Concern: Oakland Mills High School: February 26th, 2024 (CXOMHS20240002EA)

Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
A general health symptom was reported in the space that dissipated upon moving to another room.

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: February 27, 2024

The space consists of floor tile, a drop ceiling, and block walls. A drywall column is located near the teacher desk. One wall has casework with a built-in sink.

The temperature (66.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and relative humidity (29.9%), were acceptable. The temperature was slightly below HCPSS standards however, the visit occurred during the early morning as the HVAC system was just beginning to operate. From an indoor air quality standpoint, relative humidity could be considered low, however this is common during the winter months and is within the same standard of care as other HCPSS facilities. HCPSS does not humidify air through the ventilation system as it is not standard industry practice for this region. Additionally, humidification can introduce clinical environmental concerns such as "humidifier fever."  

No carbon monoxide was detected in the space. 

No moldy/musty odors were identifed upon entering the room. 

Housekeeping practices were acceptable. No clutter or significant dust deposits were observed. 

Two artificial plants were observed. 

Various surfaces were assessed for potential mold growth. No visible mold growth was identifed on the surfaces assessed. 

A thermal image screening of the space was conducted. No thermal anomalies indicative of moisture intrusion were identifed. Particular attention was paid to a wall that adjoins a main hallway that contains a water fountain. No thermal anomalies were identifed on the classroom side (behind the water fountain) or in the hallway (viewing from the front of the water fountain). 

No elevated moisture was detected in the casework (wooden kick-plates) or the drywall column.

Areas underneath the sink were assessed. No obvious indications of a leak were identifed and no elevated moisture was detected under the sink.

No odors, suspect mold growth, or evidence of moisture issues were observed above the drop ceiling. Minor dust was observed above the ceiling which is not uncommon. 

Air Handling Unit -2 (AHU-2) was assessed:

  • The outside air dampers were open.
  • No concerns were identifed with the filters. 
  • The condensate drain pan is slated to be replaced by Building Maintenance (HVAC) to avoid future failure. This is needed to potentially prevent a future moisture intrusion event and is not anticipated to have an impact on the current concern. 

A data logger was placed in the space from to monitor temperature, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide

  • Carbon dioxide is an indicator of sufficient outside air. Elevated carbon dioxide readings were not identifed. This suggests enough general dilution ventilation is being provided to the space.
  •  In general, temperature was within the HCPSS comfort guidelines. The average temperature (including during times of inoccupancy) was 71.03 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Relative humidity ranged from approximately 12-55%. Indoor humidity is largely dependent on outdoor humidity. As noted above, HCPSS does not humify air through the ventilation system. 
Corrective Actions
March 6th, 2024

The Office of the Environment recommends the removal of the artificial plants as they tend to collect dust and are difficult to clean. 

Tracking Number