School Indoor Air Best Management Practices, revised 11-18-04

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					School Indoor Air Quality
Best Management Practices Manual

November 2003

Office of Environmental Health and Safety
Indoor Air Quality Program
School Indoor Air Quality
Best Management Practices Manual

November 2003

To obtain copies of this document or for more information, please contact:

Tim Hardin, Indoor Air Quality Program Manager
Office of Environmental Health and Safety
Washington State Department of Health
P.O. Box 47825
Olympia, Washington 98504-7825

Phone: (360) 236-3363
Fax: (360) 236-2261

The School Indoor Air Quality Best Management Practices Manual, November 2003 is also
available in electronic format on the Internet at:

Mary Selecky
Secretary of Health

The 1995 Edition of this manual was prepared by:

        Richard Hall
        Tim Hardin
        Richard Ellis

Special acknowledgments for the 1995 Edition to:

The Washington State Department of Health School Indoor Air Quality Advisory Committee.
The following individuals served on the technical subcommittee:
        Donald Beach, Halvorson, Beach & Bower, Inc.
        Jefferey Burgess, Washington Poison Center
        Janice Camp, Department of Environmental Health, University of Washington
        John Peard, Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
        Rich Prill, Washington State Energy Office
        Mia Sazon, OMS Laboratories, Inc.
        Greg Stack, Northwest Architectural Company

The following individuals served on the policy subcommittee:
        Ann Bisgard, Washington State PTA
        Robert Fisher, Washington Education Association
        Michael F. LaScuola, Spokane County Health District
        Vaughn Lein, Lein, Stanek & Willson
        John McGee, Washington State School Directors’ Association
        Roy Pedersen, Washington Association of School Administrators
        Mary Schwerdtfeger, State Board of Education
        Christopher Spitters, Snohomish Health District

Office of the Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction:
        Terry Michalson, Facilities and Organization Supervisor
        Alberta Mehring, Facilities and Organization Director

Washington State Department of Health. This Manual was prepared under the direction of:
       Gary Plews, Supervisor, Consolidated Environmental Health Programs
       Karen VanDusen, Office Director, Community Environmental Health Programs
       Eric Slagle, Assistant Secretary, Environmental Health Programs

Other Reviewers/Contributors: Nancy Bernard, Kathleen Dudley, Gary Jefferis, Jim Kerns, Scott
LeBar, Colin MacRae, Maria Mason, Karen McDonell, Jim W. White, Jim VanDerslice, and Bob

The 2003 Edition was updated and edited by Tim Hardin and Steve Tilley.


The School Indoor Air Quality Best Management Practices Manual was prepared by the Washington
State Department of Health in response to requirements of the Washington State Legislature.
Financial assistance was provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Manual was prepared between July 1994 and January 1995, and updated in 2003. During the
initial preparation, the Department of Health formed and consulted with a School Indoor Air Quality
Advisory Committee, which provided valuable technical guidance and policy support.

The Department of Health encourages all users of the Manual to examine the concepts,
recommendations, and procedures outlined in the Manual; evaluate their usefulness and effectiveness;
identify any costs and obstacles to implementation; and document any benefits received. Users of the
Manual are invited to report their findings to the Department of Health, Office of Environmental
Health and Safety (refer to the address and phone number on the title page). Such information may be
used to update and improve the Manual, and may assist in identifying training and technical
assistance needs related to school indoor air quality.

This Manual includes some practices that are required by law, as well as practices that are not legally
required but are recommended to promote good quality air in schools. School districts and others
using this Manual should evaluate the discretionary recommendations and adopt or promote those that
are relevant applicable and feasible to implement. In the event that any recommendations offered in
this Manual conflict with codes or laws, the codes or laws take precedence.


   ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS............................................................................................................ I
   PREFACE ................................................................................................................................ II
   ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ....................................................................................... VII
1. INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................... 1
   A. PURPOSE ........................................................................................................................... 1
   B. WHO WILL USE THE MANUAL? ........................................................................................ 1
   C. ORGANIZATION OF THE MANUAL ...................................................................................... 2
   SCHOOL INDOOR AIR QUALITY .............................................................................................. 3
2. WHY MANAGE SCHOOL INDOOR AIR QUALITY?................................................ 5
   A. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 5
   B. HEALTH SYMPTOMS AND PROBLEMS ................................................................................ 5
   C. INCREASED SPREAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES .................................................................. 6
   D. SENSITIVITY OF CHILDREN TO INDOOR CONTAMINANTS................................................... 6
   E. MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY SYNDROME ................................................................ 6
   F. REDUCED PRODUCTIVITY IN STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND STAFF ...................................... 7
   G. STRAINED RELATIONSHIPS ................................................................................................ 7
   I. DETERIORATION OF BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT............................................................... 7
   J. INCREASED LIABILITY AND RISK ........................................................................................ 7
   K. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS IN SCHOOLS ............................................................................ 8
   L. INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN WASHINGTON STATE SCHOOLS ................................................. 8
   M. PREVENTING AND MANAGING SCHOOL IAQ PROBLEMS .................................................. 8
3. FACTORS INFLUENCING INDOOR AIR QUALITY................................................. 9
   A. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 9
   B. OUTSIDE SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION ........................................................................... 9
   C. BUILDING COMPONENTS AND FURNISHINGS ..................................................................... 9
   D. BUILDING EQUIPMENT .................................................................................................... 10
   E. HUMAN ACTIVITIES ......................................................................................................... 10
   F. OTHER SOURCES .............................................................................................................. 10
   G. POLLUTANT PATHWAYS .................................................................................................. 20
   H. TEMPERATURE VARIATIONS AND COMFORT ................................................................... 20
   I. THE EFFECTS OF HUMIDITY ON COMFORT LEVELS ........................................................... 21
   J. VENTILATION TO MEET OCCUPANT NEEDS ...................................................................... 21
   K. AIR FLOW PATTERNS IN BUILDINGS................................................................................ 22
   M. SICK BUILDING SYNDROME............................................................................................ 23
   N. BUILDING-RELATED ILLNESS .......................................................................................... 23
4. BASIC STRATEGIES FOR GOOD INDOOR AIR QUALITY.................................. 24
   A. RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES FOR GOOD INDOOR AIR QUALITY ..................................... 24
   B. MANAGE CONTAMINANTS AT THE SOURCE ..................................................................... 24
   C. USE LOCAL EXHAUST FOR PROBLEM AREAS .................................................................. 24

  D. USE OUTDOOR AIR TO DILUTE AND REPLACE CONTAMINATED AIR ............................... 24
  E. CONTROL EXPOSURE - TIME, AMOUNT, AND PRODUCTS ................................................ 25
  F. FILTER THE AIR............................................................................................................... 25
  G. EDUCATE EVERYONE ON IAQ......................................................................................... 25
  H. DESIGNATE AN INDOOR AIR QUALITY COORDINATOR .................................................... 26
5. SITING SCHOOLS FOR GOOD INDOOR AIR QUALITY ...................................... 27
  A. RECOMMENDED PRACTICES FOR SCHOOL SITING ........................................................... 27
  B. CONDUCT AN ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT ........................................................ 27
  C. ANALYZE THE LOCAL CLIMATE ...................................................................................... 27
  D. ANALYZE NEARBY AIR QUALITY AND EMISSION SOURCES ............................................ 28
  E. ANALYZE FOR RADON AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ...................................... 28
  F. DOCUMENT FINDINGS ...................................................................................................... 29
6. DESIGNING SCHOOLS FOR GOOD INDOOR AIR QUALITY ............................. 30
  A. RECOMMENDED PRACTICES FOR SCHOOL DESIGN .......................................................... 30
  B. ENSURE THE DESIGN TEAM KNOWS ABOUT IAQ............................................................ 30
  C. PREPARE AN INDOOR POLLUTANT SOURCE CONTROL PLAN ........................................... 31
  D. FOLLOW IAQ CODES AND STANDARDS .......................................................................... 31
  E. PROVIDE FUNDING AND SCHEDULE FOR IAQ .................................................................. 32
  F. PLAN THE SITE AND BUILDING FOR IAQ.......................................................................... 33
  G. DESIGN FOR CONTROL OF RADON AND OTHER CONTAMINANTS .................................... 36
  H. DESIGN FOR CONTROL OF SEWER GAS............................................................................ 36
  I. INCLUDE AN EFFECTIVE ENTRY MAT SYSTEM ................................................................. 37
  J. HVAC DESIGN RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................... 37
  L. PROPERLY SELECT AND PLACE CONTROL SYSTEMS ........................................................ 44
  N. DESIGN TO FACILITATE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE ............................................... 48
  O. INTEGRATE IAQ MEASURES WITH ENERGY MANAGEMENT ........................................... 48
  S. CONSIDER MEETING EMISSION RATE GUIDELINES .......................................................... 55
  T. DEVELOP SPECIFICATIONS FOR TARGETED MATERIALS .................................................. 56
  U. PRE-CONDITION FURNISHINGS AND MATERIALS ............................................................ 56
  V. DOCUMENT DESIGN DECISIONS ...................................................................................... 56
7. CONSTRUCTING SCHOOLS FOR GOOD IAQ ........................................................ 58
  A. RECOMMENDED PRACTICES FOR CONSTRUCTION ........................................................... 58
  B. CONTROL MOISTURE, VOCS AND DUST ......................................................................... 58
  C. MONITOR CONSTRUCTION............................................................................................... 58
  D. COMMISSION THE BUILDING ........................................................................................... 59
  E. MONITOR AIR QUALITY .................................................................................................. 61
  F. TRAIN MAINTENANCE STAFF........................................................................................... 61
  G. DOCUMENT DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION ....................................................................... 61
  H. FLUSH AIR BEFORE AND AFTER OCCUPANCY ................................................................. 62
  I. BAKE-OUT BEFORE OCCUPANCY ...................................................................................... 63
  J. TAKE PRECAUTIONS DURING REMODELING OR RENOVATION .......................................... 63

8. OPERATING AND MAINTAINING HVAC SYSTEMS............................................. 68
   B. ASSIGN RESPONSIBILITIES FOR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE .................................... 68
   C. DOCUMENT THE HVAC SYSTEM .................................................................................... 68
   D. ESTABLISH MAINTENANCE STANDARDS ......................................................................... 69
   E. INSPECT AND MAINTAIN HVAC SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS ....................................... 69
   F. CONTROL TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY ....................................................................... 71
   G. RECORD INSPECTIONS AND MAINTENANCE .................................................................... 71
9. CONTROLLING GENERAL CONTAMINANT SOURCES ..................................... 73
   B. DEVELOP AN ASTHMA MANAGEMENT PLAN ................................................................... 73
   C. PREVENT AND ELIMINATE MOLD .................................................................................... 73
   D. ENFORCE NON SMOKING POLICIES ................................................................................. 74
   E. CONTROL CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE MATERIALS ................................................... 74
   F. CONTROL DUST ............................................................................................................... 75
   G. USE INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT ........................................................................... 75
   H. CONTROL ASBESTOS ....................................................................................................... 77
   I. CONTROL RADON ............................................................................................................. 78
AND SPECIAL USE AREAS .............................................................................................. 79
   CLASSROOMS, OFFICES AND SPECIAL USE AREAS ............................................................... 79
   B. OFFICES AND CLASSROOMS ............................................................................................ 79
   D. CLEAN AND VENTILATE FOOD HANDLING AREAS .......................................................... 82
   E. LOCKER ROOMS .............................................................................................................. 83
   F. SCIENCE ROOMS .............................................................................................................. 83
   G. ART AND THEATER ROOMS ............................................................................................. 85
   H. VOCATIONAL ART AREAS ............................................................................................... 86
   I. SWIMMING POOLS ............................................................................................................ 88
   ............................................................................................................................................. 89
   C. PREPARE AN IAQ MANAGEMENT PLAN .......................................................................... 90
   D. PROVIDE TRAINING AND EDUCATION ............................................................................. 91
   F. BE PROACTIVE IN MANAGING IAQ PROBLEMS ............................................................... 92
12. OTHER RESOURCES................................................................................................... 94
   FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ...................................................................................................... 94
   STATE OF WASHINGTON ...................................................................................................... 95
   PUBLICATIONS AND RESOURCE LISTS .................................................................................. 96
   PRIVATE/NON-PROFIT ......................................................................................................... 96
   ART AND CREATIVE MATERIALS ......................................................................................... 97

   ASBESTOS ............................................................................................................................ 97
   ASTHMA............................................................................................................................... 97
   MOLD .................................................................................................................................. 97
   SCIENCE LABS AND MATERIALS .......................................................................................... 98
   HIRING PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE .................................................................................... 98
   INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT ....................................................................................... 98
   GETTING RID OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS .......................................................................... 99

APPENDIX B HVAC CHECKLIST..................................................................................... 1

REFERENCE.......................................................................................................................... 1

