“Focus on the academics.” - Alan Wozniak
Alan Wozniak, CIAQP, CIEC former president/CEO and founder of Pure Air Control Services, Inc. in Clearwater, Florida an environmental / HVAC Mechanical Firm established in 1984 with divisions including: Building Sciences, Environmental Diagnostics laboratory and Building remediation group. In 2021, he successfully managed the sale of the firm to a Fortune 500 organization, RPM International.
Pure Air Control Services is a provider of indoor environmental services in over 19,000 facilities covering 900 million sq. ft. both nationally and internationally and is one of the largest full services, comprehensive healthy building indoor environmental firms in the nation with heavy experience in governments, healthcare, higher education, lower education, commercial and entertainment markets.
Mr. Wozniak has authored numerous articles on IAQ, is a NEWSWEEK Magazine Expert Author, has been guest lecturer on many webinars, podcasts, workshops and at IAQ symposia
Some of Mr. Wozniak’s many accomplishments include leading the firm to:
•INC 500 national list 4 years in a row
•370% growth in the past 5 years
•Tampa Bay FAST 50 – bay area fastest growing private firms
•Tampa Bay Business Journal – MBE Top 25
•National Hispanic Businesses - Top 500
•Frost & Sullivan – Product Differentiation Innovation Award for its Solutions for Improving IAQ
•Provided the management and oversight of the M&A selling his firm for 17.5X EBITDA
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When it comes to your business
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Of the quote unquote
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100% of the deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
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Alan Wozniak is the former
President, CEO, and Founder of Pure Air Control Services, Inc. in Clearwater,
Florida, which is an environmental and HVAC mechanical firm, which was
established in 1984. Pure Air Control Services has divisions in building
sciences, environmental diagnostics, laboratory, and building remediation
groups. In 2021, Alan successfully manage the sale of the firm to a Fortune 500
company RPM International.
Pure Air Control Services is a
provider of indoor environmental services in over 19,000 facilities covering
900 million square feet, both nationally and internationally, and is one of the
largest full services, comprehensive, healthy building indoor environmental
firms in the nation with heavy experience in government, healthcare, higher
education, lower education, commercial and entertainment markets.
Some of Mr. Wozniak's
many accomplishments include leading the firm to Inc 500 national list, four
years in a row, a 370% growth in the past five years, the Tampa Bay Fast, 50
Fastest Growing Private Firms, the Tampa Bay Business Journal MBE Top 25, the
National Hispanic Business Top 500, Frost And Sullivan Product Differentiation
Innovation Award for its solutions for improving indoor air quality, and
providing the management and oversight of the M&A process to realize a
seventeen and half EBITDA.
Mr. Wozniak has authored
numerous articles on indoor air quality and is a Newsweek Magazine expert
author. In addition, Mr. Wazniak has been a guest lecturer on many webinars,
podcasts workshops, and indoor air quality symposiums.
Welcome to the Deep Wealth
Podcast, and I have a friend of the Deep Wealth community. You heard all about
Alan in one of her earlier episodes. We'll have a link to the show notes and to
the episode itself. And today we're gonna do something that is really gonna
benefit you because there's that saying, if your health is your Wealth on the
personal side, that's terrific.
But let me ask you this. It's
probably a question no one asks, and we need to ask more of it. When it comes
to your business itself, the health of the business, in other words, the
building that you're operating out of, or if your employees are doing remote
work, the health of the homes that they're living out of what's that all about?
And where is that? Have you even asked that question? Have you even thought
about that? What you're gonna hear today is gonna be startling. And again, here
at Deep Wealth, we're all about preparation and ensuring that you have a
healthy workplace that really promotes people living the absolute best that
they can and feeling terrific and not coming down with metabolic diseases,
which is all the rage these days.
So Alan, welcome back. It's
great to have you with us and for some of our new listeners who haven't heard
the other episode that we did, and again, in the show notes, I'll put a link to
that. Why don't you give us a quick story behind the story of what got you to
where you are today? And then from there, we can go into the health of
buildings and the questions that nobody is asking.
[00:05:03] Alan Wozniak: Thanks, Jeffrey. Thanks for having me. Yeah, I started 30 years ago
in business as a mechanic contracting firm. And we were one of many, in fact, I
believe at the time we were one of 800 HVAC contractors in the County alone, of
which I live in, and that's Pinellas County. The difficulty was the
manufacturers we were a Carrier dealer at time and carrier makes a great
product, but we were one of hundreds of contractors all selling the same. And
there wasn't a differentiator. And I got very distraught with that industry
very quickly because everybody was beating their heads against the same thing.
And the manufacturers, to their credit, were their motive of upper-end day was
to move boxes.
I wanted to be different, so I
saw a need. And the need was the condition of HVAC systems deteriorated very
fast in a short period of time. Primarily that of the air handling systems. And
this is both commercial and residential. So I saw the condition of the systems
I took some samples, had them
analyzed at an environmental lab and to my surprise, there were a lot of
pathogens, a lot of bacteria, a lot of fungi. Things that were not good and not
healthy. And so I had a couple of doctors of friends of mine, allergists,
immunologists, and I approached them. And I said, hey, if these conditions were
in your patient's home or business, would it affect your patient's outcome
positively or negatively?
And said absolutely in a
negative way. We studied 30 years ago. And so I felt I'm gonna, I checked with
EPA and OSHA, NIOSH, World Health, and we realized shortly that there was a big
need, but it was untouched, of the blue ocean, if you will of indoor quality.
And so I took that, I went from
that red ocean, which was basically a cutthroat just grinded out kind of
business. And I went into the blue side and the blue ocean area covering issues
that clients really wanted. In fact, my first question to the client was it
about what type of air conditioning do you want.
Does anyone in your family or
anyone in your business suffer from allergies? Does the condition that
exacerbates those, if they were positive, does it exacerbate while they're in
the building or home? And oftentimes it was absolutely yes. So my next question
was, if I could change that outcome if I could create a positive outcome with
indoor quality, do you feel that would benefit you?
