Design Arcade

Building Health Department

The Total Buildings solutions Company

Home/Building Health Department

Building Health Wing

We Building Health Wing provide a comprehensive, focused, health-based, single source solution to Indoor Environmental and Air Quality (IEAQ) issues that adversely affect building occupants as a result of building failures. Design Arcade Building Health Wing integrates medical and scientific principles with building diagnostic and investigative activities.

Click below links to view more.

We Building Health Wing provide a comprehensive, focused, health-based, single source solution to Indoor Environmental and Air Quality (IEAQ) issues that adversely affect building occupants as a result of building failures. Design Arcade Building Health Wing integrates medical and scientific principles with building diagnostic and investigative activities. Our integrated approach combines the practice of environmental medicine expertise with 10 years of design/build construction, building science and moisture intrusion expertise. As a result, Design Arcade Building Health Wing is uniquely poised to resolve occupant health issues, identify construction defects, and remedy the root cause of the building failure simultaneously. Our medically-engineered solutions form the basis of a managed response to your critical environmental incident and long-term enterprise risk management.


Design Arcade Building Health Wing has exceptional experience and a unique perspective regarding indoor environments and the associated financial risks to property managers, owners and other stakeholders. We are construction professionals with extensive building science and construction defect experience. Design Arcade Building Health Wing unique and broadly integrated understanding of incident-driven risk management for developers, commercial or residential facility managers, government agencies and health-critical environments is unmatched by any group in the country.


Design Arcade Building Health Wings efforts are generally initiated by occupancy dynamics which means “people” in the building. People, their individual health profile and comfort demands, create the need for a health component. Healthy buildings mean healthy people and healthy business.


Design Arcade Building Health Wing has seen nearly everything that can go wrong in the handling of indoor environmental incidents, having reviewed hundreds of problems, both in and out of litigation, in which unexpected or unrecognized health related cost drivers have emerged. On the front end of environmental incidents, health-related cost drivers emerge when situational adversities are not managed efficiently and effectively. Frequently underestimated, they emerge on the back end and persist through denial, risk communication miscues and misguided investigations undertaken after a building failure has occurred. Ultimately, our goal is to manage the situation intelligently. We want to keep those with risk management responsibility from doing too much or too little in response to occupant complaints: each of which can lead to disastrous financial consequences, regardless of the severity of the incident or quality of the delivered resolution.


Design Arcade Building Health Wing proprietary Critical Environmental Incident Management Path unites a clinical medical approach with scientific principles and building diagnostics which enables us to:


•Ensure the health and safety of the building occupants through a parallel investigative methodology
• Internally collaborate with property management and building maintenance professionals during the investigation to maximize contaminant source identification and correction
• Provide effective risk communication throughout the entire process of investigation, based on relevant medical and scientific literature, delivered by highly-skilled, medically-trained, communication experts
• Work with multi-disciplinary contractors on the hard cost issues of remediation and, if needed, the forensic causal challenges of root cause identification and repair
• Effectively estimate, manage and control your financial exposure, and
• Prevent costs from becoming disproportionate to the prescribed health-based solutions.


Our unique medical evaluation and oversight bring focus, economy and credible risk communication to clients when adverse health effects emerge, or costs driven by perceived health risks escalate and threaten day-to-day operations.

Our Competencies for Critical Environmental Incident Management:


•Building Science, Mold and Moisture Intrusion Investigations
• LEED related services and consulting
• Large Scale Environmental Incident Management
• Sick building Evaluation, Remediation Design, Planning and Co-ordination
• Green Remediation Design, Planning and Co-ordination
• Environmental Sampling – mold, VOCs, dust, formaldehyde, lead, asbestos
• Construction Defect Root Cause Analysis
• Onsite Occupant Health Interviews
• Facility Condition Assessment
• Risk Communication and Critical Thinking
• Focused Remediation Implementation with Medical Oversight
• Medical Clearance Evaluation and Certification
• Prevention Models, Support and Training

We are distinguished by our ability to interact with all participants:

• Occupants and their Physicians
• Real Estate Financiers / Advisors / Asset Managers
• Building Owners / Developers / Facilities Managers
• Condominium and Home Owner Associations
• Hotel / Healthcare Owners / Operators
• State and Local Municipalities / Regulatory Agencies
• Design Professionals – Architects and Engineers
• General Contractors and Construction Managers
• Mechanical and HVAC Contractors
• Specialty Environmental or Remediation Contractors
• Attorneys and Insurance Carriers
• Indoor Air Quality Experts


Design Arcade Building Health Wing maintains a notable national presence with our portfolio of services and national network partners. This further facilitates the client’s incident management through the opportunity to maintain a single point of contact.