                     Acronyms and Abbreviations

ACGIH    American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
AHERA    Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act 40CFR Part 763 Subpart E
ASHRAE   American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
ASTM     American Society for Testing and Materials
CHPS     The Collaborative for High Performance Schools
CRI      Carpet and Rug Institute
DOH      Department of Health, State of Washington
DOE      Department of Ecology, State of Washington
ESA      Environmental Site Assessment
EPA      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
HEPA     High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter
HUD      U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HVAC     Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
IAQ      Indoor Air Quality
IPM      Integrated Pest Management
L&I      Department of Labor and Industries, State of Washington
MDF      Medium-Density Fiberboard
MCS      Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
MSDS     Material Safety Data Sheet
NAAQS    National Ambient Air Quality Standards (from EPA)
NADCA    National Air Duct Cleaners Association
NOAA     U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
OSPI     Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of Washington
PEL      Permissible Exposure Level
SIAQ     School Indoor Air Quality
SBS      Sick Building Syndrome
TVOC     Total Volatile Organic Compounds
TLV      Threshold Limit Value
VAV      Variable air volume
VOC      Volatile Organic Compound
WAC      Washington Administrative Code
WISHA    Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act
WSU      Washington State University

1. Introduction

A. Purpose                                             B. Who Will Use the Manual?
This Manual is intended to help achieve and            This Manual is primarily intended for:
maintain good indoor air quality (IAQ) in
Washington’s K-12 schools. Good quality                    School administrators, teachers, school
indoor air contributes to a safe, healthy,                 building administrative staff, and central
productive, and comfortable environment for                administrative staff.
students, teachers, and other school staff.                Architects and engineers.
                                                           Local health and building officials.
The Manual focuses on practices that can be                School facilities and maintenance
undertaken during the siting, design,                      personnel.
construction, and renovation of a school.
Although the Manual focuses on new and                 To ensure accountability and appropriate use
renovated schools, it recommends practices to          of the practices presented in this Manual, each
help ensure good indoor air quality during             school should appoint a school indoor air
building occupancy. These practices affect             quality coordinator (IAQ coordinator). This
operation and maintenance, repairs and minor           function is described in Chapter 4: Basic
construction, as well as the school’s                  Strategies for Good Indoor Air Quality, and
administrative organization and lines of               Chapter 11: Indoor Air Quality Planning and
communication.                                         Management.

The Manual also suggests protocols and useful          Other groups that have a significant interest in
reference documents for investigating and              school indoor air quality issues and
handling indoor air quality complaints and             application of the best management practices
problems that arise. The broad scope of this           include:
Manual will allow it to be useful in managing
indoor air quality issues in existing, older               Students and their parents.
schools as well as newly-constructed or                    Local school boards.
renovated buildings.                                       School site councils
                                                           Other contract providers of supplies,
Many factors can cause poor indoor air                     services, equipment, and facilities.
quality. These include: contaminated outdoor               State agencies and universities.
air brought into the building; building
materials, furnishings and equipment; facility         The other contract providers identified above
operation and maintenance practices; various           include companies that maintain HVAC
activities of students, teachers, and staff; and       systems, provide school supplies, and
heating, ventilation, and air conditioning             manufacture or supply construction materials,
(HVAC) systems and their operation.                    building furnishings and equipment.
Problems that arise from indoor air may be
more difficult to solve unless there is good           School administrators and the IAQ coordinator
communication among staff, teachers,                   should keep interested parties informed about
students, parents, and other interested or             the school’s efforts to manage indoor air
affected groups.                                       quality. The IAQ coordinator should work
                                                       closely with those involved to ensure that, as

appropriate, the best management practices are
followed during each phase of school
development or renovation, and during school

C. Organization of the Manual
Chapter 2 of this Manual discusses the
importance of managing school indoor air
quality and highlights the consequences of
poor indoor air quality. Chapter 3 describes
the factors that influence indoor air quality.

Chapters 4 through 11 present and discuss
recommended practices for siting, designing,
constructing, operating, and maintaining
schools for good indoor air quality. Table 1-1
highlights the practices recommended in these

Chapter 12 and the appendices to this Manual
provide contact information and helpful
reference material.

                               Table 1-1.
                 Summary of Recommended Practices to
           Attain and Maintain Good School Indoor Air Quality

This Manual includes some practices that are required by law, as well as practices that are not legally
required but are recommended to promote good quality air in schools. School districts and others
using this Manual should evaluate the discretionary recommendations and adopt or promote those that
are applicable and feasible to implement. In the event that any recommendations offered in this
Manual conflict with codes or laws, the codes or laws take precedence. The practices summarized
here are further discussed in chapters 4-11 of this Manual.

Recommended Strategies for Good                          Protect the quality of air near air intakes
Indoor Air Quality (Chapter 4)                           Size HVAC for maximum occupancy
                                                         according to standards
    Manage contaminants at the source
                                                         Provide flexibility to adjust HVAC for
    Use local exhaust for problem areas
                                                         changes in building occupancy and use
    Use outdoor air to dilute and replace
                                                         Take special precautions when using natural
    contaminated air
    Control exposure by managing time,
                                                         Control microbial growth through HVAC
    amount, and location of products used
    Filter the air
                                                         Provide exhaust for special use areas
    Educate everyone on IAQ
                                                         Keep duct insulation contained and dry
    Designate an indoor air quality coordinator
                                                         Properly select, install and maintain air
    for siting, design, construction, and
                                                         Control interior temperature, humidity and
                                                         other conditions
Recommended Practices for School Siting
(Chapter 5)                                              Properly select and place control systems
                                                         Where feasible, use central HVAC air
    Conduct an Environmental Site Assessment             handling units that serve multiple rooms
    Analyze the local climate                            Design HVAC to facilitate operation and
    Analyze nearby air quality and emission              maintenance
    sources                                              Integrate IAQ measures with energy
    Analyze for radon and other factors                  management
    Document findings                                    Target and evaluate materials, finishes, and
Recommended Practices for School                         Identify cancer-causing agents and
Design (Chapter 6)                                       reproductive toxins
    Ensure the design team knows about IAQ               Consider meeting emission rate guidelines
    Prepare an indoor pollutant source control           Precondition furnishings and materials
    plan                                                 Document design decisions
    Follow IAQ codes and standards
    Provide funding and schedule for IAQ              Recommended Practices for Construction
    Plan the site and building for IAQ                (Chapter 7)
    Design for control of radon and other                Control moisture, VOCs and dust
    contaminants                                         Monitor construction
    Design for control of sewer gas                      Commission the building
    Design an effective entry mat system

   Monitor air quality                                    Eliminate the use of VOC rich products
   Train maintenance staff                                (markers, air fresheners other highly scented
   Document design and construction                       products)
   Flush air before and after occupancy                   Provide special ventilation and control
   Take precautions during remodeling or                  materials and practices in vocational art
   renovation                                             areas
                                                          Provide special ventilation and control
Recommended Practices for Operating                       chemicals and practices in swimming pools
and Maintaining HVAC (Chapter 8)
   Assign responsibilities for operation and
                                                       Recommended Practices for Organizing
                                                       to Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality
                                                       (Chapter 11)
   Document the HVAC system
   Inspect and maintain HVAC system and                   Designate an IAQ Coordinator for building
   components                                             operations
   Control temperature and humidity                       Prepare an IAQ management plan
   Record inspections and maintenance                     Provide training and education
   Train on personal protective equipment and             Communicate with staff, students, parents,
   safety standards                                       and other interest groups
                                                          Be proactive in managing IAQ problems
Recommendations for Controlling
General Contaminant Sources (Chapter
   Develop an asthma management plan
   Prevent and eliminate mold
   Enforce tobacco use policies
   Control cleaning and maintenance materials
   Control dust
   Use integrated pest management
   Control asbestos
   Monitor for radon and control as necessary

Recommended Practices for Controlling
Contaminant Sources in Classrooms,
Offices and Special Use Areas (Chapter
   Encourage good personal hygiene
   Maintain clean classrooms and offices
   Properly ventilate staff work rooms and
   printing rooms
   Clean and ventilate food handling areas
   Use special precautions for locker rooms
   Provide special ventilation and control
   materials and practices in science rooms
   Ventilate and control materials and practices
   in art and theater rooms
   Do not keep pets in the classroom

2. Why Manage School Indoor Air Quality?

A. Introduction                                          are mucous membrane irritation and respiratory
                                                         symptoms. Other physiologic systems can also
Over the last few decades, considerable attention
                                                         be caused by exposure to indoor air
has been directed toward the problems of indoor
                                                         contaminants. Irritation, pulmonary,
air quality. It has become increasingly clear that
                                                         cardiovascular, and nervous system effects are
exposure to contaminated indoor air may not
                                                         highlighted briefly below.3 (Chapter 3 provides
only be unpleasant, but can have serious adverse
                                                         additional information on indoor air pollutant
health effects.
                                                         sources and comfort and health effects.)
Levels of specific contaminants in indoor air
                                                         Indoor air pollutants may irritate the skin, eyes,
may be significantly higher than outdoors.
                                                         nose and throat and upper airways. They may
Contaminants found at increased levels indoors
                                                         also create dry mucous membranes, erythema
include: formaldehyde; other volatile organic
                                                         (redness or inflammation of the skin), headache,
compounds (VOCs); pesticides; radon; molds
                                                         and abnormal taste. Pollutants such as
and bacteria; and byproducts of combustion such
                                                         formaldehyde and other VOCs, which includes
as solid particles, carbon monoxide, and
                                                         highly scented products, combustion products,
nitrogen oxides.1
                                                         and particulates are examples that may cause
                                                         these symptoms.
Of course, many factors influence indoor air
pollution levels. These include: activities of
                                                         Pulmonary effects may include rapid breathing,
building occupants (including maintenance
                                                         exacerbation of asthma, allergies, and flu-like
activities); the types of building materials;
                                                         symptoms. These may come from combustion
furnishings and equipment; the levels of outdoor
                                                         products, formaldehyde and other VOCs, and
contamination; the season; indoor humidity and
                                                         particulates. Some individuals susceptible to
temperature; and ventilation rates. Not only are
                                                         certain biological air contaminants may develop
we potentially exposed to a greater level of
                                                         hypersensitivity diseases including
contamination indoors than outdoors, most of us
                                                         hypersensitivity pneumonitis and humidifier
are exposed to indoor air for a longer period of
                                                         fever. Legionnaire’s disease can occur from
time, on average. We spend over 90 percent of
                                                         aerosolization of Legionella bacteria from
our time indoors.2
                                                         HVAC cooling towers, humidifiers, and
                                                         evaporative condensers.
B. Health Symptoms and
                                                         Cardiovascular effects may include fatigue.
Indoor air quality problems often cause non-             Exposure to combustion products, VOCs, and
specific symptoms rather than clearly defined            particulates are most commonly associated with
illnesses. The symptoms most commonly                    these symptoms. Elevated carbon monoxide
attributed to indoor air quality problems include:       levels can aggravate existing cardiovascular
                                                         disease, and cause chest pain and heart damage.
    Headache, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
    Sinus congestion, coughing, and sneezing.            Central nervous system effects may include
    Eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation.              headache, fatigue, malaise with nausea, and in
    Dizziness and nausea.                                certain circumstances, lack of coordination,
                                                         impaired judgment, and blurred vision.
The most common symptoms experienced or                  Combustion products, formaldehyde and other
reported in school buildings with IAQ problems

VOCs, and biological pollutants are associated            cause direct toxic effects). Infectious diseases
with these effects.                                       that can be spread through indoor air or personal
                                                          contact include influenza, other viral infections,
Cancer and reproductive effects have also been            tuberculosis, and measles. These diseases are
associated with exposure to indoor air                    more likely to be spread in indoor environments
contaminants. Such effects may not be seen until          that are overcrowded and inadequately
years after exposure has taken place. Agents that         ventilated.4, 5
are associated with these effects, including
heavy metals and some solvents, are routinely             D. Sensitivity of Children to
used in certain fields of instruction such as             Indoor Contaminants
science, vocational arts, and art.
                                                          Children may be more likely than adults to be
                                                          adversely affected by indoor air pollution.
Staff and students must be trained to take
                                                          Children breathe a greater volume of air relative
precautions in storing and handling toxic
                                                          to their body weight and this may lead to a
materials used in school curricula, and to use
                                                          greater burden of pollutants on their bodies.6 In
less toxic products when possible. In addition,
                                                          addition, younger children are less likely than
the proper design and operation of instructional
                                                          adults to comprehend and clearly communicate
facilities and equipment, including exhaust
                                                          their symptoms. Comfort issues may also affect
systems, is essential to avoid exposure either to
                                                          children. These issues can include being too hot
classroom participants or other building
                                                          or too cold and this may cause them to be
occupants. Staff or students who are pregnant
                                                          restless or sleepy in addition to displaying other
must be especially protected from exposure
                                                          symptoms as a result of poor indoor air quality.7
since developing fetuses may be particularly
susceptible to environmental toxins.
                                                          E. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
State and local health officials or other qualified       Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a
occupational health and safety professionals may          diagnosis for which a single cause has not been
be consulted to answer questions concerning the           identified. Individuals who are considered to be
health risks associated with exposure to indoor           multiple chemical sensitive experience many of
air contaminants (or hazardous materials), and to         the symptoms associated with exposure to
identify ways to minimize or reduce such risks.           indoor air pollutants. The most frequent
See Chapter 12 for additional resources.                  symptoms include headache and fatigue.