And the answers were
unequivocal. So we focused on healthy buildings and not air conditioning. We
still sold air conditioning, but the healthy building or the healthy home was
the end result. Our cost to build a healthy building or a healthy home
oftentimes was 2, 3, 4 times greater than providing them a conventional HVAC system.
But they wanted that. They
wanted the healthy building, they wanted the help. This is 30 years ago, mind
you, you know, we sort of pioneered the industry, and to even more recently, I
sold the business a year ago, and stayed on just until a couple of months ago.
The focus was healthy buildings in the last, So we had, we basically had a
building science team.
We had an accredited lab and we
had an HVAC division, so we did it all in-house. And we studied over 19,000
buildings covering over 900 million square feet over the years. So our database
continued to grow in an exponential rate. We were looked at as the go-to
company for healthy buildings, especially post covid where it hit a lot of
people directly everybody. I don't think there was any one person not affected.
And it sort of was, you know, premonition-wise. But we had the foresight to
think people want good air. And another effect is that we spend 90% of our
times indoors. So you take a person at the age of 50, he will have spent 45
years inside, whether it's your home, business, workplace, mall, whatever.
Forty-five years of his 50
years has been inside. And the fact that we breathe 2000 gallons of air per
day, that's the equivalent of what was the number I had estimated? It's the
equivalent of over 703, 000 gallons of air per day. And that 45-year span, that's
32 million gallons.
So the question is, is indoors
important? Absolutely. As much as so as drinking pure clean water.
[00:09:50] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, Alan, let's pause here for just a moment,
because big picture-wise, you have painted quite openly a very scary picture of
what's going on out there. But at the same time, for most of us, it's
invisible. What's going on? We don't know what to look for. The signs are
everywhere, but if you don't know what to look for, they're gonna be a blind
spot for you.
It's like a skeleton in the
closet that we spoke about in your last episode with us. When you're selling a
business, this is a different kind of skeleton in the closet. So when you have
an unhealthy building, when you have a sick building that's making the employee
sick, even making the business owners who are listening to this podcast sick,
and we don't realize it, we're just chalking it up to other things.
What are some of the health
symptoms that we're seeing? And maybe you can take us from on the lighter side
to the very serious side of the kinds of health conditions that result from
breathing in toxic air and being in a building that just isn't healthy.
[00:10:45] Alan Wozniak: And great question. I think the underlying crux of the situation
like Covid. Covid was found to be an airborne virus and initially, CDC would
claim it's a surface thing, clean your touching spots, and so forth. But we
realized that as an environmental consulting firm, that no, no that was wrong
because we knew the virus molecularly was 0.03 minus micron level microscopic,
and it stays suspended in the atmosphere. We, as mechanical designing engineers
designed HVAC systems to change the year four to 10 times an hour, depending on
the building type and condition. So you can imagine that that microscopic
particulate now just call it a virus, but it could be dust, mold, bacteria,
pathogens, endotoxin, micro toxin.
They're all microscopic, and so
they're all floating in the air. But they're, they are moving throughout the
ventilation system at a rapid pace. In 15 minutes, the air and your room will
have changed entirely. You don't see it, but it entirely changes. So whatever
pathogen that is, it's causing the recirculation, some of the symptomology I
mean, when you sneeze, wheeze, cough, you typically have breathed and air a
foreign allergen. And that foreign allergen could be numerous of things from
dust to dust might to fibers and fiberglass fibers to mold, bacteria,
endotoxin, micro toxin, legionella, numerous of things that your body is
reacting to that.
And we all have sneeze. So we
know that's that mechanism that creates the understanding that, hey, I breathe
something bad not so good. I'm gonna try to react to it. So the symptoms can be
from headache to my eyes, to a lethargic to upper respiratory irritation to
asthma, emphysema, it covers the whole wide range of variable symptoms. A
doctor who's a friend of mine, he's a Thoracic heart surgeon, he realized after
3000 heart surgeries that he was treating the symptom and not the cause. And
that's what happens in buildings. We treat many and not pure air. The company I
used to work with that I build, but we treat many companies, treat symptoms.
And the example, we had a
building, a university dormitory may have shared the story with you before, but
quickly, the story was such that they called us in, they had a condition, a
microbial condition in their dormitories. And they called us out. We studied
the building and we found out what the problem was.
And the symptom was the
visual mold on the walls, and books and chairs, and desks. That's the symptom.
But that didn't cause the problem, so we had to identify the cause. And the
cause was a super negative pressurized building. The building basically sucked
for all intents and purposes.
And that's what caused partly
the mold condition, but also in addition to that, the ventilation system had
become, was not maintained well at all, and there was heavy microbial
contamination to the point where the face of the coil was 50, 60, 70, 80%
clogged, meaning that no air was passing through it.
So the microbial conditions,
the humidity conditions were exacerbating. So those were the two fixes. And the
university clients said yeah, that makes sense, we just bought these 1000 air
purifiers. We're just gonna put those, we're gonna clean the walls ourselves,
and we're gonna put these air purifiers in.
Hopefully, it's gonna go away.
I told myself quite frankly, it's not, but you do what you need to do. But
we're not suggesting that we're suggesting you fix the problem and not cover it
with a bandaid, which in this case, I would consider that a hemorrhaging
condition. And you're putting a bandaid on it.
[00:14:37] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Alan, So, I suppose that part of the issue
here is for us as a business owner, I mean what you're talking about is really
out of sight, out of mind. The HVAC system is probably locked away somewhere.
Maybe we haven't even been there for years, so we have no idea what's going on.
And even if we did visit that room, we probably don't know what we should be
looking for unless it's something blatantly obvious. Would you agree with that?
[00:15:03] Alan Wozniak: Oh, absolutely. It's not a side of mind. It's so, you know, again,
it's like a heart and a doctor as Thoracic heart surgeon, he doesn't see the
heart. We don't see the air. The air handling system is in the bowels of the
building. So nobody really understands it or sees it other than the mechanical
guy who on occasion visits the system.
To their credit, they do the
best they can under the conditions that they're given. And they can't make
miracles out of, they may need 10 people working for them and, but they got one
or two guys and they're basically a glorified fire station just putting out
It's the best they can do. You
know filter change is a secondary mode of upper ending.
