Just one month of extra drying time can extend the lifespan of a building.
Rushing and construction do not go well together. Juhani Pirinen has studied indoor air issues extensively and according to him, the single biggest cause of problems in new buildings is rushing the job.
"Rushing causes many problems. Concrete can easily be left too wet, in which case the adhesive and plastic coating may suffer damage. Ventilation is often not adjusted correctly and therefore the pressure ratios are also wrong. Ventilation must be adjusted properly to make sure that the indoor air pressure is under no circumstances too high but not excessively low either."
According to Pirinen, the problem is that we have been taught to build in a hurry. A mentality based on financial quarters is simply not suitable for the world of construction.
"We waste so much time during project planning when we try to decide whether or not to construct a building. When a decision is made to construct a building, it should last at least a hundred years. Considering the entire life cycle of a building, it seems absurd to rush the project for the sake of a few weeks, especially when the consequences can be disastrous."
When rushing is thrown out the window, the construction work also changes.
"Clients should use moisture control coordinators and believe what specialists tell them. Of course, the clients determine the schedule for completion, but rushing doesn't usually pay off. Fortunately many clients understand this logic," Pirinen says.
Pirinen points out that just one month of extra drying time will make a difference and prevent the possible deterioration of materials.
"For example, if a school building is completed at the end of May, it should be ventilated throughout the summer until the next school year begins. This would reduce the emissions produced by the new materials and the indoor air quality would be good by the time the students return."
Petri Heljo, head of R&D from Kiilto's construction unit, compiled several statements and prevailing views on indoor air problems. When Juhani Pirinen, an experienced indoor air expert, commented on them, an interesting series of articles was created.
Indoor Air Expert: The cause of indoor air problems may remain a mystery
Part 1 – Indoor Air Expert: Indoor air problems are a global concern
Part 2 – Indoor Air Expert: Indoor air problems in houses are largely caused by poor guidelines
Part 3 – Indoor Air Expert: Airtight structures are rarely the cause of indoor air problems
Part 4 – Indoor Air Expert: Rushing is the enemy of high-quality construction
Part 5 – Indoor Air Expert: The cause of indoor air problems may remain a mystery
Part 6 – Indoor Air Expert: New buildings are almost always healthy
Part 7 – Indoor Air Expert: Attention must be paid to the amount of chemicals in new buildings