Concern: Bushy Park Elementary School: October 3rd, 2018 (CXBPES201800006D)

Throughout Building
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
The school reported an odor, primarily in the main hallway, that has been described as "fishy," "foul," and/or "dead animal." The odor was first noticed late August and/or early September 2018.
IEQ Investigation Process

Identify deficiencies that may impact IEQ and/or sources of odor concerns. Typically includes the following depending on the nature of concern, but not limited to:

  • interview/questionnaire of concern individual(s)
  • inspection above drop ceiling (condition of roof deck, pipe insulation, return air plenum)
  • inspection of ventilation system (operation of variable air volume box and outdoor air dampers, check controls, measurements of carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity, sources near outdoor air intake, measure return and supply air volume, cleanliness of coils, liner and condensate pan)
  • inspection of exterior
  • inspection below drop ceiling (housekeeping, sink and floor drain traps, signs of past and present moisture concern via visual and/or moisture meter, mold growth, ensure connection of current and capping of abandoned sanitary vents, odorizers, excessive plants and fabric items, identify potential pathways, and measure volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lighting)

Date(s) of Assessment:  October 3, 9, and November 12, 2018

An odor was detected in the lower hallways and within both levels of the atrium.  The odor was not present in the classrooms.  The odor resembled fiberglass and/or slight animal decay.

The following potential sources were investigated and eliminated:

  • Elevator pit and shaft
  • Dried out restroom floor drains
  • Sanitary vents
  • Ventilation systems
  • Area above drop ceilings
  • Fiberglass ceiling tiles in the upper music related classrooms
  • Moisture issues with bulkhead / drywall area below skylights
  • A dead animal (mouse) would not likely smell over such a large area

The skylights were targeted and considered the odor source.  The odor may have originated as a result of this summer's excessive and extended moist (air and precipitation) weather.  Literature indicates that skylights under the right conditions can emit a fiberglass (main component of skylight panels) and/or fishy odor.

The manufacturer was contacted and sent out a representative to investigate.  However, at the time of the representative's visit, the weather had changed (dry air and colder) and the odor was not present.  The representative and Building Services did not observe any obvious defects with the skylight system.

The odor does improve when the building's ventilation systems have been in operation and worsens when not in operation.

Corrective Actions
November 12th, 2018

The school, Building Services, and Office of Environment will monitor the situation to determine if the odor returns and will work with the manufacturer's representative.  The representative has to detect the odor in order to adequately investigate and move forward with any recommendations.

Date Closed
Tracking Number