Episode 678: Mark Ames - AIHA Director, Government Relations - White House Summit on IAQ Takeaways

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Episode 678: Mark Ames - AIHA Director, Government Relations - White House Summit on IAQ Takeaways

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Show Resources: Show Discussion:

12:02:16 From Mark Ames : Happy Friday everyone!
12:02:29 From Donald Weekes : Hello, Mark!
12:03:43 From cliff zlotnik : Trivia- Name the part of government relations that involves pleading or arguing in favor of something such as a cause, idea, policy or active support?
12:03:44 From Paula SCHENCK : lobbying
12:04:00 From cliff zlotnik : sorry incorrect
12:04:14 From Donald Weekes : Solicitating
12:04:25 From cliff zlotnik : sorry incorrect
12:06:00 From Bruce White : advocacy?
12:06:33 From cliff zlotnik : correct bruce, please send your contact info to czlotnik@cs.com
12:21:52 From Donald Weekes : Joe Allen took a few shots at ASHRAE 62.1 as a minimum level, not a health standard. He is correct, but it is difficult to change the current consensus standards quickly.
12:22:50 From Paula SCHENCK : Yes.. we do. What isn't understood so well generally.... what metrics actually relate to HEALth rather than a "physical measurement"
12:24:13 From Donald Weekes : Agreed. Health (IAQ) standards are very hard to set, especially in consensus standards.
12:28:09 From Paula SCHENCK : I do think we know about contributors to illness--the question is more about the metrics
12:33:27 From Donald Weekes : Ask Mark about this: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a request for information (RFI) on better indoor air quality management to help reduce COVID-19 and other disease transmission in buildings."
12:37:58 From Mark Ames : https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... -and-other
12:47:28 From Mark Ames : Here's my LinkedIn profile - I'd love to connect with you! :-) https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-ames-76bb527 (also has pics from the White House Summit)
13:02:17 From Victor Cafaro : Informative show!
13:02:22 From Bruce White : Excellent Show!
13:02:37 From Mark Ames : Thank you all!
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Re: Episode 678: Mark Ames - AIHA Director, Government Relations - White House Summit on IAQ Takeaways

Post by CliffZ »

Episode 678| October 14, 2022 | 12:00 PM EST

Mark Ames
AIHA Director, Government Relations
White House Summit on IAQ Takeaways

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

Mark worked for ASHRAE for seven years and has been at AIHA for six years.

After reviewing the event agenda and speakers list Mark was intrigued by the White House Summit on IAQ and saw it as an opportunity to learn more about what the government was thinking and planning regarding IAQ. Mark opined that a moment can be turned into a movement and that focus is required to maintain momentum.

Dr. Ashish Jha (Whitehouse Corona Virus Coordinator
• Pre-pandemic, holidays are a stressful time for hospitals due to influenza.
• Influenza and Covid are not going away.
• How will hospitals manage respiratory disease? The best option is to lower the
burden of respiratory infection.
• The administration considers IAQ important.
• Building owners should have healthy buildings.
• The administration is showcasing buildings and businesses.
• The benefits of healthy buildings need to be visualized.

Mark Ames’ Responds:
• Dr. Jha is an inspiring speaker who set the tone for the meeting.
• It’s a positive
• What is the White House thinking about IAQ due to pressure?
• What are the White House’s IAQ priorities.
• It is beneficial that the medical community is tied into IAQ.

Dr. Joseph Allen, Harvard University
• What can move the needle on IAQ?
• 3 Recommendations:
1. Tune-up our buildings.
2. Maximize fresh air ventilation.
3. Improve filtration to MERV 13 (minimum)
• Indoor air has more impact on your health than your doctor.
• We should take the pulse of our buildings regularly.
• Indoor air monitoring with low cost sensors should be the standard. Sensors should be as visible as thermostats.

Mark Ames’ Takeaways:
• Passionate high energy speaker.
• We need a definition for good indoor air quality.
• CO² is a proxy for air indoor air quality.
• People want a dashboard, a number or a red and green lights to indicate the status of IAQ.
• What are the metrics of IAQ?
• What is the government policy on IAQ?
• What needs to be done when the red light comes on?
• What are we trying to change?

Jesus Jara, Clark County Schools
• Academic performance and health are tied to IAQ.
• We don’t question the demand for water quality. When water isn’t crystal clear we know something is wrong.
• We can’t see what’s wrong with the air.
• We need a warning system to initiate action due to poor IAQ, so schools can be closed and remediated.

Mark Ames’ Takeaways:
• Human biology is complex.
• There can be a lag between bad air quality and health effects.
• Residences versus schools, what is the causation?
• Don’t focus on trying to prove. When we improve IAQ we know that both performance and health also improve.
• Be humble about what is known and not known.
• We must take action before we have all the answers.

Tracey Enger Program Manager USEPA
• The moment we are in is becoming a movement.
• The movement has the potential to become a monument.