[00:15:43] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. So let me ask you this. So I, as a business
owner with my building, or even at my employees at their homes, because again,
post-pandemic remote work is increasingly popular, it's here to say it's not
going away. Would there be some questions that I should be asking myself, my
employees, hey, can you tell me are you feeling this or that? And if that is
the case, what would that be?
[00:16:08] Alan Wozniak: Yeah the basic questions would be, are there cold spots? Are there
hot spots? Is the humidity and temperature being monitored routinely? Do members
of the staff or families suffer from allergies? Are the allergies exacerbated
while in the building or at home? And what kind of symptomology are they
Is it upper respiratory? Is it
asthmatic? What is the symptom that they've been experiencing while at work?
Typically if 10 to 15% have similar symptoms, they say you have a call it a
hundred employees and if 10 have similar symptoms, there's a good chance just
from a superficial perspective, that there could be a problem.
That doesn't mean there's a
problem. No. But there could be. And that's why the diagnosis, like a
doctor-patient relationship, that's why there's a high correlation there as
well as our businesses. There's a high correlation of the diagnosis,
understanding the person metabolically health-wise, and understanding the
building from a building health point of view.
And those are critical
components because they once, if you don't understand them, you just can't put
in, let, put in an air purifier that was the problem with covid. Billions of
dollars were spent, but they were spent on a product-centric mechanism, meaning
well buy an air purifier and the air purifier should clean it.
If you have a hemorrhaging home
or hemorrhaging building, it's not gonna solve the problem. And that's a high,
high percentage of buildings and homes that suffer today. I'm not saying don't
put in air purifiers. Absolutely. They're great, but you can't put that bandaid
on a hemorrhaging condition and expect results.
[00:17:54] Jeffrey Feldberg: And let me ask you this, it's not necessarily
your area per se, but you've probably come across it in terms of actual costs
to businesses of people being sick, employees missing work. Perhaps the health
plan is now in overdrive trying to pay for prescriptions and doctor visits. Any
sense of what this is costing us?
[00:18:16] Alan Wozniak: Absolutely. In fact, Harvard and EPA have done studies amongst many
others and the cost of a business is, it costs about $200 a square foot. That's
the cost of a person. The people cost. So if you have, for example, a 50,000
square foot building, if you take times 200, that's a 10 million payroll that
you have for that business, and the quick equation, rough numbers if you can
improve and we can, it can be shown if you can improve 10% by-product,
improving productivity through improved into our quality and the fact that it's
showing that you care for the pay the employee's health is that you're talking
a million dollars bottom line affecting that business and the profitability.
[00:19:08] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. That's staggering.
[00:19:09] Alan Wozniak: You take that, times the breadth of the businesses out there. I'm
like, gosh it's an amazing number. And those are hard facts. They're actual
data-driven information. I'm not sure the relativity correlation for homes, but
the homes would be very typical.
If you can reduce doctor
visits. If you have a child who has asthma and they're missing, 10%, 15% of
school because their asthma episodes are increasing while they're at home or at
school that is causing a learning disability or an ability to learn due to the
fact that they're having to go to the doctor missing school and so on and so
forth. And you see the rampant amount of some kid is sick at school and that
kid gives it to this kid and this kid gives it to their parents and their kids,
and all of a sudden you've got a massive amount. So understanding the indoor
quality is really a critical condition today with Covid and without covid. It's
a critical component.
[00:20:04] Jeffrey Feldberg: So you've outlined the cost, you've outlined some
of the symptoms, and obviously we can take a look at that as a business and go
into that area, but clearly this is not our area of expertise as a business
owner. So what do we do? Because we shouldn't be going through this on our own.
How do we get help and what are the questions that we should be asking?
[00:20:26] Alan Wozniak: The best way to get help is through a building scientist group. They
typically will study buildings like a doctor would, a patient, and they're
gonna go through a series of questions through where the business owner,
understanding the building, the age, the height condition, the any prior
events, water events, or otherwise.
How is the HVAC system
operating? What's the data on the mechanical systems? If the building, if the
HVAC system is a building lungs that needs to be studied, you have to go in and
traverse the duct work, the air handlers. Take samples, evaluate them, find out
what the baseline conditions are, monitor the indoor quality for allergens, for
conditions, VOCs, temperature, humidity, PM 1, PM 2.5, PM 10 all range of
things to understand the baseline conditions. Again, I go back to the health
side of a patient, doctor. Patient is, he's gonna take a blood sample here, or
she, and he's gonna tell you, you are low or above the baseline condition based
on your metabolic health and based on your glucose levels, your HDLs, your
LDLs, your triglycerides, et etcetera, et cetera.
And you're in good health or
you're not in good health and here's why. And that's what a good building
practitioner will do for a building owner is tell them where they are, where
there need to be, and how they need to get their prescriptive point of view.
Not just, Oh, here, I own an air purifier here, try do this and this will make
That would be considered
malpractice in the medical community.
[00:22:05] Jeffrey Feldberg: Got it. Okay. And Alan, outside of your company,
which you sold, but is out there doing some tremendous things, and we'll put
some links there in the show notes. The listeners can always call there if they
want to have someone come and do an inspection. Generally speaking though, what
would be some of the questions that we should be asking to make sure that we
have the right kind of building inspector who has the experience, the systems,
and the know-how to get things done?
[00:22:32] Alan Wozniak: Jeffrey. Great question. And like you would if one was going into
surgery and you had to have surgery, some minor or major, you typically are
gonna get two or three opinions. That would be my recommendation. And the same
thing. And you would check the background of that doctor, make sure he's not,
some third-world physician that he's just starting practice tomorrow and he
would love to perform surgery on you.
You wanna make sure that doctor
has a great background and has experience, has a lot of success. And the same
thing you would want to do with the building practitioner, building consultant
is check their backgrounds. How long have they been in business? How many
projects have they done?
What's the square feet? How
many buildings have they studied? What have been the results of their studies,
not necessarily the reports of the study? So that wouldn't be a bad idea,
redacted, but find out what do they typically recommend or some of the
conditions and what's the follow-up.
