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

  • Author / Creator
    Brooks, Andrew M H
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Olfert, Jason (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Storey, Kate (Public Health, School of)
    • Kindzierski, Warren (Public Health, School of)