People with allergies, asthma, or damaged                 Generally MCS is thought to be acquired by
immune systems may be more susceptible to                 certain individuals when they are exposed and
certain indoor contaminants. This is noteworthy,          become sensitized to environmental
since there has been a significant increase in the        contaminants, which may include indoor air
prevalence of asthma in children over the past            contaminants. People may become sensitized
decade.                                                   through a single high-level exposure, or long-
                                                          term, low-level exposure. Once sensitized, these
C. Increased Spread of                                    individuals may experience severe symptoms
Infectious Diseases                                       when exposed to the same chemicals or
                                                          unrelated chemical substances. Symptoms may
Biological agents in indoor air can cause
                                                          occur with very low levels of chemical
disease. Diseases may include infections,
                                                          exposure—levels that do not cause symptoms in
hypersensitivity (where specific activation of the
                                                          most of the general population.8, 9
immune system causes disease), and toxicoses
(where biologically produced chemical toxins

Although there is not agreement within the               Closure of schoolrooms and buildings may have
medical community concerning the nature, causes,         serious, adverse consequences for the district,
and treatment of MCS, practices to prevent indoor        students, parents, and staff. The consequences
air contamination may help reduce the incidence          include disruption of learning, transportation,
of associated symptoms, and should provide a             and child-care arrangements. Closure can also
more comfortable environment for those persons           undermine the confidence of students, parents,
thought to have MCS.                                     and staff in the safety of the building and the
                                                         indoor air quality management practices of the
F. Reduced Productivity in                               district.
Students, Teachers, and Staff
                                                         Some students may have pre-existing conditions
Students, teachers, and other school staff need a
                                                         that make them more susceptible to
healthy and comfortable environment in which
                                                         environmental toxins, including indoor air
to function. Problems associated with indoor air
                                                         contaminants. If such conditions are medically
quality may lead to discomfort or illness, which
                                                         documented, the school district may need to
in turn may lead to reduced productivity and
                                                         relocate these individuals, or provide alternative
academic performance, and increased
                                                         accommodation to assure a healthy learning
absenteeism. 10
G. Strained Relationships
                                                         I. Deterioration of Buildings
Indoor air quality problems or the perception of         and Equipment
indoor air quality problems can create tension
and strain relationships among parents, school           Failure to properly maintain buildings or
administrators, teachers, and other school staff.        equipment can contribute to poor indoor air
Parents expect healthy school environments for           quality. This may not only create discomfort and
their children. If indoor air quality problems           adverse health effects in building occupants, but
develop, parents may blame the school district           may lead to equipment malfunctions, and further
for failure to take proper precautions to ensure a       deterioration of buildings, equipment, and
safe school environment. Relationships may               furnishings. Warranties on equipment and
deteriorate if indoor air quality problems are not       furnishings may be voided due to improper care.
promptly and effectively addressed, or if there is       Once problems arise, the costs for additional
poor communication among administrators,                 cleaning, repair, replacement or maintenance of
staff, and parents.                                      building, equipment and furnishings may be
                                                         substantially higher than the cost savings from
                                                         deferred maintenance.
H. Potential for Room or
Building Closures and Occupant
                                                         J. Increased Liability and Risk
                                                         Problems related to poor indoor air quality may
Resolving indoor air quality problems is often a
                                                         lead to legal claims and expenses, including
difficult task, and solutions may not be readily
                                                         judgments and settlements. Teachers and other
apparent or quickly implemented. To ensure the
                                                         staff members experiencing illness from
comfort and health of students and staff, it may
                                                         contaminated indoor air may file industrial
be necessary to restrict access to school rooms
                                                         insurance claims. Payroll costs may escalate due
or other areas of the school building, or to close
                                                         to increased absenteeism. As noted above, there
the entire building until investigations and
                                                         also may be unexpected costs for repair,
corrective actions have been taken.
                                                         replacement, and maintenance of structures,
                                                         furnishings, and equipment. Resolution of
                                                         indoor air quality problems may be costly,

depending upon the nature and extent of                  The U. S. Occupational Safety and Health
investigations and corrective actions required.          Administration (OSHA) has estimated that 20 to
                                                         30 percent of non-industrial buildings have
K. Special Considerations in                             problems with indoor air quality.13 If the figures
Schools                                                  are reasonably representative, it may be
                                                         concluded that hundreds of school buildings in
Schools present special problems for managing
                                                         the state experience indoor air quality problems,
indoor air quality. Students and teachers often
                                                         not including problems that may exist in
work more closely together in classrooms than
                                                         portable classrooms. Thousands of students,
people in typical office buildings.
                                                         teachers, and other school staff members are
Approximately four times more people may
                                                         potentially exposed to poor indoor air quality.
occupy a given amount of floor space in a school
classroom as than in an office.11
                                                         M. Preventing and Managing
                                                         School IAQ Problems
Schools also have diverse activities and a wide
range of potential air pollutant sources. These          Many indoor air quality problems can be
sources include: cafeterias; art, science, and           prevented. The cost of preventing indoor air
other classrooms; vocational education areas;            quality problems is likely to be significantly less
pools; restrooms; and locker rooms.                      than the cost of resolving problems after they
                                                         develop. Good practices in siting, design,
Given these special circumstances and the                construction, and operation and maintenance of
sensitivity of some children to environmental            schools will help school districts avoid these
contaminants, it is important to prevent indoor          problems. A good guide for maintaining
air quality problems whenever possible, and to           facilities is School Facilities Maintenance Task
effectively manage and resolve indoor air                Force’s Planning Guide for Maintaining School
quality complaints and incidents.                        Facilities.14

L. Indoor Air Quality in
Washington State Schools
It is the goal of the Office of the Superintendent
of Public Instruction and the Department of
Health to encourage the use of sound, cost-
effective management practices to ensure good
indoor air quality in public and private schools.

There are approximately 2,200 public schools in
Washington State, operating an estimated 5,000-
10,000 school buildings. The findings from
walk-through assessments in 156 schools
indicates a significant number of schools in the
northwest have inadequate ventilation, faulty
mechanical equipment, and do not have carbon
monoxide alarms in zones with combustion
equipment. Potential asthma triggers such as
animals in classrooms, un-vented equipment,
and wet building materials (which can lead to
mold) also exist in many of these schools.12

3. Factors Influencing Indoor Air Quality

A. Introduction                                          Surface and Underground Sources
This chapter focuses on the sources of indoor air           Radon
contamination. Comfort and health effects for               Leakage from underground fuel tanks
specific contaminants are briefly described, and            Contaminants from previous uses of the site
control measures for addressing these                       (for example, buried or discharged solid or
contaminants are outlined. Chapters 4 through               hazardous waste)
11 of the Manual describe in greater detail                 Pesticides
control measures for indoor air pollutants.
                                                         Moisture or Standing Water Promoting
Indoor air may be impacted by contaminant                Microbial Growth
sources outside a building as well as from                  Rooftops after rainfall
sources inside the building. Contaminants may               Crawl spaces
consist of particles and dust (including                    Nearby wetlands
microbial debris), fibers, mists, biological                Storm water treatment systems
particles, and gases, vapors, or fumes.
Following are examples of contaminant sources
                                                         C. Building Components and
that may contribute to indoor air pollution.15, 16
B. Outside Sources of                                    Locations that Produce or Collect Dust or
Contamination                                            Fibers
Contaminated Ambient Air                                    Textured surfaces such as carpeting,
                                                            curtains, and other textiles
    Pollen, dust, and fungal spores                         Open shelving
    Industrial pollutants                                   Office dividers
    Emissions from residential heating units,               Baseboard heating units
    such as wood smoke                                      Old or deteriorated furnishings
    Area-wide vehicle exhaust and emissions                 Materials containing loose asbestos

Emissions from Nearby Sources                            Unsanitary Conditions and Water
    Exhaust from vehicles on roads, in parking           Damage
    lots, garages, or loading docks near school             Microbial growth on or in soiled or water-
    buildings                                               damaged carpets and furnishings
    Odors from dumpsters or trash storage areas,            Microbial growth in areas of surface
    or other areas with unsanitary debris near              contamination
    the building outdoor air intake                         Standing water from clogged or poorly
    Emissions from construction activities                  designed drains
    Pesticides applied to nearby crops                      Dry traps that allow the entry of sewer gas
    Livestock operations                                    Moisture damage from aquariums, or
    Exhaust from the building itself or from                maintenance of indoor plants
    neighboring buildings that is drawn back
    into the building through outdoor air intakes

Chemicals Released from Building                          Airborne dust or dirt (for example,
Components or Furnishings                                 circulated by sweeping and vacuuming)
   Pressed wood products
   Glues, adhesives, sealants
                                                      Maintenance Activities
   Insulating materials                                   Microorganisms in mist from improperly-
   Flooring and wall coverings                            maintained cooling towers
   Plastics                                               Airborne dust or dirt
   Electrical equipment                                   Odors and volatile organic compounds from
                                                          paint, caulk, adhesives, and other products
D. Building Equipment                                     Pesticides from pest control activities
                                                          Emissions from stored supplies
The Heating, Ventilation, and Air
Conditioning System
                                                      F. Other Sources
   Dust or dirt in ductwork, filters, or other
   components                                         Spills, Leakage, and Accidents
   Microbial growth in drip pans, humidifiers,            Spills of water or other liquids
   ductwork, coils                                        Microbial growth due to flooding or leaks
   Improper use of biocides, sealants, or                 from roofs or pipes
   cleaning compounds                                     Fire damage (soot, PCBs from electrical
   Improper venting of combustion products                equipment, odors)
   Refrigerant leakage
   Natural gas pipe leakage                           Special Use Areas within the Building
                                                          Science laboratories
Other Building Equipment
                                                          Photo/printing rooms
   Emissions from office equipment (volatile              Art rooms
   organic compounds, ozone)                              Restrooms and locker rooms
   Emissions from supplies (solvents, toners,             Pools
   ammonia)                                               Cafeterias and other food handling areas
   Emissions from shops, labs, cleaning                   Staff work rooms
   processes                                              Vocational arts areas
   Emissions from elevator motors and other
   mechanical systems                                 Redecorating, Remodeling, and Repair
E. Human Activities
                                                          Emissions from new furnishings
Personal Activities                                       Dust and fibers from demolition
   Body and cosmetic odors                                Odors and volatile organic and inorganic
   Coughing and sneezing                                  compounds from paint, caulk, adhesives,
   Perfumes, colognes, and fabric softeners               and other products
   Smoking (note: smoking is banned on public             Microbial debris released from demolition
   school grounds)                                        or remodeling activities
   Solvent based markers
                                                      Various pollutants or contaminants are released
Housekeeping Activities                               from the sources listed above. Table 3-1 lists
                                                      typical indoor air pollutants, identifies potential
   Cleaning materials and procedures                  sources, describes comfort and health effects,
   Emissions from stored supplies or trash            and suggests control measures.17, 18,19,20,21
   Use of deodorizers and fragrances

Chapters 4 through 11 of this Manual provide
many recommendations to control and prevent
problems from these and other indoor air
pollutants. For additional information on indoor
air pollution sources, health effects, and
regulations or guidelines for control, the reader
should consult the reference list at the end of this
manual and review Chapter 12: Other

Figure 3-1 shows indoor air pollutant sources,
and the their fate in the building environment.22

                    Figure 3-1
          Indoor Air Pollutant Flow

              Contaminants Enter
               Building Through
                Building Materials
               Consumer Products
                 Outside Air/Soil

   While in the Building, Contaminants May
                Attach to Surfaces
                React and Interact
                Remain Unchanged

Inhaled by       Exhaled by         Leave With
Occupants        Occupants          Exhausted Air

                                                                        Table 3-1
                                                  Typical Indoor Air Pollutants: Description and Sources

         Pollutant                              Sources                           Comfort and Health Effects                        Control Measures

Airborne Biological              People, plants, pets, and insects may     Tuberculosis, measles, staphylococcus            Good housekeeping and maintenance
Pollutants Biological            serve as sources or carry biological      infections, influenza and Legionnaires disease   of HVAC equipment are very
materials, bacteria, viruses,    agents into a building. Drapery,          are some of the diseases caused by exposure to   important. Adequate ventilation and
fungi (molds and yeasts),        bedding, carpeting, and other places      biological material in indoor air. Pollens and   good air distribution also help.
pollen, dander, and insect       where dust collects can harbor them.      molds can cause allergic reactions for a         Higher efficiency air filters remove
(cockroaches and dust            Cooling towers, dirty air conditioning    significant portion of the population. Common    viable particles along with other
mites) parts are present         equipment, humidifiers, condensate        symptoms include sneezing, watery eyes,          particles. Any water-damaged
nearly everywhere in indoor      drains, and ductwork can incubate         coughing, and shortness of breath, dizziness,    building materials or furnishings
environments. These              bacteria and molds. Other sources         lethargy, and fever.                             should be promptly cleaned, dried, or
particulates range from less     include wet or damp building                                                               replaced. Maintain relative humidity
than one to several microns      materials and furnishings including                                                        between 40 to 60 percent. Cooling
in size. When airborne, they     insulation, carpet, ceiling tiles, wall                                                    tower water treatment procedures
are usually attached to dust     coverings, and furniture.                                                                  exist to reduce levels of Legionella
particles of various sizes so                                                                                               and other organisms.
that all sizes of airborne
particles may include them.

