A. Data Collection
1. Types of data to be collected
a. Environmental factors (temperature, humidity, pollutants, etc.)
Data that needs to be collected to measure the IEQ should include temperature, ventilation rate in the building, and air pollutants, i.e., VOC’s, carbon monoxide, and chemicals
b. Occupant feedback (surveys, interviews)
Survey occupants on perceived IEQ and general health of the building.
2. Data sources
a. Sensors and monitoring equipment
- Building Management Systems (BMS)
- This will provide a trend and track the temperature and humidity.
- Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Sensors
- The most common technique and also considered the most accurate is Gas Chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
- Carbon Dioxide Monitoring
- This helps to identify any poor areas of ventilation and can determine the amount of fresh air in a room.
- Carbon Monoxide Monitoring
- Short term measurements with a TSI Q-Trak Plus IAQ Monitor
b. Surveys and questionnaires
Research questions to be asked of occupants/tenants:
- Does an odor exist within the space?
- Do you experience electrical shock when you touch a metal object?
- Is your desktop wet to the touch, condensation on windows?
- At what temperature do you feel comfortable?
Research questions to ask the experts:
- Can plants help oxygenate/cleanse the air of particulates for a clean indoor environment?
- Should HVAC filters have a certain MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating?
- How much ventilation is needed to have a healthy indoor environment?
Research Method 1.
Speak with a governing body like ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers)
Research Method 2.
Speak with the local government to better understand the local regulations and requirements.
Research Method 3.
Speak with the facilities management staff of the building.
3. Sampling strategy
a. Random sampling of buildings/sites
An entire building will not be tested, instead random space(s) will be sampled. The baseline will be a minimum occupancy of six full-time employees that are in a space with no more than two (2) air handling units (AHU’s).
Select study area and Monitor location within the area.
Carbon Dioxide Sampling
Short term (1-minute) samples
Measurement of air temperature and relative humidity levels.
Carbon Monoxide Sampling
Short term (5-minute) samples
Physically Describe the building’s features, i.e. location, ventilation, physical structure.
b. Sample size calculation
Evaluation of the HVAC systems.
Short term sampling (5 minutes) for carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, temperature and relative humidity levels to be taken at five locations in the building and outdoors. Carbon dioxide levels are used as an indicator of the ability of the ventilation systems to provide and distribute fresh air and outside air.
B. Data Analysis
1. Statistical analysis methods
a. Descriptive statistics
Measuring the temperature, humidity and air quality along with the occupant surveys and feedback.
b. Inferential statistics
2. Qualitative analysis of occupant feedback
1. Informed consent for surveys/interviews
Permission will need to be secured from the building owner, and any occupant or tenant whose space will be tested. The results would be provided to the building manager only.
2. Privacy and data protection
- Distribute Survey
- Provide a confidential ID number and location
3. Timeline for data collection and analysis
V. Expected Results
A. Anticipated findings based on research objectives
B. Implications of the results for IEQ improvement
C. Potential limitations and challenges in data analysis
A. Summary of the study’s significance
B. Implications for IEQ management and policy
C. Future research directions
VII. References A. List of all cited sources and relevant literature