By Rosa Park
Architecture students are complaining about poor ventiliation in their building, and some are even reporting symptoms of sick building syndrome.
“It’s disgusting; it’s sick,” a student said of the facility’s air quality. “I’m inside 90 per cent of the time, and look at those vents,” he said, gesturing towards a dirty grate.
The fourth-year Architectural Design student also mentioned he was diagnosed with sick building syndrome months ago, likely due to hours spent breathing in “filthy” air.
Symptoms of SBS include headaches, irritation of the eyes, ears, and throat, dry cough, itchiness, nausea, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue and sensitivity to odours. Ironically, occupants of the architecture facility blame the stuffy indoor air on a shoddy building design.
SBS can occur when a building is operated or maintained in a manner inconsistent with the original design and is caused by excessive time spent indoors where air is stale and doesn’t circulate properly.
Fourth-year student Justin Zawyrucha said downtown pollution could be adding to the poor air quality, but the architecture building lacks what architects call “sustainable design.”
There are no fans and windows that students can easily open and close and Zawyrucha’s allergies flare up whenever he works at his drafting desk. “This is the colour of the air we are breathing here,” said fourth-year student Andrew Chiu, as he pointed at a black ring on the ceiling by the vents.
The panels on the ceiling, which were originally white, are now black, added the concerned student. “We are lucky that we are still alive… but it’s killing us slowly.”
Despite the growing concerns among students of the building, the architecture administrations office refused to comment on this matter.
They were instructed by their Chair to make no comments on anything about the building to The Eyeopener.