Asbestos is composed of          Widely used in insulation and other       No immediate acute health effects are known.     The recognized methods of
small, natural mineral fibers.   building materials manufactured           Fibers deposited in the lung are the only        responding to friable or hazardous
Chrysotile is the most           before 1977. Examples include pipe        known cause of mesothelioma, a cancer of the     asbestos containing materials include
commonly used asbestos           and furnace insulation, vinyl floor       chest and abdominal lining. Asbestos is also     repair, removal, enclosure, and
and represents about 95          tiles and sheet flooring, patching        associated with cancer of the esophagus,         encapsulation. Removal has often
percent of the asbestos used     compounds, textured paints, roofing       stomach, colon, and other organs. It can also    been the abatement method of
in buildings in the United       materials, wall and ceiling insulation,   cause asbestosis, a non-cancerous chronic and    choice, although removal is not
States.                          and brake and clutch pads.                debilitating lung disease found in high-level    necessarily the most cost-effective
                                                                           industrial exposures.                            method to protect human health and
                                                                                                                            the environment.

                                                                      Table 3-1
                                          Typical Indoor Air Pollutants: Description and Sources (continued)

         Pollutant                             Sources                            Comfort and Health Effects                           Control Measures

Body Fluid spills such as        Spills may result from illness,           May cause nausea and vomiting as well as            Body fluid spills should be
blood, vomit, urine, and         personal injury, or chronic conditions.   discomfort and health effects in other building     immediately cleaned up and
saliva.                                                                    occupants.                                          disposed. A spill kit should be
                                                                                                                               maintained and used as necessary.
                                                                                                                               The kit should include a bucket,
                                                                                                                               disinfectant, body fluid absorbent
                                                                                                                               material, disposable gloves, paper
                                                                                                                               towels, sealable plastic bags, plastic
                                                                                                                               bandages, gauze, brush, as well as a
                                                                                                                               mask and or shield. School personnel
                                                                                                                               should see that the kit is maintained
                                                                                                                               with these components. Current
                                                                                                                               blood borne pathogen procedures
                                                                                                                               should be followed.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a All combustion processes and human               Carbon dioxide is a simple asphyxiant. At           Ventilate with fresh air to control
colorless, odorless, and         metabolic processes are CO2 sources.      concentrations over 1.5 percent, breathing          carbon dioxide levels. Ventilation
tasteless gas. It is a product   Concentrations of CO2 from people         becomes more difficult. Above 3 percent, CO2        rates should meet WAC 51-13.
of completed carbon              are always present in occupied            causes nausea, headaches, and dizziness, and        Which requires 15 CFM/person in a
combustion.                      buildings.                                above 6 to 8 percent stupor and death can           typical classroom.
                                                                           result. At lower concentrations (0.1 percent),
                                                                           building occupants may experience headaches,
                                                                           fatigue, or eye and respiratory tract irritation.
                                                                           At low concentrations, the buildup of CO2
                                                                           indicates inadequate ventilation.

                                                                     Table 3-1
                                         Typical Indoor Air Pollutants: Description and Sources (continued)

         Pollutant                            Sources                          Comfort and Health Effects                       Control Measures

Carbon Monoxide (CO)             Incomplete oxidation during            Acute or short-term effects of carbon           Maintaining and properly venting
is a colorless, odorless, and    combustion in gas ranges, unvented     monoxide (CO) exposure are due to the           combustion equipment is most
tasteless gas. It results from   heaters, leaky wood and coal stoves,   formation of carboxyhemoglobin in the blood,    important. Manage vehicular use
incomplete oxidation of          and tobacco smoke may cause high       which inhibits oxygen intake. At moderate       adjacent to buildings and in
carbon in combustion.            concentrations of CO in indoor air.    concentrations, symptoms may mimic              vocational programs to avoid entry of
                                 Worn or poorly adjusted and            influenza and include fatigue, headache,        exhaust into buildings. Additional
                                 maintained combustion devices can      dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Other          ventilation can be used as a
                                 be significant sources. Automobile,    symptoms include impaired judgment and          temporary measure when high levels
                                 bus, or truck exhaust entering         impaired vision. At higher concentrations, CO   of CO are expected for short periods
                                 buildings from attached garages,       exposure is fatal.                              of time.
                                 nearby roadways or parking areas can
                                 also be a source of CO.

                                                                     Table 3-1
                                         Typical Indoor Air Pollutants: Description and Sources (continued)

         Pollutant                              Sources                               Comfort and Health Effects                       Control Measures

Formaldehyde is a               Materials containing formaldehyde are        Formaldehyde has a pungent odor and is             For problem UFFI cases, removal
colorless, water-soluble gas.   widely used in buildings, furnishings,       detected by many people at levels of about 0.1     is indicated although the cost can
Due to its wide use, it is      and consumer products. Urea-                 parts per million (ppm). Besides the annoyance,    be high. Even then, residual
frequently considered           formaldehyde resins are used in the          at higher concentrations it can also cause eye,    materials may remain in the
separately from other           manufacture of plywood, particleboard,       nose, and throat irritation; coughing; wheezing;   structure and continue to off-gas.
volatile organic compounds      fiberboard, and textiles. Other potential    fatigue, skin rashes; and in rare cases, serious   Increased temperature, humidity,
(VOCs).                         sources include furniture, shelving          allergic reactions. Formaldehyde has caused        and ventilation will accelerate off
                                partitions, ceiling tiles, wall coverings,   nasal cancer in laboratory animals, but chronic    gassing of formaldehyde.
                                and carpet backing. The walls of some        effects have not been established for human        Therefore, ventilation may not be
                                buildings have been insulated with urea-     beings. Some people exhibit a high sensitivity     an effective means of control.
                                formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI).         to very low concentrations.                        Some manufacturers are
                                                                                                                                producing products with lower
                                Tobacco smoke and incomplete                                                                    off-gassing rates. Some surface
                                combustion of cooking and heating fuels                                                         treatments (such as nitrocellulose
                                are secondary sources.                                                                          or water based polyurethane
                                                                                                                                finishes) are being used to reduce
                                                                                                                                off gassing.

                                                                 Table 3-1
                                     Typical Indoor Air Pollutants: Description and Sources (continued)

        Pollutant                           Sources                               Comfort and Health Effects                     Control Measures

Heavy Metals of concern     Lead sources include lead based paint,       Significant lead exposure in infants and small    Wet mop and wipe furniture to
include lead and mercury.   exterior dust and soil, lead-containing      children may lead to irritability, abdominal      control lead dust. Have
                            food ware, and art and craft materials,      pain, seizures, loss of consciousness, chronic    professionals remove or
                            such as paints, glazes, stained glass, and   learning deficits, hyperactivity, and reduced     encapsulate lead containing paint,
                            solder. Mercury sources include              attention span. In adults, symptoms may           following evaluation of old
                            mercury compounds (such as                   include fatigue, weakness, headache, hearing      painted surfaces. Avoid use of old
                            phenylmercuric acetate) used as              loss, and tremor, lack of coordination,           latex paints containing mercury.
                            preservatives in latex paint                 gastrointestinal discomfort, constipation,        Mercury spills may be handled
                            manufactured before August 1990. In          anorexia, and nausea. With high doses or          through the use of commercial
                            addition, mercury may also be released       prolonged exposure, mercury poisoning             cleanup kits, HEPA vacuums (not
                            from laboratory spills, such as the          symptoms may include muscle cramps or             ordinary vacuums), flowers of
                            breakage of thermometers.                    tremors, headache, tachycardia (abnormally        sulfur, or dental amalgam.
                                                                         high heart rate), intermittent fever, acrodynia
                                                                         (symptoms including leg cramps, irritability,
                                                                         peeling skin, and painful red fingers),
                                                                         personality change, and neurological

                                                                   Table 3-1
                                       Typical Indoor Air Pollutants: Description and Sources (continued)

       Pollutant                           Sources                           Comfort and Health Effects                         Control Measures

Nitrogen Oxides The          The primary indoor sources are          Oxides of nitrogen have no sensory effects in       Venting the sources of nitrogen
two most prevalent oxides    combustion processes, such as           concentrations normally found in schools. Acute     dioxide to the outdoors is the most
of nitrogen are nitrogen     unvented combustion appliances,         effects of lung dysfunction have been reported at   practical measure for existing
dioxide (NO2) and nitric     defective installation of vented        higher concentrations. Oxides of nitrogen           conditions. This includes proper
oxide (NO). Both are toxic   appliances, welding, vehicle exhaust,   produce delayed short-term effects on airway        installation, operation, and
gases with NO2 being a       and tobacco smoke. Combustion           activity. Persons at special risk are those with    maintenance of all combustion
highly reactive oxidant,     appliances include wood, gas, and       chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and          appliances and prevention of
and corrosive. NO            coal stoves, as well as unvented        children under two years old. Long-term or          vehicle exhaust entry into buildings.
gradually reacts with the    kerosene heaters and fireplaces under   chronic effects are not well established.
oxygen in the air to form    some circumstances.

                                                                   Table 3-1
                                       Typical Indoor Air Pollutants: Description and Sources (continued)

         Pollutant                          Sources                          Comfort and Health Effects                         Control Measures

Other Volatile Organic         VOCs are released from many           Several of these compounds have been identified     Selective purchasing and use of
Compounds (VOCs) are           housekeeping and maintenance          individually as causing acute and chronic effects   construction materials, furnishings,
compounds that vaporize        products, building materials,         at high concentrations. At higher concentrations    operational and maintenance
(become a gas) at room         furnishings and equipment, and from   than are typically expected in school buildings,    materials can help reduce VOC
temperature. There are         human metabolism. Examples            some VOCs have been linked to cancer in             emissions. Products should be
hundreds of VOCs found in      include: acetone and alcohols that    humans, and others are suspected of causing         stored in well-ventilated areas apart
the indoor air, sometimes in   are byproducts of human metabolism    cancer. Anecdotal reports suggest that              from occupied zones. Increased
concentrations suspected of    and can be released from cleaners     combinations of these compounds in low              ventilation or direct exhaust can be
being harmful.                 and personal care products; ammonia   concentrations may be associated with sick          used for activities that have high
                               from cleaners and diazo copiers;      building incidents. However, this has not been      VOC emissions, such as painting.
                               aromatic hydrocarbons from            confirmed through rigorous experimental or          Scheduling the use of products to
                               combustion processes, pesticides,     observational studies. Symptoms attributed to       avoid occupant exposure to high
                               paints, and solvents; benzene from    VOCs include respiratory distress, sore throat,     levels of VOCs can also be useful.
                               combustion processes, gasoline, and   eye irritation, nausea, drowsiness, fatigue,
                               solvents; chlorinated hydrocarbons,   headaches, and general malaise.
                               from wood preservatives and
                               solvents; styrene from carpet
                               systems; phenols from equipment
                               and furnishings; toluene from
                               adhesives, gasoline, paints, and
                               solvents; and 4-phenyl cyclohexane
                               (4-PC) released from carpet

                                                                    Table 3-1
                                        Typical Indoor Air Pollutants: Description and Sources (continued)

         Pollutant                            Sources                       Comfort and Health Effects                         Control Measures

Radon, a naturally              Radon is present nearly everywhere       The chronic effect is lung cancer or       Sealing of foundations to prevent entry has
occurring radioactive gas, is   in the earth’s crust in widely varying   other lung dysfunction due to the          been demonstrated to be effective, although
the first decay product of      concentrations. Radon may enter a        retention of radon decay products in       the long-term reliability of sealing is
Radium-226. When radon is       building through the water system or     the lung. These chronic effects are        unknown. Specific ventilation of basement
inhaled, it further decays      through off gassing of building          among the best known of all indoor         areas and crawl spaces has also been shown
and these products can          materials. However, the earth below      air pollutants, as the result of studies   to be effective. Increased ventilation with
become lodged in the lungs.     buildings is the principal source of     on uranium miners. It is speculated        outdoor air will lower radon levels for a
As these particles break        indoor radon. Radon penetrates           that non-occupational radon exposure       given building. However, radon levels do
down further, they release      cracks and drain openings in             in the U.S. may cause between 2,000        not correlate well with ventilation rates
small bursts of radioactive     foundations, and enters basements        and 20,000 cancer deaths per year.         among different buildings; i.e., buildings
energy, which can cause         and crawl spaces.                                                                   with low ventilation rates will not
tissue damage to the lungs.                                                                                         necessarily have high indoor radon levels,
                                                                                                                    and vice-versa. In new construction, radon
                                                                                                                    entry may be controlled by pouring slabs
                                                                                                                    with as few joints as possible, using wire
                                                                                                                    reinforcement in slabs and walls to
                                                                                                                    minimize cracking, using caulking to seal
                                                                                                                    seams and perimeters, and using sub-slab
                                                                                                                    ventilation techniques.

