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.

Description: 2-day seminar or full 4-day course  

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.

Objectives: 2-day seminar or full 4-day course

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

Who should attend: 2-day seminar or full 4-day course

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.

Program outline

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


John E. Bachynski, B.Sc. P.Eng., is Principal of EPM Consulting located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has over 30 years experience in the field of Mechanical Engineering, specializing in plant air quality, dust collection, transport, storage and dust explosion prevention. Since graduating from TUNS (B.Eng., Mechanical) in 1980 he has worked continuously in the testing, design, installation and commissioning of industrial dust collection and explosion prevention systems. His project experience includes dust and fume collection systems, dilute and dense phase pneumatic conveying systems in the rubber, cement, coal, steel, grain, foundry, salt, machining, wood pellets, pulp, paper and wood handling facilities. He continues his growing client base in Canada, United States, Mexico and Europe specializing in upgrading plants to prevent dust explosions and also designing, commissioning and testing for new facilities. Mr. Bachynski has published articles on dust related topics for Bulk and Powder magazine, been a technical presenter for the dust related topics for Powder and Bulk, Dalhousie University, College of Continuing Education, NFPA International Technology Conference and private industry. He was nominated for a Canadian design award 1982, and received the Nova Scotia Award for Energy Conservation, Large Industry Sector, 1988 for the installation of a 40TPD wood dust burning boiler.