Concern: Murray Hill Middle School: September 4th, 2018 (CXMHMS2018000022)

Guidance Office
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
An individual notices is a musty/moldy smell in one corner of their office. General health symptoms have been triggered since returning back to the building. There is a heavy smell that becomes more poignant at certain times of the year.
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 of investigation:  September 7 and 12, 2018.

The individual indicated the issue was reported last year. The Office of Environment does not have record of an IEQ report indicating a past concern.

The roof top ventilation unit (RTU) serving the center section of the first floor was turned off by Building Services about a week prior to the investigation due to extreme moist (air) weather conditions. This was completed to assist with interior comfort, knowing the areas had fan coil units (FCUs) to cool the space.  RTU was turned on, on September 11, 2018.

The supply air diffuser within the office (connected to the RTU) was closed.

The cleanliness of the FCU and RTU was acceptable.

The FCU is not used and was found off.

A musty odor was not sensed during the visits.  Possibly, a slight dry inherent carpet aroma could be detected.

Mold growth was not observed on inspected surfaces within the office. 

The office shares a wall (drywall) with staff restrooms.  The wall was dry and showed no signs of moisture issues.  The sanitary vent was connected.  Fiberglass batt insulation was observed above the restroom and office ceiling.  Fluffy insulation was observed within the wall cavity.  An odor was not detected with the associated insulation materials.

The area above the drop ceiling was in good condition (i.e. pipe insulation).

On September 12, 2018 at approximately 7:15 a.m., the office temperature was 73 degrees Fahrenheit and 64.4% relative humidity (Guidance areas were the same).

The carpet was dry as determined with the use of a moisture probe.

Corrective Actions
September 12th, 2018

The supply diffuser was opened to allow the introduction of outdoor air via the RTU to assist with comfort and dilution of odors in general.

Date Closed
Tracking Number