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Engineering/Building Science

We provide objective, high-quality information about building physics, system design concepts, and an awareness of sustainability to promote healthy, durable, more sustainable and more economical buildings.

Indoor Air Quality

Green Solutions for growing problems Whether we realize it or not, we are almost continually subjected and exposed to poisons, toxins, carcinogens, and microbes through the air we breathe and they can present a real threat to our health, and that of our children and families, employees, coworkers, etc. Some of these dangers come from nature, and even more of them we create ourselves. For years we have been concerned with the pollution and smog that permeates major cities around the world. The world is working hard on solutions to lower the emissions from industry and automobiles, but we have always had the expectation that once we go indoors, into our homes, schools, offices that we were somehow safe from effects of all that pollution. We really could not have been more wrong. It is truly hard to believe that in most cases we would be better off rolling our beds out onto a balcony in the heart of LA on a bad smog day, then closing our windows and turning on the air conditioner.

But it's true, on average our indoor air is somewhere between 2 to 10 times worse than the air outside in the smoggiest city.

With every breath we take we are inhaling a lungful of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), like formaldehyde, ozone, and benzene. It comes from our furniture, the paint on our walls and the glues used in our cabinets. Cooking sends smoke and particulates streaming through our homes. Then we have mother natures little curses, including bacteria, viruses and mold. If you add all of those indoor contaminants, to the smog and pollution from the air outside then we have what many believe to be the underlying cause of many of the health problems afflicting our society.

In the very best scenario, it will take many years to improve our pollution and smog problems, and most of us don't have the ability to build a new home, or even renovate the homes we have with environmentally friendly materials that could reduce our exposure to VOCs and other contaminates; but there are solutions. For the first time ever, TURTLE CLAN can make the air inside our homes cleaner than the air outside.

TURTLE CLAN has designed services and identified products that utilize existing technologies to dramatically improve the quality of your indoor air. These services also help to eliminate the transmittal of surface and airborne bacteria and viruses, and all with economical, environmentally friendly and effective components.

This technology also proves a powerful tool in the elimination of unwanted odors. Incredibly the only byproduct of these services and technology is a reduction in your "carbon footprint" and the production of O2 (oxygen).

The following will help to clarify the issues and substantiate Turtle Clan’s services and solutions.


Our national health obsession has been focused primarily on food, supplements, and socially conscious household goods. But what about what we breathe?

  • The average person eats only 3 to 5 times a day, but the average person takes 15 to 20 breaths per minute, and breathes on average over 21,000 liters or air a day…

In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.

Shouldn't we care more about what we are breathing?

Thermal Control:

The control of heat flow within and through buildings is important to ensure comfort, health, and productivity. Controlling temperatures also has a major impact on durability and the potential for mold growth. Controlling heat flow is of course required to save energy and reduce the environmental impacts of this energy use. Insulations are basic tools for controlling heat flow, but thermal bridging must be understood to limit heat loss through conductive materials and elements in the building enclosure. Assessing interior surface condensation and comfort are dominated by an understanding of surface temperature. Heat flows by many modes, and one of the most important is by air movement. Whether within an air-handling unit or through a roof heat transfer by airflow is important. One of the largest sources of energy flows in many buildings is the sun: solar gain through windows dominates the air conditioning loads of commercial buildings, and can be harvested for both space and water heating in carefully designed buildings.

Moisture Control:

Moisture is the primary agent of deterioration in buildings, and hence controlling moisture is crucial to ensuring durability. Moisture is also the most common factor in Indoor Air Quality problems such as mold and odors. The water molecule has many interesting properties that explain its odd behavior and its interaction with materials. Air barriers, vapor barriers, housewraps/WRBs, and capillary breaks are building products and systems whose major function includes moisture control. The required level moisture control, depends on the quantity, phase (liquid, vapor, solid), frequency of the load and the mechanism of movement that must be controlled. The primary sources of moisture: rain and snow, water vapor in the air, ground water, and construction moisture, have different magnitudes and have different significance for different climates, building uses, enclosure types, and materials. Moisture moves by a number of mechanisms: capillary flow, vapor diffusion, air convection, and gravity flow. Each of these mechanisms is driven by different forces and flows at vastly different rates through different materials.

Air Flow Control:

Air movement carries with it humidity, heat, pollutants, and sound. Controlling airflow, across the enclosure, between zones, and from the distribution system to hollow partitions is therefore required to achieve comfortable, healthy, and energy efficient building. Air movement is driven by pressure differences through flow paths: understanding the complex flow paths and dynamic spatially variant pressure field that act within.


Different climates, and different interior space conditions, require different assemblies, materials, and design strategies. Increasing the complexity for building designers are different wind loads, earthquake risks, wildfire and flood probabilities. With all these factors playing a role in building design, only one thing can be stated with certainty- where you build should matter to how you build.


Noise control and encouraged aural communications in building spaces are both part of acoustics. The basic physics of sound are simple to understand, but the interaction of sound pressure waves with complex shapes and multi-layer assemblies with openings is more challenging. Noise control is becoming increasingly important in a world in which more high-density housing, closer offices spaces, and busier streets and airports are more and more the norm rather than the exception.

Light (Ultraviolet Radiation):

Daylight is both good for the soul and saves energy. Uncontrolled solar penetration also results in over heating of building interiors and causes the surface temperature of cladding to shoot up. Ultraviolet radiation is a also major deterioration mechanism for all organic exterior finish materials, both inside and out.

Also see: Air, Water, Soil Assessments and Training.

Contact us for additional information:

Phone: 914-361-9703