If I have a problem and you
have a solution, what is your typical follow-up to make sure that you are
making, you are keeping my building from a healthy point that I don't run into
the same problem next year or the year after that? And so yeah. So heres of
questions asking, the credentials, are they certified consultants in the indoor
environmental, there are a number of certified consultant Conditions. Are they
HVAC licensed? Because if you're not HVAC licensed, typically you can't even
get into the ventilation system. So if I was a PE for example of a professional
engineer, I wouldn't necessarily be able to, and I'm doing indoor quality
studies on the side, I wouldn't necessarily be able to evaluate your
Cause they, I don't, may not
know. That could be a structural engineer, I don't know, HVAC systems, and I'm
not licensed to do that. So you have to have HVAC licenses, you have to have
licenses for certifications, and some states certifications to test for things
such as allergens, molds, bacteria, and then the lab that you use.
I've seen such hack jobs in the
past that you want to use an accredited laboratory.
This industry today, as it has
been in many, many years, really isn't heavily reviewed by the federal
government. There's no standardization at this point, unfortunately. So you
could have, you could be setting your samples into, you know, bombs.
Garage lab and the analysis could
be done in a very haphazard way versus, say, an accredited lab that has to go
through weeks of credentialing and heavy expenses to really make sure that the
staff is credentialed, the equipment's credentialed. The lab itself has the
They're maintaining their
temperature, humidity, and their incubators their microscope, their equipment.
They would should be what's called ISO 17025 credentialed. That's their
equipment standardization to make sure they're all calibrated effectively. You
know, you would like well doing an air sample is an air sample, but if you set
it to some whack lab, then you're junk in, junk out.
[00:25:31] Jeffrey Feldberg: Isn't that amazing? Here we could be doing the
right thing, asking the right questions, picking an inspector for the health of
the building who comes in and does everything. And unbeknownst to us, they're
sending it to a lab that really isn't qualified or set up to do the proper
types of analysis and testing.
[00:25:50] Alan Wozniak: Absolutely. There's a lot of that out there. And you wouldn't send
your blood sample to a nonaccredited pathology lab. That would be unheard of,
so that would be the same thing with an environmental sample you wouldn't want
to send, and that would be illegal.
But in the case of indoor
equality, you have to ask the question because there's not a standardization,
federal standardization that says you have to send it to an accredited lab. So
you could be a quack lab outta your garage making you know money, but you're
not really providing good quality, definitive science, you know, behind it.
[00:26:27] Jeffrey Feldberg: And one of the things I'm hearing is when we're
looking at a lab and we're asking someone who we're gonna bring on board to
look at our building or our home, hey, can you tell me about the lab? Are they
accredited? And if they are, who are they accredited with? We've gotta go down
to that level of detail to make sure that we're covering all the bases.
[00:26:46] Alan Wozniak: That is correct. Yeah. There's a number of accreditations such as a
two LA, American Industrial Hygiene Association. There's CDC Elite, which is
for accreditation for Legionella laboratory specifically. There's New York
State Lab accreditation for Legionella. So there's a number of accreditations
that are very critical to make sure that the components, that one, that they
are addressing the indoor quality in a positive way.
In a quick example, we studied
a 2 million square foot building this past year, and we did the baseline study
and the ventilation assessment, and we and the building hadn't been re-occupied
yet, but they were getting the process. So one of the suggestions through their
industrial hygiene in our industrial hygiene department was, Let's study.
The water's been sitting there.
The building's been sitting there for a year or two, let's just to roll it out.
Let's study the water to make sure that we don't have any portable water issues
and specifically legionella, cuz that's where typically Legionella is in. So we
did water sampling, hundreds of water samples, and it came back that 10% of the
samples, plus or minus, came back positive.
But we circumvented a potential
catastrophic, Can you imagine a 2 million square foot building being fully
reoccupied and then all of a sudden legionella outbreak occurs? So doing, being
proactive in studying the water before re-occupancy was really critical. And it
saved them potentially tens, hundreds of millions of dollars by doing and they
all they had to simply do is shock the water, purge it, clean it, do it again.
And we went back, retested it,
know, weeks later and it was fine.
[00:28:28] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, a disaster in the making that was avoided by
asking the right questions, having a professional like yourself on the scene.
Now I imagine Allan, if I'm a listener, I'm saying, You know what? If I owned
my own building, sure I could ask those questions, bring the right people in,
but I don't, I'm leasing. So in that instance, have you had situations where
tenants have approached your company or approached you and said, hey, how can I
speak to my landlord in a way that's gonna be intelligible?
I'm not gonna be offending
anyone, but I can make sure that we're working in a safe environment.
[00:29:05] Alan Wozniak: Yeah, that's a great question. That's a big issue with
landlord-tenant relationships and we have found that the responsibility
typically falls on the shoulders of the tenant. And it depends on the triple
net lease kind of thing that they the tenant-landlord relationship is on the
contract, but for the most part, they're responsible for the indoor air, not
So if now with exception if
there's a roof leak, And the roof really causes damage to the interior of the
building the offices then obviously that the landlord would have to be
responsible even with the HVAC system tends to lie on the side of the tenant
oftentimes. So you know, they can't fall back and say well, it's the landlord
Sometimes it is, and oftentimes
it's not. So the bottom line is if you own that, if you have a 50,000 square
foot building and you're leasing, your paying the $10 million payroll, that
million dollar potential savings is yours, not the landlord's. It's yours. So,
you know, Paying attention to the indoor quality as a business is really a
sensible way of approaching it, let say hey, regardless of my relationship, if
I own the building or not, I need to know that I've got good indoor quality.
And oftentimes buildings have
good indoor quality, but they just don't know it. So if you can study the
building and get a clean bill of health and get a some kind of recognition for
that's something you wanna share with your employees. Hey, we had the building
studied, the air quality's great, and we're good.
