers Association - that demonstrate that employee productivity can drop as much as 18 percent in an office with poor indoor air environmental quality (IAEQ).
Findings also demonstrate that correcting the IAEQ problems and creating a more heal thy and comfortable indoor environment will result in a minimum of 3 percent worker productivity gains, which translates into mega-dollars for employers.
Russack is well-known in the New York business community as the founder of Unique Clothing Warehouse in 1969. In the decade of the 1970s, his influence within the apparel industry extended far beyond retailing, as consumers rebelled against synthetic textiles and demanded "relaxed" clothing made of natural fibers.
Calderon is also an industry leader, specializing in off-site monitoring of air quality through the use of computerized systems.
A healthy office building costs less to run, will lease more quickly, will have longer-lasting equipment and will create future value. Industry publications report that cleaning up sick buildings may soon explode into a $5 billion national market. Restoring buildings to health could produce a $60 billion per year employee productivity gain.
Healthy Properties' current projects include work at 504 Broadway, a 100,000 square-foot, 5-story landmark building, where HPI's complete IAEQ investigation and remediation project is scheduled for completion in 1996.
Work is also being done at 360 Lexington Avenue within a 15,000 square-foot new office installation on the fourth floor. In this case, the office tenant chose the location based on pre-occupancy IAEQ survey by HPI. The partnership is consulting for design, materials and furnishings selection, and construction.
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|Title Annotation:||Healthy Properties Inc.|
|Publication:||Real Estate Weekly|
|Date:||Jun 14, 1995|
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