G. Pollutant Pathways                                        Building and mechanical codes in effect at
                                                             the time of the design.
The quality of air of any building is a result of
                                                             Budget that was available for the project.
interactions among the site, climate, building
                                                             Designers’ and school districts’ individual
structure and mechanical systems, construction
techniques, contaminant sources, and building
                                                             Subsequent modifications.

An indoor air quality problem may exist when
                                                         H. Temperature Variations and
there are sources of pollution indoors, outdoors,        Comfort
or within the mechanical ventilation system.             Thermal comfort and ventilation needs are met
These sources are connected to building                  by supplying conditioned air. This is a mixture
occupants through a pathway, with a driving              of outdoor and recirculated air that has been
force to move pollutants along the pathway. As           filtered, heated or cooled, and sometimes
an example, many of the sources of indoor air            humidified or dehumidified.23, 24 A number of
pollution described in this chapter of the Manual        variables interact to determine whether people
may be removed or distributed by the heating,            are comfortable with the temperature and
ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC)                  relative humidity of the indoor air. People’s
system, which serves as a pathway and driving            clothing, activity level, age, and physiology vary
force to reach building occupants.                       widely and so do the thermal requirements for
                                                         comfort. The American Society of Heating,
The HVAC system includes all equipment                   Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers,
serving schools: boilers or furnaces, chillers,          Inc. (ASHRAE) Standard 55 describes
cooling towers, air handling units, exhaust fans,        temperature and humidity ranges that are
ductwork, and filters. A properly designed and           comfortable for most people engaged in non-
operating HVAC system will:                              strenuous activities. Temperature is discussed
                                                         further in Chapter 6 of this Manual.
    Control temperature and relative humidity to
    provide thermal comfort.                             Uniformity of temperature is important to
    Distribute sufficient amounts of outdoor air         comfort. Rooms that share a common heating
    to meet ventilation needs of school                  and cooling system controlled by a single
    occupants.                                           thermostat can have different temperatures.
    Isolate and remove odors and contaminants            Temperature stratification is a common problem
    through pressure control, filtration, and            caused by a lack of mixing when light, warm air
    exhaust fans.                                        rises and heavier, cooler air sinks. If air is not
                                                         properly mixed by the ventilation system, the
These functions must be addressed in the design          temperature near the ceiling can be several
of new schools and remodeling of older schools.          degrees warmer or cooler than near the floor
Older schools may not have adequate HVAC                 where young children spend much of their time.
systems. Furthermore, improper operation and             Even if air is properly mixed, uninsulated floors
maintenance at any school, new or old, may               over unheated spaces can be uncomfortable in
prevent the HVAC system from properly doing              some climate zones. Large fluctuations of indoor
its job. The performance of the HVAC system in           temperature can also occur when thermostats
a given building depends on several factors:             have a wide dead band (a temperature range in
                                                         which neither heating or cooling takes place).
    Age of the system and design.
    Climate.                                             Radiant heat transfer may cause people near
                                                         very hot or cold surfaces to be uncomfortable

even though the thermostat setting and the                 as restrooms, kitchens, shops, and science
measured air temperature are within the comfort            materials storage closets and fume hoods.
range. Schools with large window areas
sometimes can be uncomfortable due to radiant              Modern schools use mechanical ventilation
heat gains and losses. The locations of these              systems to introduce outdoor air during occupied
complaints can shift during the day as the sun             periods and exhaust fans to remove odors and
angle changes. Windows and poorly insulated                contaminants from special use areas. Older
walls can also produce a flow of air by                    schools may rely more on natural ventilation to
convection, leading to complaints of draftiness.           bring in fresh air. In naturally ventilated
Closing curtains reduces heating from direct               buildings, unacceptable indoor air quality is
sunlight and isolates building occupants from              particularly likely when occupants keep the
exposure to window surfaces that are often                 windows closed due to extreme hot or cold
hotter or colder than the walls.                           outdoor temperatures. Even when windows and
                                                           doors are open, under-ventilation is likely when
Large schools may have interior core spaces in             there is little wind. This can also be a problem in
which year-round cooling is required to                    multi-story buildings when there is little
compensate for heat generated by occupants,                temperature difference between the inside and
equipment, and lighting. At the same time,                 outside of the building.
perimeter rooms may require heating or cooling
depending on outdoor conditions.                           The amount of outdoor air considered adequate
                                                           for ventilation has varied substantially over the
I. The Effects of Humidity on                              last several years. HVAC systems in older
Comfort Levels                                             schools may not have been designed to meet
                                                           modern ventilation standards. As a result, when
Humidity is a factor in thermal comfort. Raising
                                                           these buildings are scheduled for major
relative humidity reduces people’s ability to lose
                                                           remodeling, their HVAC systems need to be
heat through perspiration and evaporation; the
effect is similar to raising the temperature.
Humidity extremes can also create indoor air
                                                           ASHRAE ventilation standards are used as the
quality problems. High or low relative humidity
                                                           basis for most building ventilation codes,
can be uncomfortable. Relative humidity over 60
                                                           including the Washington State Ventilation and
percent can promote the growth of mold and
                                                           Indoor Air Quality Code, Chapter 51-13
mildew, while relative humidity below 30
                                                           Washington Administrative Code (WAC).
percent can accelerate the release of fungal
                                                           Generally for classrooms, libraries, music
spores into the air. Low humidity has been
                                                           rooms, auditoriums, and kitchens, the ASHRAE
associated with irritation of the mucous
                                                           recommended standard is 15 cubic feet per
membranes of the eyes and upper respiratory
                                                           minute of outdoor air ventilation per occupant,
                                                           while office space and conference rooms should
                                                           have 20 cubic feet per minute per occupant.
J. Ventilation to Meet Occupant
                                                           These recommendations may vary depending on
Needs                                                      special conditions and occupancy of the room
All schools need ventilation, the process of               (number of people per 1,000 square feet).
supplying outdoor air to the occupied areas                Airflow requirements are discussed in detail in
within the school to remove pollutants. As                 Chapter 6 of the Manual.
outdoor air is drawn into the school, indoor air is
exhausted by fans or allowed to escape through
openings. Exhaust is also taken directly from
special use areas that produce air pollutants such

K. Air Flow Patterns in                                   can overpower a building’s HVAC system and
Buildings                                                 disrupt air circulation and ventilation, especially
                                                          if the school envelope (walls, ceilings, windows,
Airflow in buildings results from the combined
                                                          doors) is leaky.
action of mechanical ventilation systems, human
activity, and natural forces. These forces create
                                                          Stack effect is the pressure-driven airflow
differences in air pressure that move airborne
                                                          produced by convection (the tendency of warm
pollutants from areas of higher pressure to areas
                                                          air to rise). The stack effect exists whenever
of lower pressure through any available opening.
                                                          there is an indoor-outdoor temperature
                                                          difference and becomes stronger as the
The HVAC system is generally the dominant
                                                          temperature difference increases. Multi-story
pathway and driving force for air movement in
                                                          schools are more affected than single-story
buildings. However, all of a building’s
                                                          schools. As heated air escapes from upper levels,
components (walls, ceilings, floors, doors,
                                                          indoor air moves from lower to upper levels, and
windows, HVAC equipment, hood operation,
                                                          outdoor air is drawn into the lower levels to
and occupants) interact to affect how airflow
                                                          replace escaped air. Stack effect can transport
distributes pollutants within a building. For
                                                          contaminants between floors by way of
example, as air moves from supply outlets to
                                                          stairwells, elevator shafts, utility chases, and
return inlets, it can be diverted or obstructed by
                                                          other openings.
partitions, walls, and furnishings or redirected
by openings that provide pathways for air                 Wind effects are transient, creating local areas of
movement. On a localized basis, the movements             high pressure on the windward side and low
of people have a major impact on the movement
                                                          pressure on the leeward side of buildings.
of pollutants. Some pathways change as doors              Depending on the leakage openings in the
and windows open and close. It is useful to think         building exterior, wind can affect the pressure
of the entire building as part of the air
                                                          relationships within and between rooms. Entry
distribution system.                                      of outdoor air contaminants may be intermittent
                                                          or variable, occurring only when the wind blows
Air movement can produce many patterns of                 from the direction of the pollutant source.
pollutant distribution including:
                                                          Most public and commercial buildings are
    Variable distribution of pollutants within an
                                                          designed to have a positive (higher) pressure
    individual room.
                                                          than the outdoors. This prevents unconditioned
    Movement of pollutants into adjacent rooms
                                                          air from entering through openings in the
    or spaces that are under lower pressure.
                                                          building envelope and causing discomfort or air
    Movement into other spaces through HVAC
                                                          quality problems. This interaction between
    system ducts.
                                                          pollutant pathways and intermittent or variable
    Movement from lower to upper levels in
                                                          driving forces can lead to a single source
    multi-story schools.
                                                          causing indoor air quality complaints in a distant
    Movement into the building through either
                                                          area of the school.
    infiltration of outdoor air or re-entry of
    exhaust air.
                                                          L. Occupants Particularly
    Deposition of particulates onto the walls,
                                                          Susceptible to Indoor Air
    tables shelves, etc.
Natural forces exert an important influence on            Building occupants include staff, students, and
air movement between a school’s interior and              other people who spend extended time periods in
exterior. Both the stack effect and wind effect

the school. Some who may be particularly                   often fails to detect high concentrations of
susceptible to indoor air contaminants include:            specific contaminants, although in most cases, a
                                                           physical basis that may contribute to the
    Allergic or asthmatic individuals.                     occurrence of SBS can be found, such as
    People with respiratory disease.                       inadequate ventilation by the HVAC system.
    People whose immune systems are
    suppressed due to chemotherapy, radiation              Sick building syndrome symptoms include: eye,
    therapy, disease, or other causes.                     nose, and throat irritation; dryness of mucous
    People on certain types of medication.                 membranes and skin; nosebleeds; skin rash;
    Contact lens wearers.                                  mental fatigue; headache; cough; hoarseness;
                                                           wheezing; nausea; and dizziness.
Some other groups are particularly vulnerable to
exposure of certain pollutants or pollutant                N. Building-Related Illness
mixtures. For example:
                                                           Building-related illness refers to illness brought
                                                           on specifically by exposure to building air. In
    People with heart disease may be less
                                                           this case, symptoms of diagnosable illness are
    tolerant to exposure to lower levels of
                                                           identified (certain allergies or infections) and
    carbon monoxide than healthy individuals.
                                                           can be directly attributed to environmental
    Children or adults who smoke or who are
                                                           agents in the indoor air. Legionnaire’s disease
    exposed to environmental tobacco smoke
                                                           and hypersensitivity pneumonitis are examples
    away from the school environment are at
                                                           of building-related illness that can have serious
    higher risk of respiratory illness.
                                                           or life-threatening consequences. Building
    Those with asthma or chronic lung disease
                                                           related illness can develop as a result of poor
    who are exposed to significant levels of
                                                           building maintenance and uncontrolled
    nitrogen dioxide from combustion sources
                                                           contaminant sources.
    are at higher risk of respiratory illness.

Due to varying sensitivity, one individual may
react to a particular indoor air quality problem
while others nearby display no ill effects.
Chapter 2 of this Manual describes the health
symptoms and effects that may result from poor
indoor air quality. The introduction to this
chapter also notes that there are other
environmental stressors that may produce
symptoms similar to those caused by poor
indoor air quality.

M. Sick Building Syndrome
The term sick building syndrome (SBS) is used
to describe cases in which building occupants
experience short-term health and comfort effects
that are often linked to the time they spend in the
building, but no specific cause or illness can be
identified. The complaints may be localized in a
particular room or zone or may be widespread
throughout the building. Analysis of air samples

4. Basic Strategies for Good Indoor Air Quality

Recommended Strategies for                                  pollutants into the indoor air. For instance, one
Good Indoor Air Quality                                     approach to asbestos abatement involves
                                                            encapsulation to prevent the release of asbestos
There are seven basic control methods for
reducing concentrations or avoiding elevated
concentrations of indoor air contaminants:25, 26, 27
                                                            C. Use Local Exhaust for
    Manage at the source.
                                                            Problem Areas
    Use local exhaust for problem areas.                    Local exhaust removes pollutants directly from
    Use outdoor air to dilute and replace                   their indoor source to the outside so they are not
    contaminated air.                                       dispersed into the indoor air. Examples include
    Control exposure by managing time, amount               restroom and kitchen air exhausts, science lab
    and location of products used.                          fume hoods, art room kiln exhausts,
    Filter the air.                                         housekeeping storage rooms, printing and
    Educate everyone on IAQ.                                duplicating rooms, and vocational arts rooms.
    Designate an indoor air quality coordinator             Local exhaust, including the use of temporary
    for siting, design, construction, and                   exhaust, is also important when occupied school
    operation.                                              buildings are undergoing remodeling or repairs.
                                                            Local exhaust can be used to help prevent staff
In most cases, a combination of these strategies            and student exposure to contaminants during
should be used to ensure good indoor air quality.           demolition and installation of new building
B. Manage Contaminants at the
Source                                                      D. Use Good Quality Outdoor
Source management is the most effective
                                                            Air to Dilute and Replace
method to control or avoid indoor air                       Contaminated Indoor Air
contamination. Source removal, the best method,             This method uses outdoor air to dilute and
means preventing unnecessary pollutants from                replace contaminated indoor air. State and local
entering the school building. Examples of source            building codes specify the amount of outdoor air
removal include prohibiting buses from idling               that must be continuously supplied to an
near outdoor air intakes, and not placing trash,            occupied area. For effective ventilation, consider
cleaning, or maintenance supplies (which have               several factors:
the potential to release pollutants) in rooms
where HVAC equipment is located.                                The quantity and quality of outdoor air.
                                                                The effectiveness with which outdoor air
Source substitution includes actions such as                    reaches building occupants.
selecting less toxic art materials (low odor or                 The efficiency with which outdoor air
water soluble markers), or selecting latex                      reduces contaminant levels.
interior paint with low volatile organic                        Air pressure relationships between interior
compounds as well as less toxic cleaning                        spaces and between inside the building and
supplies (chemicals).                                           outdoors.

