Concern: Centennial Lane Elementary School: October 28th, 2019 (CXCLES2019000125)

Room 149
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
Musky odor in room stronger than usual. Multiple staff members report that it smells like mold.
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:  November 11 and 12, 2019

Both visits made early morning prior to start of school.  Assessor experienced a morning before and after the start of the ventilation system.  The second morning visit consisted of rainy weather.

Staff member indicated odor seems more noticeable this school year, especially three weeks ago after a heavy rain event.  The odor has no trend except experienced everyday.

A slight stale odor typical of carpeted classrooms was detected.  Carpet odors are considered a nuisance (not a safety concern) and tend to dissipate after the HVAC begins operation (dilutes odor).

The Roof Top Unit (RTU) serving this classroom along with several other classrooms did not have any deficiencies (i.e. closed outdoor air dampers, missing or damaged filters, or dirty coils).

Based on qualitative means, air flow was coming from the air supply diffuser and exhausting through the return air grille. 

The room's ventilation also consists of a variable air volume box (VAV).  Since digitally controlled, a work order was submitted to Building Services to ensure VAV damper was operable and providing designed air volume.

Since the classroom walls go all the way to the roof deck, the classroom is considered isolated from other surrounding rooms.  No outstanding or musty odors were detected within the surrounding areas.

The classroom is near restrooms and a POD's sink area.  The floor and sink drains had water within their traps to prevent back-flow of sewer like odors.  The sanitary vent lines appear to be connected and exit through the roof deck.  No odors were encountered above the drop ceilings.

The restroom consists of ceramic floor and walls.  The classroom has wood casework along the shared wall with the restroom.  The plumbing fixtures are on the opposite wall of the restroom.  The wood casework was probed with a moisture meter (could be impacted by water from cleaning restroom floor) and considered dry.

The condition of the room was acceptable (no observable mold growth, elevated moisture, carpet, or housekeeping concerns were identified).

The condition above the drop ceiling was acceptable.  The roof deck consists of gypsum.

Mechanical prints were reviewed from past renovation and did not show any existing plumbing or  plumbing removed from where classroom 149 is located.

Corrective Actions
November 12th, 2019

Building Services is to verify the operation of the VAV and its supply air volume.

November 15th, 2019

Staff member may contact the Office of Environment if the odor is detected.  If readily available, the Office of Environment will immediately respond in attempt to detect the odor and a possible source.

Date Closed
Tracking Number