Comprehensive Integrated Capabilities:

Uniquely Design Arcade Building Health Wing

What is often the first response to occupant complaints attributed to building conditions?

All too frequently, complaints of work-related illness and of indoor environmental and air quality (IEAQ) issues are investigated only from the perspective of the building, office or residence: its environmental discomfort conditions, construction, structure and systems’ performance. With increasing media attention to “sick buildings” or “wet damp spaces,” the focus has shifted to examining how the building dynamics may be affecting its occupants and determining any deficient building condition.


Occupant symptoms attributed to building conditions present a unique challenge.


Occupant health actually drives the investigation: occupants’ perception of their health forms the foundation of their productivity, measured in terms of absenteeism and presenteeism (the employee is actually at work but working below capacity). Business interruption, decreased morale, and even the extreme situation of vacating the premises, may be the result of worker-perceived building-induced illness or discontent. For the building owner, such stigma damages can lead to permanent financial impairment. As we noted earlier, healthy buildings mean healthy people and, by design, healthy business.


Those qualified to address building conditions can only resolve building issues, not occupant health issues.

What, then, is a physician’s view of an integrated investigation effectively designed to evaluate occupant/building complaints? First, such an investigation requires reassessing your IEAQ response strategies, in order to insure that the situation is resolved to the occupant’s satisfaction, thus minimizing the impact to their productivity. Essential to an efficient and successful response is a multi-professional incident response team which combines medical expertise with building science knowledge: “white coats and hard hats.” The combined health and technical expertise of the team, inspires confidence and credibility, thereby gaining the trust, respect and support of all concerned and mitigating the risk of incident escalation.


When do occupants label a building a “sick building?”
When there are occupant complaints, or symptoms, which are attributed to the building. This is usually the first indication of a problem. In other words, health concerns arise first and are the driver of the incident. Yet, the usual response is for air testing and examination of the building, followed by remediation: health is essentially ignored.


Is medical expertise a key component of your incident response plan? If not, why not?

From the perspective of a physician, a great deal of the usual response is unfocused at best, unnecessary at worst, but costly in either case. With early medical oversight, every step of the investigation can be focused on the true underlying driver of the incident: occupant health.
Additionally, many situations are not easily diagnosed by simply looking at the building and interpreting sampling and testing results. Therefore, having a physician who is able to speak with the symptomatic occupant(s) and develop a working hypothesis about the possible causes of the complaint(s), permits formulation of a directed investigation. Not only does this ensure the health and safety of the building occupants, but it also eliminates costly, misdirected testing, evaluations, lost time and unnecessary remediation. Every worker is impacted by a variety of factors, in addition to the work environment, which may influence their perception of how the workplace is affecting their health. Recent research conducted by Building Health Sciences at a twelve-building government facility has confirmed the criticality of this new investigative methodology. This health-based solution path coupled with identification of the “root cause” will satisfactorily resolve the incident. BHS’ unique approach of combining “white coats and hard hats” on its incident response team, has proven to be extremely efficient and cost-effective in resolving IEAQ incidents. At the same time it mitigates the escalation of the incident by ensuring the health and safety of occupants.


What, then, is the White Coats and Hard Hats?
The initial response to an IEAQ incident often sets the tone for the path to resolution. Participation by the right health and environmental experts can make a dramatic difference in the risks and costs associated with any building failure including water damage or mold-related evaluations and remediations. Absent the presence of a physician, incident resolution may be incomplete. Even more problematic and more risky are the remediation activities which take place behind plastic, but in plain view of employees and other occupants who are often kept uninformed. Thus, health-based risk communication emerges as one of the first and most essential requirements. Someone with health expertise, IEAQ knowledge, communication skills and believability must be an integral part of the multi-professional incident response team, if one hopes to prevent panic, and incident escalation.