Source encapsulation involves placing a barrier             Air pressure relationships help to prevent the
around the source so that it releases fewer                 distribution of contaminants from special use

areas (such as kitchens and science rooms) into          Exposure control methods may be used in
other parts of the building.                             conjunction with increased ventilation or local
Temporarily increasing ventilation can be useful
in diluting the concentration of fumes in the air        F. Filter the Air
from activities such as painting, pesticide
                                                         This method involves filtering particles as the air
application, or responding to chemical spills.
                                                         passes through the HVAC system. Filtration is
However, ventilation may also distribute
                                                         important in removing particles, including
contaminants into other less-contaminated areas.
                                                         microbial agents, which can cause illness in
It is advisable to consider the use of special,
                                                         building occupants. Gaseous contaminants can
temporary local exhaust or local ventilation in
                                                         also be removed, but in most cases such removal
such situations. Ventilation requirements and
                                                         is more difficult and costly. However, removal
recommendations are discussed further in
                                                         of gaseous contaminants may be considered on a
Chapters 6 through 10 of this Manual.
                                                         case-by-case basis.

E. Control Exposure - Time,
                                                         G. Educate Everyone on IAQ
Amount, and Products
                                                         Education is a key component of the strategy to
Exposure control limits the exposure of building
                                                         manage indoor air quality. Students, parents,
occupants to contaminants by managing the time
                                                         teachers, custodians, and other staff should be
at which products producing emissions are used,
                                                         given information about the sources and effects
the amount of product used, and the location of
                                                         of contamination and about the proper operation
                                                         of the ventilation system. Then they can work
                                                         together to reduce their exposure and the
An example of time exposure control would be
                                                         exposure of others.
to strip and wax floors on Friday after school is
dismissed, so that the floor products have a
                                                         Education should lead to good building
chance to off-gas over the weekend. This
                                                         operation and maintenance practices, good
reduces the level of contaminants in the air when
                                                         housekeeping, and other preventive measures.
the school is occupied. (Note: the ventilation
                                                         This manual and the Environmental Protection
system must be operating during contaminant
                                                         Agency’s (EPA) Tools for Schools program can
off gassing).
                                                         provide a basic orientation on indoor air quality.
                                                         Information should be provided at the school
By controlling or restricting the amount of
                                                         district and building levels, and should also be
product used, fewer air contaminants will be
                                                         available to key policy makers, including local
present at the time the building is occupied.
                                                         school board and site council members.
Finally, controlling the location of use simply
                                                         Providing and maintaining good indoor air
means moving the contaminant source as far as
                                                         quality may require additional expenditure of
possible from occupants, or relocating
                                                         funds in design, construction, building
susceptible occupants. For example, doors, trim,
                                                         operation, and maintenance. These expenditures
and other materials may be removed from a
                                                         are good investments and are likely to reduce the
schoolroom, refinished, and allowed to cure in a
                                                         expense of solving problems later. The costs of
well-ventilated offsite location before
                                                         providing good indoor air quality should be
                                                         openly discussed by all involved parties,
                                                         including school administrators, staff, parents,
                                                         the school board, and site council.

H. Designate an Indoor Air                                     staff, and other interested and affected
Quality Coordinator                                            parties.
An indoor air quality coordinator should be
                                                           The IAQ coordinator serves as a resource person
assigned or hired to assure that practices to
                                                           to the design team. Many of the tasks to be
ensure good indoor air quality are carried out in
                                                           performed by the IAQ coordinator are
all phases of school siting, design, construction,
                                                           administrative and involve coordination of
and ultimately in school operation. The IAQ
                                                           activities, communication, and documentation.
coordinator selected for siting, design,
                                                           Many of the technical tasks necessary to achieve
construction, or renovation may not necessarily
                                                           good indoor air quality can be assigned to
be the same person assigned as IAQ coordinator
                                                           technical specialists including architects and
once the school is in operation.
                                                           engineers, other professional service consultants
                                                           and contractors. However, it is valuable for the
In school siting, design, and construction, the
                                                           IAQ coordinator to have or acquire some
IAQ coordinator should ensure that all IAQ
                                                           training and/or job experience related to indoor
objectives and issues defined for the school are
                                                           air quality issues, design, repair, or maintenance
considered through each phase. The IAQ
                                                           of air handling systems, and school construction
coordinator should have good communication
                                                           and material selection.
skills, time available to devote to this function,
and some technical expertise. The following
                                                           Administrative staff at the upper level
tasks may be assigned to the IAQ coordinator
                                                           administration in a school or school district may
during these phases of school development or
                                                           act as the IAQ coordinator. In conjunction with
                                                           the school board, these positions exercise greater
                                                           control of budget, staffing, and other resources
    Assist in developing and reviewing an
                                                           than lower level positions. However, depending
    indoor pollutant source control plan
                                                           on the needs and preferences of the school
    (discussed in Chapter 6 of this Manual) to
                                                           district, functions of the IAQ coordinator may be
    guide siting, design, and construction.
                                                           performed by other personnel. Those might be
    Exchange information with state and local
                                                           technical staff with skills related to indoor air
                                                           quality, personnel at the educational service
    Obtain outside consulting assistance when
                                                           district level, or independent consultants
                                                           selected by the school district.28
    Help identify and communicate school
    district needs with the design/construction
                                                           The EPA Tools for Schools program contains
                                                           extensive materials to educate IAQ coordinators
    Assist in reviewing plans, activities, and
                                                           and to assist them in performing their duties
    work products for response to indoor air
                                                           (See Chapter 12 Other Resources).
    quality needs.
    Assure documentation of the rationale for
    decisions which vary from applicable best
    management practices (due to budget
    constraints, schedule restrictions, or other
    Help to ensure adequate documentation of
    indoor air quality activities and
    communication with school boards, site
    councils, administrators, other school district

5. Siting Schools for Good Indoor Air Quality

Recommended Practices for
School Siting                                            Guidelines for conducting ESAs are often
                                                         provided through lending institutions or
    Conduct an Environmental Site Assessment
                                                         environmental consulting firms. There are many
    Analyze the local climate
                                                         environmental consulting firms with experience
    Analyze nearby air quality and emission
                                                         performing ESAs and related services that are
                                                         available to assist school districts. A thorough
    Analyze for radon and other factors
                                                         guide for conducting environmental site
    Document findings
                                                         assessments is available from the American
                                                         Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM),
B. Conduct an Environmental                              entitled Standard Practice for Environmental
Site Assessment                                          Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site
It is important to review prior uses of the site         Assessment Process. This guidance document is
and adjacent properties before deciding to buy           available from ASTM (see Chapter 12 Other
school property. Hazardous substances may                Resources).
have been abandoned, discharged, or leaked
onto the property. Previous agricultural sites           C. Analyze the Local Climate
may have high concentrations of pesticides,
                                                         Both the local climate and the building site's
herbicides, and fertilizers. Past commercial or
                                                         microclimate should be considered as part of the
industrial activities may have left improperly
                                                         site evaluation and design process. Climate
disposed solvents, adhesives, paints, oils and
                                                         assessment involves identifying prevailing
other products.
                                                         winds and variations in wind patterns, and
                                                         analyzing temperature and humidity patterns.
A good way to screen sites for environmental
                                                         This information is useful in designing the
contaminants is to conduct a Phase I
                                                         building envelope and determining HVAC
environmental site assessment (ESA). This
                                                         control strategies, equipment needs, equipment
assessment is designed to examine current and
                                                         locations, and capacities. Wind data may help to
past uses of the property and adjoining
                                                         identify the best locations for outdoor air
properties, as well as activities within a
                                                         intakes, exhausts, parking facilities, loading
reasonable distance (one-half mile to a mile) of
                                                         docks, and other features. During building
the site that may affect environmental quality
                                                         operation, wind data can also be used to identify
and public health at the site.
                                                         and respond to upwind contaminant sources that
                                                         have the potential to affect indoor air quality.
ESAs typically involve review of state, federal,
and local records, maps, files, and aerial photos
                                                         Climate data are available from the National
as well as a site reconnaissance and interviews
                                                         Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
with past and present owners, occupants, and
                                                         (NOAA), the National Climate Data Center,
regulatory officials. Environmental site
                                                         Department of Commerce, airports, local air
assessments can help to identify the existence of
                                                         pollution control authorities, and academic and
known or suspected solid or hazardous waste
                                                         scientific institutions.
disposal sites, leaking or regulated underground
storage tanks, and regulated hazardous waste
generators and treatment or waste storage

D. Analyze Nearby Air Quality                             may ultimately enter a building through cracks,
and Emission Sources                                      utility openings, or gaps in the foundation or
                                                          basement walls. Knowledge about the levels of
It is important to determine the quality of the
outdoor air since this air ultimately will be used
                                                                          Table 5-1
for ventilation. Such information may determine
                                                                    Potential Sources of
whether a site is acceptable and, if so, what air
                                                                  Ambient Air Contamination
cleaning and filtration may be required.
                                                          Source              Facility Type
Information should be gathered concerning
ambient air quality from EPA, the Department
of Ecology or the local air pollution control             Commercial              Laundry and dry cleaning
                                                          Facilities              Restaurants
authority. Information available from EPA
                                                                                  Photo-processing shops
includes a national emissions report under the
                                                                                  and laboratories
National Ambient Air Quality Standards
                                                                                  Auto repair shops, gas
(covering major metropolitan areas), and the
                                                                                  stations, and body shops
Toxic Release Inventory. These identify air
                                                                                  Paint shops
emissions and other releases of toxic chemicals
                                                                                  Print shops
by manufacturing facilities. Chapter 6 of this
                                                          Manufacturing           Electronics
Manual discusses the National Ambient Air
                                                                                  manufacturing and
Quality Emission Standards in greater detail.
                                                                                  Wood products, wood
Nearby sites may be of concern depending on
                                                                                  preservative treatment
the types and quantities of contaminants
                                                                                  Pulp and paper
produced. It may be useful to prepare a map of
the areas surrounding the site to show existing
and potential contaminant sources. Information
about nearby site activities and emissions may
be obtained from a variety of sources including
                                                                                  Food processing
the site owners and operators, and federal, state
or local regulatory agencies. Some, but not               Utilities               Electric power plants
necessarily all of these site activities may be                                   Central steam plants
identified through an ESA. Table 5-1 shows                                        Sewage and water
potential nearby site activities that may produce                                 treatment
odors and other air contaminants of concern.              Agriculture             Greenhouses
The potential impact of nearby activities should                                  Orchards
be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.                                             Open cropland
E. Analyze for Radon and other                                                    Processing and packing
Environmental Factors
                                                          Traffic Areas           Highways
Contaminants in the soil or groundwater can also                                  Parking lots
indicate that the site may not be appropriate or                                  Loading areas
require specific prevention or control measures.
                                                          radon at a site will influence the design of the
For instance, groundwater and soil may contain            structure (to prevent or minimize radon entry),
radon, a naturally occurring decay product of             and design and operation of the HVAC system
radium. Measures to control and prevent radon             (which may draw radon soil gases into a
entry into buildings may be necessary. Radon              building, or conversely may remove them).

In Washington State, Spokane County has a very             inventory of potential sources of contaminants;
high radon potential. Other counties with a high           and soil and groundwater information. This
radon potential are Asotin, Columbia, Ferry,               information should be part of a larger
Garfield, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Skamania,                documentation effort associated with school
Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman. Counties                siting. It should be provided to the design team
with variable radon potential are Adams,                   to assist in placing the building on the selected
Benton, Clark, Douglas, Franklin, Grant,                   site. In addition to maintaining documentation at
Klickitat, Lincoln, Wahkiakum, and Yakima.                 the school district, a copy of all site
The remaining counties in Washington State are             documentation must be made available to the
classified as having low radon potential.29                local health department in accordance with
                                                           WAC 246-366-030.
Detailed information on radon health effects,
assessment, diagnosis, and mitigation measures
is available in several publications. The reader is
referred to the following sources: School Radon
Action Manual, Second Edition, by the
Washington State Department of Health; Special
Report--Radon in Washington, by the
Washington State Department of Health;
Reducing Radon in Schools: A Team Approach
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
Radon Reduction Techniques in Schools--
Interim Technical Guidance, by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency; and Radon
Measurement in Schools--Revised Edition, by
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In
addition, some counties have residential building
codes governing radon protection that may be
useful to review for school siting and design

Site evaluation for indoor air should include
other factors that indirectly affect the building
ventilation design. For example, noise from
traffic or other sources may limit the use of
windows for ventilation or temperature control.
Glare from nearby buildings may affect the size,
placement, and glazing of windows.

