Indoor Environmental & Air Quality Training Program
This training program, outlined below, is intended to provide formal instruction through a structured, inter-active presentation supported by actual case study documentation. It is best suited for a three hour commitment but can be adjusted, in its depth and intensity, to a full day of training. Overall program format and content is effective for the range of commercial office building participants including owners, developers, executive or property managers, building engineers, tenants and teaming contractors. Participants will gain insights and understanding of why a healthy indoor environment consists of many factors, including good air quality. Concepts will be reinforced with take-home templates, forms and suggested procedures for effective management of the indoor environment.
Indoor Environmental & Air Quality (IEAQ) – Introduction
IEAQ is a major concern to businesses, building managers, tenants, and employees because it can affect the health, comfort, well being, and productivity of building occupants. IEAQ is a constantly changing interaction of complex factors that affects the types, levels, and importance of pollutants in indoor environments. These factors include: sources of pollutants or odors; design, maintenance and operation of building ventilation systems; moisture and humidity; and occupant perceptions and susceptibilities.
Factors Affecting Indoor Environmental and Air Quality
The following four elements are involved in the development of IEAQ problems: (1) Source; (2) HVAC system; (3) Pathways and (4) Occupants.
Roles & Responsibilities
Detailed outline of the individual roles and responsibilities associated with program implementation, execution and success customized to the organizational structure and job descriptions.
Communicating to Prevent IEAQ Problems
Effective communication can encourage building occupants to improve their work environment through positive contributions. The following objectives should be kept in mind while reviewing and revising your current approach to communicating with occupants: (1) provide accurate information; (2) clarify responsibilities; and (3) establish a system for responding to complaints.
Diagnosing IEAQ Problems
The goal of the diagnostic building investigation is to identify and solve the IEAQ complaint in a way that prevents it from recurring and that does not create other problems. Complaints that initially seem to be linked to thermal discomfort, under-ventilation, or indoor air pollutants may actually be caused or complicated by many factors.
Managing Buildings for Good IEAQ
The relationships among building owners, management, staff, and occupants are an important factor in decisions that affect IEAQ. Regardless of their perspectives, building occupants, staff, and management share the goal of providing a healthy indoor environment. Recognition of this common goal may help avoid conflict when discussing IEAQ-related policies.
Facility Operation & Maintenance
Indoor environmental air quality can be affected both by the quality of maintenance and by the materials and procedures used in operating and maintaining the building components including the HVAC System. Facilities personnel can best respond to concerns if they understand how their activities affect IEAQ. It may be necessary to change existing practices or introduce new procedures based on the specific building conditions.
Managing occupant relations to prevent IEAQ problems involves: allocating space and monitoring the use of building areas to isolate odor- and contaminant-producing activities and avoid re-entrainment; establishing a communication strategy that is responsive to complaints and provides tenants with information about their role in preventing indoor air quality problems; and modifying employee manuals or lease agreements as necessary to clarify the responsibilities of occupants and building management.
Communicating to Prevent IEAQ Problems
Many IEAQ problems can be prevented if staff and building occupants understand how their activities affect IEAQ. If you do not have a health and safety committee, consider establishing one or setting up a joint management-tenant IEAQ task force. Whatever its official designation, such a group can help to disseminate information about indoor environmental and air quality, bring potential problems to the attention of building staff and management, and foster a sense of shared responsibility for maintaining a safe and comfortable indoor environment.