Mark Ames’ Responds:
• She is an enchanting speaker.
• Take the time to nurture, listen and understand.
• Attain consensus.
• The White House and the EPA have interesting things going on. The alignment between problem and solution = progress.

Kevin Kampschorer, GSA Acting Director, Office of High Performance Green Buildings
• If you think your building is operating as designed you are wrong.
• 25% of government buildings cannot utilize NERV 13 filters.
• Smart renovation, in a city which needs neither heating or cooling 170 days annually, the windows were made operable.
• Building managers want to do the right thing and don’t know what to do.
• Guidance Resource https://sftool.gov/search?Query=covid
• Be vigilant about education.
• Covid today, the next building mass exiting event is coming.

Mark Ames’ Takeaways:
• Unless you are visiting the President, most White House meetings are held in the Eisenhower Office Building which is situated next to the White House.
• Need to raise awareness.
• Need for education.
• Consensus about problems and solutions is hyperlocal. What are the issues of local concern?
• Not aware. Aware and not sure who to go to for solutions.

Guy Vardi, Silverstein Properties
• We are in the productivity and engagement business, not the real estate business.
• Ventilation and health are interrelated.
• Some new buildings have a 30% reduction in sick days per annum.

Mark Ames’ Takeaways:
• Cognitive performance improves when CO² and VOCs are reduced.
• What are the available options: install sensors, retrofit, demolish, design build, etc.

Shelly Miller, PhD University of Colorado Boulder
• Installation of germicidal UVC lights in childcare centers and elsewhere.
• Installation of UVC lights requires: proven product, trained installers, ongoing maintenance.
• Recommended UVC wavelengths: 254nm, 222nm.
• Beware of untrustworthy products and suppliers.
• Need for training infrastructure.

Mark Ames’ Takeaways:
• Many product offerings are available. Some technologies aren’t proven. Slick taking salespeople. Myth busting.
• Will the solution solve the problem or create new problems?
• AIHA can assist buyers who need guidance.

Dr. Richard Corsi, PhD University of California, Davis
• Historically IAQ research funding has been anemic.
• Over the past 50 years, outdoor air quality has improved due to the Clean Air Act.
• Outdoor Air Quality Standards have evolved due to 50 years of research.
• We need something like a “Clean Indoor Air Act”.
• Wrote a paper 22 years expressing the need, imagine where we would be if we had started a “Clean Indoor Air Act” years ago?

Mark Ames’ Takaways:
• A “Clean Indoor Air Act” is an interesting idea.
• What is the gap and how to close it?
• Envisions the type of building he would like to live in. How to partner with government, to understand the needs and advocate at Congress for a common vision and then build consensus.
• Professional debate is necessary.
• When do you have enough information for action?
• Embrace the struggle for progress.

Scott Frank, Jaros, Baum & Bolles
• Changing behavior is dependent upon raising awareness. Suggests carrying a portable IAQ monitor
• Legacy standards result in sub-par IAQ.
• Improving IAQ is a consumer choice decision.
• The real estate market is efficient in matching demand.
• “See something, Do something”, an IAQ call to action is needed.
• The opportunity won’t last forever.

Mark Ames’ Takeaways:
• Raise awareness at grassroots level.
• Change needs to occur on local level.
• Change needs to be driven.
• The White House can’t fix the problem.
• Strength in groups like AIHA with members, volunteers, networking, resources, and conversations that can influence and drive change.

• RadioJoe opined that in general the IAQ industry was underrepresented at the event.
• That IAQ practitioners could have provided valuable insights.
• Missing from the Summit Agenda were discussions of helping those with low incomes or with special needs.

Request for Information: Better Indoor Air Quality Management To Help Reduce COVID-19 and Other Disease Transmission in Buildings: Technical Assistance Needs and Priorities To Improve Public Health Link: https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... -and-other

Mark Ames’ contact info: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-ames-76bb527/

Personally, from a Political Science perspective, I found the discussion with a Washington, DC lobbyist enlightening.

Z-Man signing off


Name the part of government relations that involves pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, policy or active support?

Answer: Advocacy

Answered by: Bruce White, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
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Re: Episode 678: Mark Ames - AIHA Director, Government Relations - White House Summit on IAQ Takeaways

Post by RadioJoe »

Well after 15+ years I think we got this down. This was in my opinion one of the best if not the best show we have ever pulled together. Special THANKS to Jon "You gotta Have" Faith our engineer for helping pull together a great show.

The White House Summit on IAQ was a great first step in getting attention to the topic. Mark had many excellent points and gave us the perspective of someone in the audience and someone that represents the practitioners at AIHA. The only critique I have is that they only had one practitioner as part of the panels. We need more practitioner input letting research and government know what our needs are. We get some of that perspective on this show along with clips of highlights. Thanks Mark!
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