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Proposed Mixed-Method Study Design for the Assessment of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in Alberta Government Buildings for the Building Operators Management Association (BOMA) Open Access


Other title
Indoor Air Quality
Government of Alberta Buildings
Mixed-Method Research
Qualitative Descriptive
Building Operators Managment Assocation (BOMA)
Qualitative Research
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Brooks, Andrew M H
Supervisor and department
Kindzierski, Warren (School of Public Health)
Examining committee member and department
Storey, Kate (Public Health, School of)
Kindzierski, Warren (Public Health, School of)
Olfert, Jason (Mechanical Engineering)
Department of Public Health Sciences
Environmental Health Sciences
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The concepts of quantity and quality are implicitly implied in the term Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The Building Environment Unit (BEU) of the Technical Services Branch of Alberta Infrastructure (AI) is a government group responsible for conducting IAQ Assessments in the Government of Alberta (GOA) owned and leased buildings. The BEU conducts IAQ assessments that are either reactive or proactive, with the first in response to an IAQ complaint and the latter as part of a regular inspection of the building’s parameters. In March 2011, the Building Operators Management Association contacted the BEU through another GOA department to undertake proactive verification of the air quality in selected GOA buildings as part of the BOMA BESt Initiative. Based on testing which occurred over approximately three (3) years in a wide variety of GOA buildings, as well as previous experiences and a review of recent IAQ literature, a cross-sectional, convergent-parallel, mixed-method study design for measuring both quantitative and qualitative information that may pertain to the perceived quality of the air inside GOA Buildings is proposed. The quantitative parameters proposed to be measured include: reviewing building documentation, inspecting the different components of the air handling unit(s), measuring Comfort Parameters, dust levels, airborne chemicals, supply and return airflow, and air pressurization in the occupied areas of the building. The qualitative measurements proposed to be observed include: interviewing the occupants of the building and asking them about their past and present perceptions and experiences concerning the building’s IAQ. Although the proposed BOMA IAQ Assessment method collects IAQ primarily on the day of the assessment, and is therefore prone to ‘Healthy Worker Bias’, the method is judged to be comprehensive and it provides ways to limit errors that may be caused by selection bias and confounding factors. One of these methods includes selecting random and non-random air sample locations within the building.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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