ONALASKA — Allergy Associates of La Crosse is now treating allergies in an environment friendly to its patients.

The new Allergy Associates clinic just southeast of Franciscan Skemp’s Onalaska Clinic is about as allergen-free as any building, said Jeff Kessler, project manager for the clinic.

“This is the environment we wanted to provide our patients because many are sensitive to various allergens and materials,” Kessler said. “Many  patients have commented on the air quality.”

The 10,300-square-foot facility, which opened in January, has special paint and materials, concrete floors and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems with state-of-the-art air filtration.

Construction on the new building followed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, guidelines for improving indoor environmental quality, Kessler said.

A white-membrane reflective roof also saves on energy, he said. Flooring,  which can be a major source of allergens, is not carpeted in the clinic but instead is stained, latex-free concrete, which looks like rubber tile.

The building’s water never leaves the clinic lot and is collected in biofilter holding ponds, which allows the water to naturally filter into the earth, Kessler said.

“I think it’s actually easier to build a building this way,” Kessler said. “More and more buildings are going this route.”

All the work was done by local companies, with half of the materials manufactured within 500 miles of the La Crosse area, Kessler said. Moving from La Crosse to Onalaska cut commuting miles for employees by 21,000 miles a year, he said.

Allergy Associates of La Crosse specializes in sublingual immunotherapy treatment, commonly referred to as allergy drops. It had rented space from Franciscan Skemp in the Professional Arts Building since it opened 40 years ago.

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