Concern: Central Office: September 1st, 2021 (CXXXCO20210001EB)

Human Resources Office - Mid-Level
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
There seems to poor air quality within the area or possible mold. When coming into the office there are no windows, stale air, and there is not a sufficient flow of air within the area. Whenever I come into the office, I experience my eyes watering, headaches and fatigue upon leaving the office. I come in twice a week and I only have these health issues when I am in office.
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 of Assessment: September 23 and October 7, 2021

The space consists of carpet squares, drywall, and a drop-ceiling. One supply diffuser is located within the space, however the diffuser is not over the individual's desk.

No mold growth was observed on items within the space.

No mal-odors were detected, however a slight carpet odor was sensed at times (not a health and safety concern).

No elevated moisture was detected in the carpet.

Housekeeping within the space was above average. 

The temperature (72.1 degrees Fahrenheit (F)) and the relative humidity (65.6%) was acceptable. 

Air Handling Unit (AHU) - 2 serves the space. This unit brings outside air in and delivers it to a Variable Air Volume (VAV) box which then varies the supply air flow volume to maintain thermal comfort. 

The Air Handling Unit (AHU) that serves the space (AHU-2) was assessed. The filters (installed in July 2021) and coils were in good condition. The  outside air dampers were open, however the economizer dampers appeared to be closed. Building Maintenance reviewed the economizer dampers and reported they were functioning properly (they only open under certain outside temperature conditions).

Mold growth (~ 24 square feet) was recently identified by the Office of the Environment, behind the centrifugal fan within AHU-2. This was discovered while investigating an IEQ concern in another portion of the building. The mold growth was partially cleaned in mid-September, however residual staining/growth still exists as it can't be cleaned without shutting the units down. Approximately six square feet remains. Building Maintenance (HVAC) reviewed the condition and believes the fan is pulling moisture off of the cooling coils and depositing it onto the Armaflex insulation (readily cleanable) behind the fan. 

The supply diffuser in the room in question was assessed. Building Maintenance was present and indicated the VAV box was supplying maximum air. Per the prints, the volume of air should be approximately 300 cubic feet per minute (CFM), +/- 10%. The volume of air from the diffuser was 65-68 cubic feet per minute (CFM). With that being said, the system appears to be providing sufficient air for temperature control but may not be providing enough outside air in certain situations (depends on the number of occupants in the space and the position of the economizer dampers).

Due to COVID-19, there is a plexi-glass shield in front of the individual's desk. Because the supply diffuser is across from the shield, the shield is most likely impeding air flow to the occupant.

Corrective Actions
September 23rd, 2021

A work order was created for Building Maintenance (HVAC) to further assess the room's VAV box and the economizer dampers associated with AHU-2. No concerns were identified. 

October 7th, 2021

The Office of the Environment placed a CO2 data logger in the space and will review the data after two weeks. CO2 can be used as an indicator to determine if outdoor air is sufficient. 

October 7th, 2021

The individual could explore the use of an oscillating desk/personal fan to help with air movement ("stale air") in the space. The fan shall not blow air over your breathing zone (area within 12" of nose) directly onto another persons breathing zone. 

Additionally, the plexi-glass dividers may be interfering with air mixing in the space. The occupant can discuss removing the dividers with their supervisor and place a work order for Building Maintenance (Carpentry) to remove. 

October 23rd, 2021

The Office of the Environment has scheduled a duct-cleaning contractor to address any remaining mold growth within the unit. Because the units need to be shut-down to perform this work, the work is scheduled for the weekend of October 23.

Date Closed
Tracking Number