F. Document Findings
All climate and site evaluation data should be
documented. Climate data should include
temperature and relative humidity; wind pattern,
speed, and prevailing direction; ambient air
quality; and a plot of nearby known or potential
air pollutant sources. Site data should include:
prior on-site and adjacent site history; an

6. Designing Schools for Good Indoor Air Quality

Recommended Practices for                             B. Ensure the Design Team
School Design                                         Knows About IAQ
  Ensure the design team knows about IAQ              The architect, as the lead designer, has the
  Prepare an indoor pollutant source control          ultimate responsibility for a building’s design
  plan                                                and for determining that the completed building
  Adhere to all IAQ codes and standards               fulfills the design intent. Normally, the design
  Provide funding and schedule for IAQ                team consists of school district representatives,
  Plan the site and building for IAQ                  architects, engineers, site council
  Design for control of radon and other               representatives, interior designers, specification
  contaminants                                        writers, specialized consultants, and construction
  Design for control of sewer gas                     experts. Additionally the local health jurisdiction
  Design an effective entry mat system                has responsibility to review school plans to
  Protect the quality of air near air intakes         ensure compliance with applicable health and
  Size HVAC for maximum occupancy                     safety concerns.
  according to standards
  Provide flexibility to adjust HVAC for              In situations where the architect’s staff does not
  changes in building occupancy and use               have the necessary expertise to address certain
  Take special precautions when using natural         indoor air quality issues, specialized consultants
  ventilation                                         should be brought onto the design team for
  Control microbial growth through HVAC               support. To address indoor air quality, architects
  design                                              and/or team members may need training or
  Provide exhaust for special use areas               outside consulting expertise not typically
  Keep duct insulation contained and dry              provided in school design projects. Knowledge
  Properly select, install and maintain air           and experience in indoor air quality at this stage
  filtration                                          will improve the team’s ability to prevent indoor
  Control interior temperature, humidity and          air quality problems from developing once the
  other conditions                                    project is complete. In procuring design team
  Properly select and place control systems           services, the school district should consider
  Where feasible, use central HVAC air                qualifications and experience to address indoor
  handling units that serve multiple rooms            air quality issues. The EPA has developed a
  Design HVAC to facilitate operation and             “Design Tools for Schools” document now
  maintenance                                         available, which may provide valuable
  Integrate IAQ measures with energy                  information regarding this process.
  Target and evaluate materials, finishes, and        The design team will depend on the direction
  furnishings                                         and advice of the school district administrators
  Identify and eliminate cancer-causing agents        and work with the school IAQ coordinator to
  and reproductive toxins                             address indoor air quality issues. The design
  Consider meeting emission rate guidelines           team will also consult with building material,
  Precondition furnishings and materials              equipment, and furnishing manufacturers and
  Document design decisions                           suppliers to obtain information on product
                                                      emissions. This information will be used to
                                                      define materials specifications to reduce
                                                      contaminant emissions in the occupied building.

Throughout the design process, the design team             professional organization standards and
should periodically meet and consult with the              guidelines (including those prepared by
local health department, planning department,              ASHRAE).
building department, fire department, and other
local agencies to identify issues of concern, legal            Site and facility planning—including
requirements, and review and approval                          setbacks, landscaping, bird-proofing,
processes.                                                     building shape and orientation, infiltration
                                                               protection, parking and loading patterns,
C. Prepare an Indoor Pollutant                                 roof design, and management of other on-
Source Control Plan                                            site contaminant sources
                                                               HVAC design—including location of
The project designer and/or school district
                                                               outdoor air intakes and exhausts; HVAC
should prepare and implement an indoor
                                                               sizing and air flow requirements;
pollutant source control plan. As a first step, the
                                                               compatibility with uses and potential
project designer should work with the school
                                                               changes over time; use of natural
district to define indoor air goals and objectives
                                                               ventilation; control of microbial growth
for the building project. The design team needs a
                                                               space planning and ventilation for special
clear understanding of building occupancy and
                                                               use areas; duct insulation; air filtration and
intended uses, and potential changes over time.
                                                               cleaning; control of interior temperature,
This will help in considering potential
                                                               humidity, and other air quality conditions;
contaminant sources in each space or section of
                                                               selection and placement of control systems;
the building and to develop control strategies for
                                                               type of HVAC system selected; and
each source.
                                                               measures to be taken to facilitate operation
                                                               and maintenance
Space planning can separate incompatible
                                                               Selection of materials, interior finishes,
functions, isolate pollutant generating activities,
                                                               and furnishings to reduce building
and buffer activities that are sensitive to air
                                                               emissions—targeting materials and
pollution. Goals and criteria may be established
                                                               products, collecting product information,
for ventilation systems, material selection, and
                                                               using emission rate guidelines, obtaining test
maximum permissible air contaminant
                                                               data for product emissions, pre-conditioning
                                                               of furnishings and materials, air flushing of
                                                               the building before occupancy, controlled
As an example, it may be stated that the building
                                                               application of wet materials, and disclosure
objectives are to comply with ASHRAE
                                                               requirements for cancer-causing agents and
Standard 55-(current version) to meet thermal
                                                               reproductive toxins
comfort needs, as well as Chapter 51-13 WAC
and ASHRAE Standard 62-(current version) for
adequate outdoor ventilation and air distribution.         D. Adhere to All IAQ Codes and
To meet these standards, the design will                   Standards
consider the size and layout of HVAC zones,                Compliance with codes and standards is
heating and cooling equipment capacity, and                essential during school siting, design,
humidification or dehumidification equipment.              construction, and operation. Designers,
                                                           contractors, and school building officials should
The pollutant source control plan should address           be familiar with applicable state and local codes
the elements of building design and construction           and standards.
relevant to indoor air quality as outlined below.
These elements consider the applicable                     In Washington State, the Washington State
recommendations in this Manual, applicable                 Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality Code
governmental regulations, and relevant

(Chapter 51-13 WAC) governs certain aspects of           and construction practices as well as building
indoor air quality. Chapter 51-13 WAC includes           operation and maintenance practices that should
requirements for outdoor air ventilation of              be used to help ensure good indoor air quality in
buildings, and defines radon protection                  schools. As appropriate, these practices should
construction standards.                                  be adopted for use at in schools. Adherence to
                                                         these practices and associated schedules can be
ASHRAE has produced several standards and                used as an indicator of indoor air quality.
guidelines specifically directed at indoor air           Although numerical standards for indoor air
quality and some are incorporated into Chapter           quality are not established, this Manual does
51-13 WAC. (Note: ASHRAE makes a                         suggest specific emission levels that may be
distinction between standards and guidelines--           used for certain materials and furnishings (see
although both are voluntary, guidelines are less         Chapter 6).
definitive than standards and often encompass a
variety of approaches.).                                 Required reviews, permits, and approvals must
                                                         be obtained from all state and local authorities.
Standards for indoor air contaminant levels have         Note that local health departments are
not been established specifically for children in        specifically required to review and approve
schools. However, various governmental                   proposed school development sites as well as
agencies and professional organizations have             construction plans and specifications. They also
recommended concentration limits for various             conduct pre-occupancy and follow-up
contaminants for affected populations.                   inspections to ensure conformance with
Differences among these concentration limits             approved plans (WAC 246-366-030; -040, see
stem from underlying differences in populations          Appendix A). The focus of the health
the guidelines are intended to protect, the level        department's participation is health and safety; it
of protection desired, and differing assumptions         is not responsible for ensuring compliance with
concerning exposure.30                                   codes under the jurisdiction of other agencies.
                                                         With respect to indoor air quality health and
Contaminant concentration limits to protect the          safety issues, the local health department may
public health are uniformly more stringent than          focus its attention on issues related to
those established for occupational settings. This        temperature, odors, ventilation, and indoor air
is because public health guidelines are usually          contaminants (WAC 246-366-080;-090; -140).
designed to protect the entire public, including         These issues are best addressed through proper
the elderly, the young, and some individuals             design, operation and maintenance of the HVAC
with particular health sensitivities, and because        system. See the OSPI/DOH K-12 Guide,
their exposure is assumed to be involuntary.             sections F and G for specific issues that should
Occupational limits, on the other hand, are              be covered.32 The local health department should
intended to protect a relatively healthy adult           be consulted early in the siting and design
workforce in settings where exposure is assumed          process to minimize any delays in review and
to be voluntary. One summary of the                      approval throughout the project.
recommended guidelines and standards for
human exposure to various air contaminants               E. Provide Funding and
may be found in Appendix C of ASHRAE                     Schedule for IAQ
Standard 62, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor
                                                         Expenses for managing indoor air quality should
Air Quality.31
                                                         be budgeted for school development, renovation,
                                                         and operation and maintenance. It can be
This Manual does not specify numerical
                                                         expected that promoting good indoor air quality
standards for indoor air contaminants. However,
                                                         may increase costs during the siting, design and
the Manual recommends many building design

construction stages. The primary design                  evaluating materials should be scheduled into
professional should take the lead in preparing           the pre-design and design phases. In addition,
estimates with input from other members of the           sufficient time should be planned for ventilating
design team. Costs related to improving indoor           buildings and furnishings prior to installation
air quality may include the following:                   and/or occupancy.

    Site evaluation and documentation.                   F. Plan the Site and Building for
    Design and installation of improved air              IAQ
    handling, cleaning, distribution, and
                                                         Using the guidance for site assessment and
    monitoring components.
                                                         evaluation provided in Chapter 5 of this Manual,
    Possible increased costs associated with
                                                         the design team can develop a site plan to
    building components, fixtures, and
                                                         minimize the impact of outdoor air pollution on
    furnishings which produce lower emissions,
                                                         indoor air quality. Major elements of site design
    or maintenance products which produce
                                                         that can improve indoor air quality include
    lower emissions.
                                                         setbacks, bird proofing, landscaping, shape and
    Commissioning costs.
                                                         orientation of the building shell, parking and
    Air quality monitoring during HVAC
                                                         vehicle circulation, roofing design, and
    system commissioning and initial
                                                         management of other contaminant sources in the
                                                         vicinity of the site.
    Additional costs of consultants during site
    evaluation, design, construction,
                                                         Schools located near streets and highways may
    commissioning, and operations.
                                                         have elevated levels of lead and carbon
                                                         monoxide in the indoor air. Road surfaces can
Services not normally part of basic design
                                                         also produce dirt and dust, and may mobilize
services offered to school districts include ESA,
                                                         lead and pesticides that may enter a school
climate assessment, assessment of radon and
                                                         building. Factors that influence the potential
other environmental factors, preparation of an
                                                         impact of roadways are the proximity of the
indoor pollutant source control plan,
                                                         roadway, prevailing meteorological conditions,
coordination with the school IAQ coordinator,
                                                         the type of road surface, number and types of
alternative materials research, and indoor air
                                                         vehicles, and vehicle speeds.33
quality design documentation.
                                                         Setbacks protect building structures from vehicle
Caution should be used in preparing and                  emissions and other nearby off-site sources. For
interpreting cost estimates for addressing indoor        sites near roadways that are heavily traveled, a
air quality concerns. Higher initial capital and         small increase in setbacks can result in a
related costs may be offset by reduced                   relatively large decrease in contaminant
replacement costs, lower long-term operation             concentrations.
and maintenance costs (including energy costs),
fewer unanticipated costs for correcting indoor          Contaminant concentrations decrease with
air quality problems, and higher employee and            increasing distance from the source.
student productivity. It is important to estimate        Contaminants tend to disperse, becoming more
all the costs (consider life cycle costs) before         dilute as the distance increases. Setback
making purchasing decisions that may influence           distances should be determined on a case-by-
indoor air quality.                                      case basis depending upon the property size and
                                                         location, proximity to off-site contaminant
It is also important to budget sufficient time to        sources, the degree to which off-site
complete each phase of the project. Additional           contaminants are of concern, and other relevant
time for evaluating sites, preparing plans, and          design factors.