And the same thing with being
able to monitor the building conditions. There's monitors that we would put in
buildings. We, in fact, we did this entire campuses, we put monitors in every
building and we monitored the conditions, all cloud-based monitoring. So we
were literally and literally had, could be hundreds of miles away monitoring
the building health of buildings from temperature, humidity, cO2, PM 1, PM 2.5,
PM 10 from Meeh dewpoint all simultaneously. And in fact, we got to the point
where we were able to build into the program where there was say you had a
monitor, you went into the lobby of a certain building and there was a TV
We could actually have put the
aggregate of that particular building's sensors into the TV monitor that would
state that the building indoor quoting today is good. Whatever conditions. And
it would show the aggregate numbers. It would go down in the details into the
weeds, but it would give you an aggregate condition saying the building's
healthy. In essence. If it wasn't, then you know, you would know otherwise.
[00:31:44] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, you know, It's interesting, in business we
have key performance indicators, KPIs, and perhaps this is a KPI that we should
be having in our business because it's the health of our most valuable asset in
the business are people. And without our people, there's no profits, there's no
growth, there's no business.
So you know, why not have this
as a KPI? So let's go now from a little bit of the obtuse to the very specific.
So, Alan, I want you to imagine now that I've brought you into my building or
into my home, and you're gonna be doing an analysis of the overall health and
safety of the air quality. What are you doing exactly? How long does it take?
What does that look like? What's involved with that?
[00:32:27] Alan Wozniak: So typically when we do a building assessment, we're going to it, it
could be anywhere from hours to days. The 2 million square foot was probably
entire month full-time with half a dozen people. But typically what we would
call a building health check or a baseline study, it typically would range in
the day to maybe two days.
Typically what we would look
for, we would assess that your temperature, humidity conditions, your surrogate
data, co2 we would look at your particle counts, your PM ones, your PM two
point fives, your PM tens, and VOCs. We would also look at things like your
biological load, your microbial, load fungal bacteria.
We would, we might, depending
upon the conditions, we might look at the allergen load, meaning the dust might
content the cockroach allergen, cuz these are allergens that cause allergic
reactions in those who are immunocompromised. So understanding a lot of the
details is really critical cuz if you did, if you just did one or two samples
in types, you very well could be missing out.
On the true problem if there
were one in a building. I got a number of examples I could share with you. But
those are the kinds of things. And then ventilation, the building
pressurization, the ventilation, cleanliness, how clean is clean. We know by
studying, thousands and thousands of buildings, we know what a healthy building
What a healthy building
condition is like a doctor would on a blood sample, he can immediately tell,
Okay, here. Way off, or you're right on target. And that's the same thing we
can do with buildings today, with the science that we have today. But it has to
you can't just take a sample and say a surrogate sample and say Well, you're,
you know, everything looks good.
Until you get into the bowels
of building, you're not gonna know that. And that practitioner really needs to
be able to effectively assess those conditions to make those kinds of
decisions. Otherwise, you're really not going to give the client the data that
they need to make effective prescriptive decisions.
[00:34:28] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Alan, it sounds like from what you're saying,
it's that old saying, Garbage in, garbage out. So in my mind, I may be saying to
myself we change the air filters all the time. We're on top of that and we keep
the building clean. But unbeknownst to me, maybe in one of the vents, there's
some hidden mold or other kinds of things.
All the air cleaners in the
world, all the air filters in the world aren't gonna help in a situation like
that. Would I be correct with that? It's what I don't see. It's what I don't
know. That's where the danger is.
[00:34:59] Alan Wozniak: Absolutely. What you don't see can hurt you and that is true with ventilation
systems. If they are dirty. And unfortunately many are again, we've diagnosed
these we've gone in and accessed them and cut into the bowels of these
buildings. And many of them are not clean.
Many of them are, but you don't
know that until you diagnose it and you can't put in systems in place such as
let's call it UV light or these are the most common things today that people
just randomly install because they might be cheap or they're, quick.
If you have a ventilation
system that's nasty and you put in an air handling system, that's grow, you
know, still lactate are growing from the air handler and the coil that's 50%
found. Putting in UV light in an air handling system and putting an ionization
in an air handling system are totally of waste.
Because you haven't fixed the
problem. It's like taking aspirin for cancer. It may make you feel better for
an hour, but it's not gonna get rid of the problem. You have to diagnose what
the conditions are in order to effectively mitigate them in a way that is all
it's done. It's not well, we're you don't wanna guess at this.
It's like science and medicine.
You don't want guess at medicine. You wanna know, as a patient, you wanna know,
hey doc, what's wrong with me? How do I get better and what's my path to get
there? And that's the same thing with buildings that a lot of times I've seen
reports that are just churchly terrible.
And they're just not on any,
you know, trajectory of a positive outcome. It's an accident wait to happen.
It's that, it's a university kind of setting. Most companies would've gone in
and said, hey, just clean all and you're good. And six months later, boom, it
comes back with a vengeance.
And that's what happened. Often
and all the time.
[00:36:44] Jeffrey Feldberg: And so really what I'm hearing is these, I'll
call 'em these add-ons that you can put in and even outside of the ventilation
system in the office space itself if I put in these air purifiers or these air
filter, It sounds like it's a bandaid that probably doesn't even work as a
bandaid in the first place, that you really gotta get to the root cause.
And if we think of a building
like a body, it sounds like the vents and the whole ventilation system, that's
like the veins in the body carrying the blood and everything else. And if we
got a problem in the veins, if there's a blockage somewhere in the body, that's
gonna be an issue. If there's a contamination in the venting system of a
building, that's gonna be an issue.
And whatever you put after the
fact isn't gonna be able to cope, particularly when you have mold or either
just deadly and very dangerous kinds of substances. And Alan, to put you on the
spot for a moment, back of the envelope, or maybe you have the numbers. If you
were to visit a hundred buildings and you had no idea, was it healthy, was it
But coming out of an inspection
of a hundred buildings, how many of those buildings had serious health issues?
[00:37:51] Alan Wozniak: Great question. I would say based on our data, and again this, it's
not a hundred billions, but 19,000 buildings it have to be in the 70% range.
Not necessarily unhealthy, but very borderline. Some are very unhealthy to the
point of they should be out. We never closed the building down because there
are ways to effectively mitigate problems in buildings.
Cause once you close the
building down and that's happened, we've been in, involved with projects that
were closed, that we were involved with not us being the consultant, but
others. And quite frankly the psychological impact is tremendous. That how do
you know that building is healthy today?
