Indoor Air Quality

The first two days of Indoor Air Quality: Do you have a problem? serves as a manager's overview for those who want to attend a comprehensive stand alone seminar on the topic of IAQ but are not participating in a certificate program. Individuals are also welcome to register for the four day program even if they are not certificate program participants.

One of the most challenging issues facing today's Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) professional is Indoor Air Quality. It has been recognized for many years that communicable disease is more readily transmitted in indoor environments. More recently, we are beginning to appreciate the significance of chronic exposure to air pollutants that accumulate in indoor air. Standard methods for assessing the quality of indoor air and interpreting results are evolving from recognized institutions in Canada and abroad. It is only with a more complete understanding of the indoor environment, sources of contamination and associated illnesses that the EHS professional will begin to realize the most appropriate monitoring and control strategies.

Who should attend

This course is most valuable for those individuals that are responsible for making decisions for others regarding indoor air contaminant exposures. This would include company health and safety specialists, government officials, engineers, consultants, industrial hygienists, facility operators, building managers/owners, maintenance personnel/supervisors, environmental professionals, lawyers, and those individuals that perform indoor air quality (IAQ) evaluations.

What you will learn

The course will provide participants with an introduction to the indoor environment, various contaminants of concern and associated illnesses, investigation procedures, and interpretation methods. Various tools and approaches will be reviewed to introduce contemporary practices to the student so that they can apply this knowledge toward developing approaches for their own studies of IAQ. Knowledge gained from this course may also be harnessed in the evaluation of 3rd party studies completed in support of programs for which the participant may be responsible in their day-to-day work. By attending this program participants will gain an understanding of the following:

  • IAQ issues and there effects on the interior and exterior environment
  • HVAC methods for improved IAQ while achieving a low carbon footprint
  • Capital and operating costs affected by the level of IAQ
  • Relationship between the cost of employee sick time, productivity and the level of IAQ
  • The relationship between maintenance and IAQ

Course outline

Day 1 - registration/check-in will start at 8:00 a.m. with sessions to begin at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. Days 2-4 will commence at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. There will be 15 minute mid-morning and afternoon breaks. A light lunch is included.

Day 1

8:30 Registration
8:50 Welcome
9:00 Introduction

  • Facts about IAQ
  • Sick building or sick people
  • Overview of course objectives

9:15 Understanding the Indoor Environment in 2009

  • Basic principals of acceptable IAQ, ASHRAE, ACGIH.
  • Review and interpretation of applicable codes
  • Identifying systems of sick buildings
  • Baseline measurements for indoor air pollutant levels
  • Review of major IAQ pollution factors

10:15 Role of HVAC and IAQ

  • Function of HVAC systems
  • Building envelope affect on IAQ
  • Common problems with HVAC systems affecting IAQ

11:00 Description of HVAC Systems

  • General description of HVAC principals
  • Types of HVAC systems
  • Control of HVAC systems
  • Maintenance and inspection of your HVAC system

1:00 Case Study Examples of IAQ Problems and Methodology for Solution

  • Odor IAQ in a high school resulting in evacuation
  • Flue like symptoms in an office environment
  • Lethargic behavior and flue like symptoms in an office environment
  • Fraudulent Sick building syndrome claim
  • Legal implications for owners, operators and review of relevant recent IAQ lawsuit decisions
  • Expectations of health impacts resulting from long term exposure to undetected poor IAQ

3:00 Review of Day 1 Topics
3:30 Workshop Group Discussions on IAQ Problems and Action Plans for Identification and Resolution
4:30 Adjournment

Day 2

8:30 Investigation Processes

  • General overview
  • Inference and association
  • Symptoms to source or vice versa?
  • Designing and administering a simple questionnaire
  • Measurement and analysis
  • Interpretation of results

1:00 Stakeholder Communication

  • Importance of information and control
  • Perceived risk = actual risk
  • Stakeholders are experts too

3:30 Case Studies, Group Work and Discussions
4:30 Adjournment

Day 3

8:30 HVAC and Building Envelope Design Fundamentals

  • How to properly design a HVAC system
  • Effect of building envelope on IAQ
  • Interpretation and impact of minimum standards verses recommended engineering practices
  • HVAC design decisions and the effect on capital cost and operating costs
  • Environmentally friendly HVAC design for maximum impact on the interior air quality
  • Objects for high IAQ and low carbon foot print

1:00 IAQ and HVAC Systems: Effect on the Workplace

  • Health, productivity and excessive sick time costs and there effect from the IAQ quality
  • Economic effects of the HVAC design and the life cycle costs of the building and equipment
  • Effect of equipment maintenance on maintaining proper levels of IAQ

4:00 Group Discussion on Day 3 Topics

Day 4

8:30 Solving IAQ Problems from the Perspective of the Employees

  • Organizing JOSH committee with input from management
  • Initiating an action plan
  • Gathering a representative survey
  • Identifying external influences contributing to staff illness
  • Identify support services and organizations to assist with identifying and solving an IAQ problem

1:00 Solving IAQ Problems from the Perspective of the Employer

  • Methods for IAQ problem identification. Real or perceived
  • Responsibility matrix for solutions to IAQ problems
  • Legal responsibilities to take action
  • Financial impacts on IAQ correction program

2:30 Problem Solving IAQ Problems

  • Once an IAQ problem is verified, techniques for finding and controlling the source
  • Detailed review of testing equipment and methods
  • Techniques to identify potential pollutants based on symptoms
  • Audit programs to identify pollution sources
  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) interpretation and recommended controls from specific pollutants

4:00 Take Home Assignment (Certificate Program participants only)
Grade will be based on take home assignment and input from group discussion and workshop

4:15 Final Adjournment