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By Guy Sylvester

On November 12th, 2010 the Indoor Air Quality Association, Boston and Manchester NH chapters combined their efforts and held one of New England’s best Indoor Air Quality events of the year. The highlight of the event was Key-Note Speaker Joe Lstiburek.  Joe is the CEO and owner of Building Sciences in Westford Massachusetts. He holds a Ph.D. in Building Sciences, and is deemed one of the nation’s leading authorities on this topic. Joe spoke to the crowd about LEEDS Certification for buildings, which Joe calls “Mis-LEED-ing” among a few other adjectives!  Joe contests that the LEED Certification program does three things: 1) There is absolutely no measuring of the energy efficiency of a LEED Certified  building. 2) The “check-list” to become LEED Certified is in itself misleading. 3) LEED Certified Buildings are awarded tax breaks, from taxes that we the people pay for.  So let’s take a look at each one of these concerns Joe has:

A recent article in the November issue of the Indoor Environmental Connections certainly supports Joe’s #1 claim by stating: “A Federal Class Action Suit has been filed against the U.S. Green Building Council.” (USGBC).  Claiming that LEED Certified buildings are not really as energy efficient as they claim to be, and that the system’s third party verification is not really true.”   

I personally have had several colleagues that have tested the “Clearance” on LEED Certified buildings.  One individual stated he has conducted 12 LEED Certification IAQ, (Indoor Air Quality) Clearance tests, and not one of them passed. (These tests are VOCs, Formaldehyde, Particle Counts, Carbon Dioxide, and more.) However, because the checklist is based upon a point system, for example a building will receive points for having a “Bike Rack,” and if you pile up enough points in other areas, the IAQ tests failing becomes inconsequential and the building still becomes LEED Certified.  So, Joe’s 2nd point also appears to be valid.

The third point is obvious. It is a fact that there are government incentives for “LEED Certified” buildings. And, if that class action suit mentioned earlier is successful, the USGBC will have to rethink the process in which a building becomes LEED Certified.

Next time you are looking to have your facility go green, or become LEED Certified, best ask around for third party verification and do some research before proceeding.

EPH and VPH Certification

Resource Laboratories, LLC (RL) is pleased to announce that in September we received our certification for Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbons (EPH) and Volatile Petroleum Hydrocarbons (VPH) from the State of New Hampshire Environmental Laboratory Approval program and the State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services. As you may know, the state of Maine adopted the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) analytical methods for petroleum hydrocarbons. At the moment, most sites in Maine are transitioning from using the Maine DEP Diesel Range Organics (DRO) and Gasoline Range Organics (GRO) methods. Although it is ironic that the state of MA, the developer of these methods, does NOT offer certification for EPH and VPH, we are thrilled to be able to add these methods to our list of accreditations in New Hampshire and Maine.  

While MADEP does not offer certification for these methods, or any methods other than drinking water and wastewater, knowing that your laboratory is certified by another agency is an added assurance of data quality. To become certified, a laboratory must have acceptable results for two rounds of proficiency samples (blind samples), submit method start up information including lab control samples, a demonstration of capability, limit of detection and quantitation studies, and a method-compliant standard operating procedure. In addition, the laboratory must perform successfully during an onsite audit which includes asking questions of the analyst(s), reviewing records and checking quality systems.


Name Change Reminder!  

Starting on January 1, 2011, Resource Laboratories and Absolute Air Quality will be known as Absolute Resource Associates. We are very busy working on our new website, ordering items with our new logo, and making sure processes are in place to make the transition completely seamless for our customers. If you have questions about the name change, please give us a call at (603) 436-2001, we’d love to hear from you! Absolute Resource Associates. Same great people, same exceptional service, exciting new possibilities.


Bob Blanchard  (1939 - 2010)


Our dear friend and colleague, Robert "Bob" Blanchard, passed away Wednesday, September 15, 2010, at his home in Durham, NH, with his family at his side.


In the spring of 1964, Bob graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor of science in mathematics. During his senior year, Bob met his beloved bride of 45 years, Ellen. They married Aug. 14, 1965,  in Waterville, Maine, and later moved to Athens, GA, where Bob completed his masters in education and a Ph.D. in mycology at the University of Georgia.


In 1972, Bob accepted a teaching position at the University of New Hampshire and moved to Durham. Over 33 years Bob served in various leadership roles including Chairmanship of the Botany and Plant Biology Department and Associate Dean of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture.


In 2002 Bob started to work part time for Absolute Air Quality, a division of Resource Laboratories’ Indoor Air Quality Division. In 2005, Bob thought he retired. Well he may have retired from UNH, but as the Indoor Air Quality division grew so did the demand on Bob. You could find Bob in the laboratory day, night and weekends (and often on site in the field) analyzing mold samples and supporting the growth of the new and exciting division, Absolute Air Quality. His knowledge in the field of Mycology was instrumental in AAQ’s investigations. His time at UNH proved to make him a great fit for the fast growing company; he knew just how to interact with the young employees at RL/AAQ (a few of which were former students of his!).


Resource Laboratories, Absolute Air Quality, and the entire staff will dearly miss Dr. Blanchard. In honor and in recognition of his impact on our company, the microscope he used has been dedicated to him with a plaque that reads, Fungi-"It’s Fungee, not Fun-Guy." A rhetorical statement often aimed at "Guy" Sylvester for pronouncing their microbial friend as "Fun-Guy!"


Thank you Bob, we miss you!



The Resource Rambler is brought to you by your friends at

Resource Laboratories, LLC & Absolute Air Quality
124 Heritage Ave. Unit #10 Portsmouth, NH 03801  603-436-2001

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