You close the building down for
six months and you bring people back in the building. What's the first question
you're gonna ask? How do we know the building's healthy? It was closed due to a
poor health. So what did you differently? And how can you prove that it is in
So yeah it's critical.
[00:38:44] Jeffrey Feldberg: So the confidence of the people gets rattled or
not quite sure. Should I go back or not? But let's take a step back for a
second and for the listeners, did you hear that out of 19,000 buildings, you're
not talking 19 buildings, we're talking 19,000 buildings, Alan, you're saying
that 70% either had serious issues or were borderline about to become serious.
That is staggering.
[00:39:07] Alan Wozniak: It's a large number, unfortunately. And the result, why is that? Is
the question. Primarily we've gone through 20-year deferred maintenance.
Facility managers are not given the budgets to effectively manage their.
Buildings. Cut costs the first thing to go in a budget-cutting economic
When you have a downturn in the
economy, the first thing when budgets start getting cut will cut maintenance.
I've been involved with cities that have, that have a hundred buildings, 200
buildings, and they've got a staff of two or three for plumbing, the
electrical, and the H V A C.
The best that they can do is, I
call them glorified fire Marshalls. Cause all they're doing is they're putting
out fires. Mrs. Smith calls my temperature's too hot. I got a water leak, I got
a roof leak, I got this heat, I got this. And they can even change filters, let
alone, deal with a proactive program.
That's what we, these buildings
need to be involved with is a proactive building assessment and maintaining.
Once you understand the health of the building is good, then maintain that
health. It's like our, you go through a you say the doctor of AIA had a heart
He's not going to suggest, go
back to your normal. Activities of being a, a couch potato and eating bad
foods, and not exercising. He's gonna tell you, No, you need to do this. I need
to monitor you. And the same thing with buildings. Once you have a building
that's healthy, keep it that way by managing it and monitoring it and
educating, we would literally have, we would present information to hundreds of
janitorial staff of school districts, of county government buildings because
they're in the trenches.
They see this stuff, they're
the ones not necessarily causing it in a indiscriminate way, but they're, they
could be part of the solution or part of the problem. Now, part of the problem
could be they're vacuuming the carpets all day long. They're using non-hepa
filtered vacuum cleaners.
It's interesting, we've
measured the particulate from vacuum cleaners, they look, you know, you could
have two set side by side and they both look powerful. They both look pretty
good, pretty healthy, pretty sturdy. And one could be spewing out 80,000
particles, whatever's in the carpet.
They're just throwing right
back in the air, 80,000 particles. The other one's 25, it's 99% more efficient.
They look the same. So are you using the right housekeeping protocols? Are the
chemicals you're using nontoxic? Now, that's another huge issue. The VOC is
off-gassing from all these chemicals, these gas gazillions of gallons of
chemicals are being used in buildings.
What's a toxicity level of the
chemicals that are being used? And are they safe for the indoor environment?
The general housekeeping, the filter changes. The issues with regard to
maintenance of the building. What are the protocols? How are the protocols
Are they being thorough? Who's
watching them? Who's managing that effort? I equate a lot of an example to, say
you had a lawn guy for your lawn and you said, hey, I want the grass cut. But
your idea is you want the grass cut and you want the weeds trimmed and you want
the bushes trimmed and you want, other things done.
But you say I want my grass.
But in your mind, you're thinking, It's the grass. That's all part of the whole
thing. I want the grass and the sidewalk trimmed and so forth. He goes out and
he gets hired. He cuts the grass, and you look back and why didn't you trim the
bushes? And why didn't you trim the sidewalk?
And why did you know you are
not specific? If you don't have a process and specific way of doing things, how
do you know? How can you prove the success of what they're being that's being
done? So that's one thing we would do is look at what is your process. How is
it being enacted? Is it effective enough?
What's the effectiveness of
your vacuum cleaners? Are you using harsh chemicals? Are they healthy
chemicals? How are you scrubbing the you know, we've seen literally propane
tanks being used in buildings, hallways to scrub. These were not necessarily
approved processes, but to set, to speed up the process instead of using
electric brushes on the carpets or hard floors, GBT tile, they would use
propane gas, you know, powered machines, just, and the carbon dioxide level
would just go crazy,
[00:43:30] Jeffrey Feldberg: So it's a whole ecosystem really, is not just the
HVAC system per se. It then goes into cleaning protocols and really it goes
back to the kind of company that you're bringing on board. Who knows this that
can help through education and having the experience with this. And so here's
what I'm getting from you Alan, I mean, The not great news is 70% of buildings,
give or take, and you've done this for 19,000 plus buildings, likely have an
air quality issue that's affecting the health of the employees and people who
are in the building. But the good news is if there is an issue, what I'm
hearing from you is more times than not, the building does not have to be shut
You don't have to create fear
and panic with people. You can deal with the issue behind the scenes. And I
suppose this is where out of sight, out of mind is a good thing because no
one's the worst for it and you could fix the problem and things are terrific on
a go-forward basis, you've got to the root cause.
You now have systems in place
to make sure that the building is kept healthy. Am I correct with that?
[00:44:34] Alan Wozniak: Absolutely. Yeah. There are a lot of things that can be done. From a
building identification that can identify those conditions of the indoor
quality and that are, that can be managed in effective way. And again, like I
said, a lot of times there minor things. We had a client that had an endotoxin,
which is a bacterial metabol as a result of a water event years ago.
They had done mold surveys and
the mold surveys came back negative. It was minimal. We went out as a
consultant and we did our study and we said, wait a minute, time out, you have
a negative toxin issue that's now exacerbate in this college of nursing in this
building. And there were many symptoms.
The same issues were a lot of
students were getting sick. So we said, Here's what you need to do to fix it.
And one of which was, I told you about the vacuum cleaner. The endotoxins were
in the carpets that were being airborne because of the release from the vacuum
cleaners. Simple, basic thing.
