UBC Graduate Research

Indoor air quality assessment : CHBE building second floor Taherdin, Navid; Gamontle, Bojosi; Law, Jackie


The Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE) building was selected for study from a number of buildings on the University of British Columbia campus whose occupants have made complaints about poor indoor air quality. As part of the training in the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene graduate program, students conducted an indoor environmental quality survey and performed field measurements for potential indoor air pollutants based on the result of the survey. Six occupants of the second floor answered survey questions regarding their perception of the quality of the indoor environment; the primary complaints were of chemical odours, particularly in the morning. Lack of ability to control temperature, and temperature fluctuation, was also noted by some respondents. Areas were chosen for sampling based on availability and in consultation with the safety program officer for the building. Assessment of airflow patterns and spot checks for bioaerosols, ultrafine particulate matter (≤ 1 μm), carbon dioxide, and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) was conducted on March 16, 2010. A twenty‐four hour sample for carbon dioxide were taken March 16 – 17. Field measurement results showed that the level of indoor air contaminates in all sampling locations were in compliance with WorkSafe BC and ASHRAE 62.1 indoor air guidelines. However, the assessment of air flow patterns and generation of ultrafine particulate matter, may have contributed to subjective complaints by occupants Improvements to air flow patterns to enable fresh air delivery into occupied spaces, filtration of ultrafine particulate matter, and local control of room temperature may result in higher occupant satisfaction in this building. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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