New construction of a building is always a major financial investment and requires detailed planning. Numerous trades are involved in the new construction process and need to be coordinated properly. This means there are many questions that need to be answered; How is the building supposed to look from the outside? What design and style is followed inside? What appliances are going where? What kind of heating and ventilation system is installed? Very quickly the list can begin to feel endless and overwhelming. Just getting the construction permits can keep one person busy for days. Each trade has its own focus and codes or trade standards to follow. The future building owner is best advised to make all the necessary decisions during the planning phase to help create a low EMF Design in new construction and maintain a healthy indoor environment for their future residential or commercial building. The building materials and interior installations such as floor coverings and built-in cabinetry can have a direct impact on the indoor air quality. The design of the electrical system and placement of appliances and control panels will determine the future levels of EMF fields present in the building in the different areas. Consultation with an experienced EMF/RF professional can make creating a low EMF and RF environment really simple, if no major outdoor sources are present. One just needs to follow a well-designed plan, avoid sources for occupied and sleeping environments and verify that the proper installation of the electrical and communication system is performing to specifications. If outdoor sources are present, an assessment can identify the type and its levels. This can be done by conducting on-site spot measurements, grid patterns over the property lot or long-term monitoring of valuate maximum and average exposure levels. The main outdoor low frequency (let’s call it EMF) sources are power lines, substations and transformers. The main high frequency sources (let’s call it RF) are cellular antennas, radio and TV broad casting and adjacent Wi-Fi sources.
To create a low EMF/RF indoor environment, consider:
- THE POWER SUPPLY and certain point sources will always create higher fields in their proximity but the fields will drop with distance significantly. Thus the location of and the design of the power supply, such as the main service drop, the breaker panel(s) and main lines inside the building is pivotal. With respect to the incoming external power supply, the vicinity to power or local distribution lines and step down transformers is of importance. Further consideration needs to be given to the effect of recessed lighting, especially on the floor above. For the electric fields portion, a prudent choice of conduits or BX armored cables will eliminate electric fields from the electrical system of the building. After moving in, the electric fields from power/extension cords are eliminated through the use of shielded power and extension cords.
- THE COMMUNICATION / SECURITY & ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM: The communication and entertainment system is where the sources for indoor RF fields are. Routers and cordless phones are placed for convenience of use. Unfortunately, we frequently encounter unnecessary exposure in sensitive areas such as nurseries, bedrooms or work places. A good planning goes a long way and all indoor RF installations and sources can be located away from areas with long term exposure. Wireless is a wonderful invention but is not always the best solution, frequently hardwired computers or partially hardwired systems also perform better with larger amounts of data. Specifications for phone systems, internet routers, cordless phones and appliances can keep your indoor RF exposure at a necessary minimum and can even eliminate it in sensitive areas such as your work areas and bedrooms.
All of the above consideration are not part of the regular construction planning and therefore are mostly not taken into account. The experienced EMF/RF consultant will give input a will help you in communicating with the different trades involved. Frequently solutions are achieved through alteration and can actually be improvements for the future use. We can be the bridge between the individual trades and will assist keeping your goal for a low EMF/RF indoor environment in check during the planning process. We can help you create your Low EMF Design in New Construction and maintain a low EMF/RF environment. The recipe to a successful completion is following a systematic process in designing, executing and verifying the achievement of the design goals.
The steps for a low EMF/RF consultation and development of an installation plan consist of:
- Assessment of low and high frequency background levels present on the property
- Develop and design according to your benchmarks for sensitive areas
- Design systems, prudent placement and shielding concepts
- Retain a qualified electrician to verify proper electrical installation and grounding system
- Shielding implementation by qualified craftsmen
- Commission of the electrical and communication system
- Measurements to confirm compliance to your benchmarks
- Certification of the site or building