Concern: Laurel Woods Elementary School: September 27th, 2018 (CXLWES201800005B)

Room 91
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
The Office of the Environment has been investigating a re-occurring odor in the room that primarily occurs during times of higher humidity. The original assessment is associated with a former IEQ report dated January 31, 2018.

An individual indicated humidity and odor returned the last week of May when weather became warm and humid.

Note: The Office of the Environment has recently transitioned to a new Online IEQ platform (as of August 2018). The new platform does not allow the back-dating of IEQ concerns. This concern is inappropriately dated September 27, 2018. The concern should be dated June 1, 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)

Dates Investigated:  May 3, June 13, and August 23, 2018)

  • Data loggers, recording temperature and relative humidity were placed in rooms 91 and 93 (for comparison) from May 3 until June 13, 2018.  The data indicated room 91 (exterior room) experienced at times higher relative humidity readings of +10 - 20%  compared to Room 91 (interior room) while room temperatures were comparable.  When the rooms differed in relative humidity, room 91 levels were not extreme and ranged between the high 50% to low 70% with the average being in the mid to high 60s% during occupied hours.
  • During the visits the room felt comfortable (74 degrees and 51% relative humidity when measured).
  • Carbon dioxide measurement taken in room 91 on June 13, 2018 were approximately 990 parts per million (ppm) with the outdoor level being 417 ppm). Interior readings were within guidelines.
  • An odor was eventually detected during the August 23, 2018 visit.  The odor resembled damp cement block wall.  The room’s exterior wall consists of attenuation slots cut out (1/4” x 4”) from the interior face of the cement block wall.  The odor was emanating from these slots.  The wall consists of a brick facing, air gap (drainage plane), and cement block wall which are porous materials.  The theory is as the wall heats up, the water vapor expands and is driven / escapes through the slots and into the room. 
  • The ventilation components serving Room 91 were inspected by Building Services (HVAC) and found to be properly functioning.


Corrective Actions
October 3rd, 2018

Building Services is reviewing the purpose of the slots within the cement block walls of the exterior rooms and if feasible consider sealing the slots.

Date Closed
Tracking Number