But nobody knew about it. And
the molds weren't there. The bacterias weren't there in any abundance. But the
metablets of those were. So understanding those kinds of minutia conditions are
really critical to really, you're a sleuth, You're really getting into the
battles of the building to understand why is this building doing what it's
doing and is there a cause-effect, relationship you know, it's the heart
patient kind of thing. The heart didn't just go bad. Typically it's because of
lack of exercise, poor eating habits, couch potato, just, number of other
things that is causing a bad metabolic health. In fact, Dr. Evati would tell
you that 88% of people are metabolically unhealthy.
We say, 67% of buildings are
not metabolically unhealthy, but that are potentially unhealthy only because
they're not being maintained in an effective way due to oftentimes that
deferred maintenance issue that happens across the country. And I'm talking not
just homes, but businesses to universities, to colleges to hospitals.
Hospitals have been some of the
most horrendous conditions. Once you look at the hospital and you go in the
hallways and they're like, Oh my God, this is clean as clean. You can eat off
the floors. You go back in the bowels of the building, it's Oh my gosh, this is
We've seen some just horror
stories, conditions that even to the point where in some hospitals when the
surgeons found out that we were cleaning ventilation systems as a result of
high infection rates that were occurring in the hospital.
infections that they would tell facilities, Look, I won't perform surgery
unless the company who you're working with, in that case, was pure control
services, had cleaned the ventilation system because the ventilation systems
were very unclean.
From an offering suite point of
view, the OR suite, you think, okay, this is pretty good, but you start
traversing the ventilation system and you found, oh my gosh, this is not good.
In fact, a JCO report, a joint
commission study, if they went into those facilities, they would shut buildings
down, hospitals down. That's why I'm very skeptical cuz we've been in hundreds
of thousands of these things that, I want know what is the credentials of the
What's the credentials of the
building? How healthy is it building?
[00:47:55] Jeffrey Feldberg: Sure. And you know, We don't talk about this in
business in general, and we'll briefly touch upon this and then Alan, we're
gonna need to start wrapping up as we start to bump up against some time here.
You know, unintended consequences I mean, a horrific thing that could happen
for a business owner.
You own the building or you're
leasing, but you're still responsible, is down the road. People get sick,
fatalities happen, and then they come back and they realize that it was the air
quality. That's a liability that's on your hands. Or what if you're having a
liquidity event and a future buyer listens to this podcast, or they just know
They test the air quality, they
test the building, and they say, You know what? Wanted to buy your business,
but having your employees breathing and effectively living 8,10 hours a day in
a toxic building. We don't want that kind of liability. We don't want a future
lawsuit or a class action suit because you didn't take care of business.
Forget a liquidity event in
this instance. Really get your air quality in order so that you do have a
business that everyone is healthy, that they can be running at their optimum. I
mean, we didn't even go down the rabbit hole of if you have the sniffles or if
you have allergies or you're getting sick all the time, what does it do to your
While the listeners can only
guess how bad that is on a day in day basis.
[00:49:14] Alan Wozniak: Yeah, today you really should prove. That you have good indoor
quality. You know, in the liquidity event, we've done studies in real estate
investment transactions where the entire building is being bought and sold, and
the new owners want to know, am I buying a bad building, multi-building?
Because that can, A have to
have it studied afterward and have to correct the deficiencies if there are any
isn't, could be in the millions of dollars. So they want to know, do you have a
healthy building? And we've done a lot of due diligence studies for owners and
real estate transactions that studied.
We studied the entire
buildings, hundreds of millions of square feet that. Would identify, what is
the condition of the building and if there are deficiencies, here they are. And
here, and then you can use it as a negotiation tool. You had to, to say it's
like a having a building inspection.
This is going into more depth
air, a healthy building inspection to make sure that the air quality conditions
are, have been maintained and are kept. Cuz if I bring people in, they get
sick. Guess what? They're gonna sue the building owner.
[00:50:21] Jeffrey Feldberg: Absolutely. And just before we start going into
wrap-up mode here I can just imagine you test the air quality and now you
display that to existing employees, to future employees that you're
interviewing in a liquidity event to your suppliers, to your clients. What a
way to stand out from the crowd and if down the road employees are leaving you
or you don't hire somebody, you better believe that wherever they go for the
next job, they're probably gonna be asking, hey how's the air quality here?
And they'll always think of you
as the business that cares about its people. What better way to put your,
literally your money where your mouth is of, hey, yes, we have a medical plan
for you. Yes, we care about you, but really look at this where you work in the
building, we've gone to the minutia and the air quality gets a gold star.
We are a safe place to work.
[00:51:14] Alan Wozniak: Yeah, that, that's a great point because people today post-Covid
more so than any other time, they want to know, am I working in a safe
environment? And not just not, what is the help of the building, and so if you
can walk into a building and see a monitor that says, hey, the building air is
That's all I need to know. I
don't want to, you know, but if half the staff is coughing, wheezing, and
sneezing, I'm gonna start asking questions. Wait a minute. Why is everybody
having these allergic symptoms while in this building? Is there a problem? So
you have to, the being proactive, really, Yes, there's a cost to it, but it's
inconsequential to the value that you receive.
Especially that example, the
$200 a square foot, the 50,000 worth of billion to 10 million annualized
budget, and the 10% savings, million dollar savings, that is huge. And it
affects the bottom line to the business. And it doesn't matter what the size
is. You could have a 2 million square foot building, a two 5 million square
foot building, a 10,000 square foot building.
It's all relative. It's all the
[00:52:18] Jeffrey Feldberg: And if you're looking for that ROI, you're having
a liquidity event, you wanna bump up your profits, look no further than what
we're talking about with Alan with something you probably never would've
thought of the health of the building through the air quality. So Alan, as we
begin to wrap this up, and again, we could have gone into so many different
directions, but you've given some terrific insights.
The questions to ask what we
should be thinking about and a much smaller level for our own personal homes,
what we should be doing. You're no stranger to this last question as we wrap it
up. It's a tradition here. Every guest, whether they've been on once or a few
times like yourself, that we ask this question.
So we're gonna stay with a
tradition and it's that thought experiment of the movie Back to the Future,
where you have that magical DeLorean car. You're gonna get a second kick at
that can here, Alan. And it's okay if you give the same answer or maybe we'll
give a different answer. Let's see. You're gonna keep us in suspense for the
next few moments, but that DeLorean car can take you to any point in time.
