|Submission Date||Oct. 13, 2015|
Office of Sustainability
In most instances, a building occupant(s) may have an indoor air quality (IAQ) concern because they smell an unusual odor or are experiencing adverse health effects from odors that may be due to one or more of the following conditions/activities: chemicals usage or an uncontrolled chemical spill or release, construction/maintenance or housekeeping activities, inadequate fresh air in the building, work activities or procedures conducted in an area, outdoor pollutants that enter the building through the fresh air intakes, malfunction of building equipment or some other cause. Tulane employees are advised to report odor complaints to Facilities Services initially. If necessary, Facilities Services will call the Tulane University Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) to help identify the root cause of the IAQ concern. The OEHS may also conduct an IAQ investigation based upon a First Report of Occupational Injury (FROI) report, routine inspections, or due diligence/property acquisition.
The OEHS has established the following investigation process:
1. Initial assessment- Gather background information
2. Initial building walkthrough assessment/survey
3. Building characterization-Work closely with Facilities Services to gather info on the building’s mechanical systems, recent construction/renovation projects, access building blueprints, diagrams, and HVAC specifications, etc.
4. Develop initial hypothesis as to cause of IAQ problem and identify possible corrective actions.
5. Intermediate Assessment (if necessary)
a. Preliminary Air Sampling - Evaluate comfort factors (temperature, humidity, determination of outside air, carbon dioxide levels, moisture, etc.) Additional sampling (if deemed necessary)
b. Detailed monitoring/sampling for specific contaminants. (May include sampling for biologicals and moisture readings in building materials, if warranted). Will include an interpretation of results, and hypothesis development.
6. Control Strategy-Includes one or more of the following: remediate or control all known and potential sources of chemical and microbial contamination, correct building problems, correct HVAC problems, and prevent future pollutant issues.
7. Follow-up assessment-May include air sampling/testing after remediation and/or an additional assessment of occupant complaints after the problem has been corrected to ensure the problem has effectively been remediated.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE
staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.