Small and Medium Commercial Buildings: Ventilation,
Indoor Air Quality, and Energy Use
This page updated March 21, 2011
ARB Research Seminars
Wednesday, April 6,
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, PST
Sierra Rearing Room, Second Floor
1001 I Street, Sacramento
Small and Medium Commercial Buildings:
Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality, and Energy Use
Deborah H. Bennett, Ph.D.
Environmental and Occupational Health, Department of Public Health
University of California, Davis
People spend 87 percent of their
time in buildings, to shop and for health needs, but mostly to work.
Small commercial buildings are the most likely workplace for
non-industrial, non-agricultural American workers. In this first
part of a two-phase study, a telephone survey and supplementary mail
back survey were used to collect relevant details on ventilation and
indoor environmental quality in small and medium-sized commercial
buildings constructed after 1978 with floor area between 1,000 and
50,000 square feet and with no more than three stories. A total of 476
telephone surveys focusing on building characteristics and indoor air
quality, and 71 supplementary surveys focusing on ventilation, were
completed. A broad variety of air contaminant sources are present
in small and medium-sized commercial buildings and building owners and
managers did not know much about their Heating, Ventilating, and Air
Conditioning system; the emission sources and concentrations; indoor
air quality; and ventilation.
The field study of 37 small and medium commercial buildings (selected mostly but not entirely using the survey program) throughout California obtained information on all aspects of ventilation and levels of indoor air pollutants. Sixteen (43%) of the buildings did not provide mechanically supplied outdoor ventilation air. Low efficiency air filters were frequently observed in the air handlers. The air exchange rates averaged 1.6 Ī 1.7 per hour; measured ventilation rates were compared against Title 24 standards. Ultrafine and PM2.5 particulate matter indoor/outdoor ratios were less than 1.0 in most buildings; exceptions were restaurants, hair salons, and dental offices, which have known indoor sources. The average black carbon indoor/outdoor particulate matter ratio was 0.64, indicating that the building shell and HVAC system provided partial protection from outdoor particulates. The majority of buildings had formaldehyde levels above the OEHHA (Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency) 8-hour reference exposure level. Recommendations will be presented.
Deborah H. Bennett, Ph.D., is
Associate Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, Department
of Public Health Sciences, at the University of California, Davis. Dr.
Bennett's current research interest fall into modeling and monitoring
ambient indoor air quality in indoor environments; for example
developing an indoor fugacity model to assess exposures resulting from
indoor releases of pesticides and other organic compounds important for
young children in homes where pesticides are used due to their
increased contact with indoor surfaces and their hand to mouth
activity. Dr. Bennett's model of the indoor environment,
including air and indoor surfaces such as floors and walls is expanding
to include the resulting exposure and she is investigating her model’s
applicability for use with other consumer products.
Dr. Bennett's interests and experience in field studies to support model development fit perfectly with the general thrust of the indoor air quality program at the Air Resources Board (ARB), whose contribution to the state-of-the-science in hazard assessment indoors and development of guidelines and educational directives for the citizenry and the legislature is known and appreciated. Professor Bennett has been enthusiastic and supremely giving in bringing additional resources, time, and energy to this complex and difficult task. ARB has welcomed the research that Professor Bennett and Dr. Michael G. Apte, her co-investigator, have made seminal contributions to the state-of-the-science in this area. Dr. Bennett attained her master’s and a doctorate degree from University of California at Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of California Los Angeles. Professor Bennett has gained significant indoor air quality and energy efficiency experience and conducted research at Hughes and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s venerable Environmental Energy Technology Division. Professor Bennett was an assistant professor at Harvard School of Public Health before assuming her current duties at UC Davis.
For information on this seminar
Ash Lashgari, Ph.D., at (916) 323-1506 or send email to: email@example.com
For information on this Series please contact:
Peter Mathews at (916) 323-8711 or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For a complete listing of the ARB Research Seminars please check this page