So as tomorrow morning, you
look outside your window and there it is a DeLorean car. It's waiting for you.
The door is open for you to hop on in. You can go to any point in your life.
Alan, as a young child or a teenager, an adult, what are you telling your
younger self, Alan, in terms of life lessons or wisdom or, Hey Alan, do this
but don't do that?
What does that sound like for
[00:53:35] Alan Wozniak: Yeah. Again, another great question, Jeffrey. I believe the last
time I shared with you was probably, you know, maintaining your education.
Don't sidestep that because that's a critical component. But growing up I
always had a strong belief in myself. I would bet on myself. I did lawn
services, I did paper. Routes.
I did construction jobs. You
know this, I'm talking, young 8, 9, 10 years old did lemonade stands, all that
stuff that I knew that at a young age that I wanted to do something different
and being an entrepreneur, showed that side of that story. In fact, a quick
antidote. One of my jobs was a gasoline attendant and I attended cars to pump
up gas. This is when they had full service. And I was anxious to have a job. I
was probably 13 years old and I wanted to make money and so I saw this
help-wanted sign. I was probably 13 and I think the age of to be an employee is
15 at the time.
So I find that number. He asked
me if I pumped gas and change oil. I said, Yeah, I've done that before. So I
said, Okay, you're hired. So I went through probably 10 cars and everything was
perfect. And the 11th car was a Corvette. The Corvette had a gas cap on the
back side of the car over on the top of the trunk.
And so I pumped the gas made
sure customer service wise. Corvette, a beautiful car, didn't touch the hose on
the car cuz I don't wanna scratch it and wanna make sure he felt good about
what I was doing. So he called the owner of the car, calls me over, and said,
hey son, check my oil in my car, so I, run over there, and checked his oil. By
the time I was checking the oil, I heard this cascading effect occurring in the
back of the car. Unfortunately, the gasoline was pouring out the back. The owner
of the car gets out, the owner of the gas comes running over, looks at me,
stares me, and right in the eye, and says, Alan, you're fired.
Get out here. And you use the
number of choice words. So I think what I realized then was I hated that. I had
to go home and tell my mom and dad I got fired. I felt bad. It was a terrible
experience. And at that point it set me my tone to say, hey, I don't want to
ever get fired, so therefore I need to really be, I need to own my own business.
So I can't, I could fire
myself, I guess, but the chances of me getting fired are gonna be less than if
I work with somebody and Albert Tru just getting fired even though I was doing
a good job. That's sort as a young boy taught me some lessons to get out there,
do your own, bid on yourself, and make sure that you always work hard and do
the best you can do.
[00:56:03] Jeffrey Feldberg: Love that, some terrific life wisdom and advice,
and go the extra mile and just be that difference out there. Never treats you
wrong, always puts you in the right direction. And Alan, one last question as
we wrap this up, and again, in the show notes, we'll have everything again for
the last episode. We have your LinkedIn profile, and we'll put that in there.
Again, if someone is interested
to have their building for the air quality to be looked at, where can they
turn? Who or what would you suggest that they could do?
[00:56:34] Alan Wozniak: A company who, again, I sold in, we should in the last episode, Part
one was, is Pure Air Control Services and they're a great company. Their
website is www.pureaircontrols.com. You can get all the information online there,
schedule a meeting, a free consultation, initial consultation with one of the
building consultants, and they'll walk you through that process.
Again, a great company. I
helped build a tremendous organization, really the best in the business. And we
were a pioneer 30 years ago. We pioneered this industry, making it the best
today. So I'd encourage you to call them. They work nationally, they have
national accounts and they can help in any facet, whether it's building
sciences, the lab side, the mitigation, et cetera.
And they can assist a business
owner and or, my number, I'm sure will be there as well. Call me up and I'll
direct them to the right person.
[00:57:34] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, again, we'll put that in the show notes.
It'll be a point-and-click. And what I really have enjoyed about this episode,
Alan, is we're taking, and pun intended, we're taking Deep Wealth both from the
business level and the personal level. And we're really extracting it from this
You're looking after yourself because
again, your health is your Wealth. You're looking after your business. And that
$200 a square foot, which could be a savings and bump up the ROI and the
profits, it's a win-win all the way around. It doesn't get any better than
that. And on that positive note, Alan, we're gonna wrap up this episode, and as
always, thank you for taking part of your day in spending it with us on the
Deep Wealth podcast.
And please say healthy and safe.
[00:58:13] Alan Wozniak: Thank you very much, Jeffrey. Have a great day.
[00:58:15] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.
[00:58:18] Lyn M.:
This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will
get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose
[00:58:28] Kam H.:
If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a
[00:58:33] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The
money was very well spent.
[00:58:39] Lyn M.:
Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some
respects, may be less prepared, not because of the course, but because the
course brought to light so many things that I thought we were on top of that we
need to fix.
[00:58:55] Kam H.:
I 100% believe there's never a great time for a business owner to allocate
extra hours into his or her week or day. So it's an investment that will yield
results today. I thought I will reap the benefit of this program in three to
five years down the road. But as soon as I stepped forward into the program, my
mind changed immediately.
[00:59:17] Sharon S.: There was so much value in the experience that the time I invested
paid back so much for the energy that was expended.
[00:59:27] Lyn M.:
The Deep Wealth Experience compared to other programs is the top. What we
learned is very practical. Sometimes you learn stuff that it's great to learn, but
you never use it. The stuff we learned from Deep Wealth Experience, I believe
it's going to benefit us a boatload.
[00:59:41] Kam H.:
I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before.
I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been
running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a
growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10%
what I know now, maybe close to 1% even.
[00:59:59] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And
we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other
mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats,
read books. This was so different. I haven't had an experience that's anything
close to this in all the years that we've been at this.
It's five-star, A-plus.
[01:00:26] Kam H.:
I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.
Deep Wealth is an accurate name
for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper
wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such
an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever.
[01:00:45] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?
www.deepwealth.com/success to learn more.
If you're not on my email
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Enjoy the interview!