Several hundred thousand acres of land in                  Washington State Department of Ecology,
Washington have been contaminated with                     Toxics Cleanup Program.
arsenic and lead due to emissions from smelters
and the use of lead arsenate pesticide. In 2002,           Landscaping
four state agencies (the Washington State
                                                           Lawns, shrubbery and trees must be used
Departments of Agriculture, Ecology, Health,
                                                           carefully since they offer both advantages and
and Community, Trade and Economic
                                                           disadvantages to the building environment.
Development) chartered the Area-Wide Soil
                                                           Some vegetation can reduce wind-induced air
Contamination Task Force to offer advice on
                                                           infiltration and capture particulates carried by
ways to address this type of contamination. For
                                                           outdoor air. On the other hand, vegetation can be
new school construction, the Task Force
                                                           a significant source of contaminants. Non-
suggested that school official’s work with the
                                                           pollinating trees and plants should be
agencies to evaluate whether the site is
                                                           considered. It is important that plants and soils
contaminated and, if contamination is found,
                                                           not be placed too close to air intakes or other
how to minimize people’s exposure.
                                                           building openings. Molds, fungi, other microbial
                                                           activity, and pollen can become indoor air
                                                           contaminants. In addition, at maturity, some
    Perform a qualitative assessment to evaluate
                                                           plants can block airflow. 34
    whether the proposed site is located in an
    area that may have been affected by smelter            Landscaping should be planned so that routine
    emissions or pesticide use.                            maintenance (such as lawn mowing, or
                                                           applications of fertilizers or pesticides) will not
    If the qualitative assessment indicates that           generate air contaminants that can be drawn into
    the site was possibly affected by smelter              building air intakes. Concrete mowing strips
    emissions or pesticide use, test the soil for          may reduce the need for herbicides for instance.
    contamination.                                         Pesticide use may be minimized or avoided by
                                                           selecting plants that are resistant to pests.
    If soil testing indicates that that the site is
    contaminated, officials should incorporate             Bird-proofing
    measures into construction plans to ensure
    that children will not be exposed to the               Perching, roosting, and nesting locations may
    contaminated soil.                                     attract birds and lead to accumulation of wastes.
                                                           These can disrupt proper operation of HVAC
Examples of protective measures include                    systems, promote microbial growth, and cause
consolidating and containing contaminated soil             human disease. Grilles protecting air intakes
under buildings, paved surfaces, or landscaping            should be bird-proof to prohibit perching,
berms; removing and replacing contaminated                 roosting, or entry. Horizontal grilles create the
soil; installing a geotextile fabric barrier and           most serious problems, because droppings can
surfacing material such as wood chips, mulch, or           fall into the outdoor air intakes.
grass over contaminated soil in play areas.
                                                           Building Shape and Orientation
More information can be found at:                          Structures should be arranged to use the              movement of prevailing winds to avoid stagnant
Final-Report/index.htm                                     air and the trapping of pollutants. Exhausts
or in the publication “Area-Wide Soil                      should be located to allow prevailing winds to
Contamination Task Force Report” published                 sweep away exhaust plumes from the building.
June 30, 2003 and available from the

Similarly, the location and orientation of outdoor        Large on-site parking areas, with vehicles
air intakes should be designed to avoid the entry         running or idling at low speeds (including
of contaminants from the building exhaust or              automobile and school bus loading/unloading
from the exhaust of other buildings.                      zones) generate considerable amounts of
                                                          emissions. Vehicle parking, loading, and
Infiltration Protection                                   roadway areas should be located away from
The influence of weather conditions (e.g., wind           building openings or outdoor air intakes.
speed and direction, temperature and related              Orientation and shielding options may also be
stack effect) on indoor air quality is strongest          used to minimize the potential for contaminant
when buildings are constructed with high                  entry.
infiltration rates. However, infiltration is
generally not a problem in new school                     Once the building is occupied, other measures
construction due to the requirements of the               can be used to minimize the intake of vehicle
Washington State Energy Code. Infiltration can            exhaust into buildings. These measures include
raise or lower contaminant levels depending               instructions or signs requesting vehicle operators
upon outdoor air quality and pressure                     to shut off engines, rather than idling engines in
relationships in the building. High infiltration          specific areas.
rates increase energy costs and make it more
difficult to control indoor air temperatures and          Roofing Design
humidity, which can lead to discomfort for                Special precautions should be taken to ensure
occupants. Infiltration can also bring in moist           that new roofs are adequately sloped to drain
air, which can condense and contribute to                 water. Poorly designed or drained roofs may be
microbial growth.                                         a potential source of poor indoor air quality. Flat
                                                          roofs invariably collect water, and may leak,
Analyze the overall conceptual design for new             which may require extensive reconstruction or
or remodeled buildings to provide protection of           repair using adhesives or tars. These materials
the building occupants against infiltration of            often contain toxins and may be harmful if
contaminants from outside sources. Such                   fumes enter the building, especially during
sources include parking areas, loading docks,             installation or repair.38
building exhausts; plumbing vents, and drain
pipes. In addition, the conceptual design should          Stagnant, standing water on roofs can support
provide protection of occupants from infiltration         microbial growth that can be drawn into building
of radon and other soil gases.35                          air systems. Leaks can damage tiles, rugs, walls,
                                                          and internal spaces. Fungi and bacteria can
Parking and Loading Patterns                              develop in this moist environment and
                                                          contribute to allergic responses or respiratory
Any parking areas, garages, or auto shops should
                                                          disease.39 Rainwater should be drained and
be designed to vent vehicular exhaust in such a
                                                          channeled away from the building and all
way that it does not become drawn into building
                                                          walkways, especially those walkways at school
air intakes. The design should also protect the
                                                          building entrances. This will help avoid the
building from infiltration of pollutants created
                                                          entry of water and debris into the building
by vehicles in the facility.36
                                                          through infiltration or by students, staff, or
Exhaust from vehicles using the loading dock              visitors.
should be vented to prevent infiltration into the
building, and to prevent emissions from being
drawn into the building air supply system.37

G. Design for Control of Radon                              dilutes the radon that enters the building and by
and Other Contaminants                                      controlling interior air pressures to reduce soil
                                                            gas entry. This approach requires a great deal of
If radon is identified as a concern during
                                                            insight into the dynamic of building operation
evaluation of the building site, the school should
                                                            for a given climate.
be designed to minimize radon entry. Entry of
soil gas into buildings is the result of a complex
                                                            Qualified mechanical engineers must design the
interaction among the building shell, the
                                                            school mechanical systems. If the heating,
mechanical system and the climate. See Chapter
                                                            ventilation and air-conditioning system will be
12 Other Resources for references on radon.
                                                            used to control radon, then the design firm must
Chapter 9 discusses measurement of radon in
                                                            understand radon as well as HVAC systems. The
existing schools.
                                                            system should be designed so as not to
                                                            depressurize occupiable parts of the building.
The building foundation should be made radon-
                                                            Also the system should be designed in
resistant by using materials such as concrete,
                                                            accordance with state and local building codes
polymeric coatings and plastic films. Seal
                                                            and ASHRAE standards.
foundation cracks, joints and penetrations.
Foundation coatings and membranes can also be
                                                            Other features of the site design may be sources
                                                            of indoor air contaminants. Examples include
                                                            decorative elements such as flowerbeds, and
To facilitate soil depressurization, it is suggested
                                                            functional items such as dumpsters or
that a layer of permeable material be placed
                                                            underground fuel tanks. Locations should be
beneath the slab. All major foundation
                                                            selected that fulfill the intended function while
penetrations should be sealed and passive stacks
                                                            reducing the potential for contaminant entry.
should be run from the permeable layer up
through the roof like plumbing vents.
                                                            If outdoor gas and particulate contaminant
Appropriate materials for the permeable layer               concentrations are known to exceed the
would be at least 4 inches of 3/8 to 1 inch                 maximum levels established by the EPA
diameter stone pebbles or similar aggregate. The
                                                            National Ambient Air Quality Standards
key is uniformity of size to allow maximum                  (NAAQS), consideration should be given to pre-
porosity and permeability. If there is a mixture            treatment of the air by filtration or sorption
of coarse and fine materials, the fines will fill
                                                            before being used in the ventilation system.40
the interstices among larger pebbles and reduce             The NAAQS are presented in Table 6-1.
                                                            H. Design for Control of Sewer
Passive stacks can be installed easily during
construction. If necessary, active ventilation
from a fan can be added later. A qualified radon            Sewer gas in buildings can cause health effects
contractor should design the size of ductwork,              such as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat and
placement and the number of passive stacks. In              breathing difficulty. This gas can enter buildings
general, there will be at least one stack for every         through locating vents too close to air intakes or
10,000 ft2 of building footprint. Check with the            through drain traps that have lost their water seal
EPA for current recommendations. See EPA                    due to evaporation. These problems can be
contact information in Chapter 12 Other                     avoided through proper placement of vents and
Resources.                                                  installation of automatic drain trap primers.41

Indoor radon concentrations can be reduced by
planning the mechanical system so that fresh air

I. Include an Effective Entry                                             Table 6-1
Mat System                                                  National Ambient Air Quality Standards
Controlling dirt tracked into the school on
                                                                             Long-term          Short-term
people’s shoes can significantly reduce the                 Contaminant     Concentration     Concentration
amount of dirt entering the building. A properly                           ug/m3    ppm       ug/m3      ppm
designed entry mat system can remove most of                Sulfur
                                                                            801      0.031     3653      0.143
this dirt and associated pollutants and moisture.           dioxide
This also helps with overall appearance and                 PM-108          501       --       1503       --
reduces the wear on flooring. See EPA’s Web                                                   40,0005     355
site for information on design.42                           Carbon
                                                                                              10,0004     94
J. HVAC Design                                              Ozone6                             2359      0.129
Recommendations                                             Nitrogen
                                                                            1001    0.0551
Protect the quality of air near air intakes                 Lead7           1.52      --
The building outside air supply intakes should                 1
                                                                 Average for 1 year
be located so that they do not receive air                     2
                                                                 Average for 3 months
released from building exhausts, loading docks,                3
                                                                 Average for 24 hours
or nearby buildings.43 In addition, building air               4
                                                                 Average for 8 hours
intake and exhaust locations should be                         5
                                                                 Average for 1 hour
coordinated to optimize the quality of outdoor                 6
                                                                 Long-term standards are not established
air intake for buildings on adjacent sites.44                  7
                                                                 Short-term standards are not established
                                                                 Particulate matter less than or equal to 10
Although exhaust gases may contaminate intake
air for some specific wind directions, careful                 9
                                                                 Applies when one or more hourly ozone
building design can minimize such
                                                               concentrations exceed this value during
contamination in mechanically ventilated
                                                               three days in a three-year period
buildings. A good design feature is to place the
indoor air intake on the lower one-third of the
                                                           Avoid rain caps that direct the flow of exhaust
building and the exhausts on the upper two-
                                                           air back towards the roof. These can greatly
thirds. It has been found that minimal mixing of
                                                           reduce the dilution of exhausted air.47
surface flows of air occurs between of the upper
two thirds and the lower one third of the                  When possible, place exhaust outlets and stacks
building.45 However, caution should be used in             on the predominant downwind side of the
selecting air intake locations, since an air intake        building and intakes on the upwind side. Place
located too close to the ground may be more                stacks as far away from intakes as possible.48
susceptible to intake of dust and debris from
ground-level sources, and may be more easily               Provide ample stack height. It is advisable to
vandalized.                                                ensure that stacks are at least 10 feet away and
                                                           two feet above an air intake. Stacks within 50
When exhaust outlets are located on the roof,              feet of the roofline or an air intake should be at
aesthetic enclosures that restrict or impair the           least 10 feet tall. Stacks should always be more
exhaust should be avoided. If enclosures are               than seven feet tall, since shorter stacks may
desired or required by local code, they should be          present a risk to maintenance people working
of the open-louvered type that allows horizontal           near the stacks.49
winds to flush the enclosure. Intakes should not
be located within the enclosure.46

Place cooling towers at least 25 feet from                  pools and wrestling rooms, the breathing zone is
outdoor air intakes.50                                      much closer to the water surface or floor
Some studies have shown that the most
significant factor in the re-entry of exhaust               Table 6-2 identifies the outdoor air ventilation
pollutants is the imbalance between makeup and              rates (amount of fresh air per occupant) for
exhaust airflow rates. This imbalance can create            educational facilities and special activities
infiltration at leakage sites over the entire               within educational facilities. These ventilation
building surface. As required by code, buildings            rates are specified in the Washington State
should have balanced ventilation. With balanced             Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality Code (WAC
ventilation, about one percent of the exhaust               51-13-304), and are based upon ASHRAE
gases typically return to the building. However,            Standard 62. Air flow provided by air handling
in buildings with ventilation imbalance, and                units should provide at least 15 cubic feet per
where building intakes and exhausts are close               minute (cfm) per person of outdoor air, or
together, the re-entry of exhaust gases may be as           greater as specified in WAC 51-13-304. Air
high as 10 to 15 percent. A major factor causing            handling units should have the ability to provide
ventilation imbalance is the use of exhaust hoods           100 percent outside air, although water source
with high flow rates. The suction caused by such            heat pumps are unable to independently provide
hoods pulls in exhaust gases through building               100 percent outdoor air. If water source heat
cracks and openings. Good engineering design                pumps are used, supplemental ventilation should
will ensure sufficient makeup or intake air to              be available to meet outdoor air supply
compensate for losses from hood and other                   requirements.54
                                                                          Table 6-2
Size HVAC for Maximum Occupancy                              Outdoor Air Ventilation Requirements
According to Standards                                             for Educational Facilities
The HVAC delivery system should be sized to
provide adequate ventilation to the building                               Estimated Max. Outdoor Air
                                                                             Occupancy        Require-
population, based upon maximum occupancy                        Area                   2
                                                                           (per/1000 ft or      ments
loads as specified by state and local building
                                                                               100m2)1     (ft3/min/pers.)
codes. In other words, to the extent feasible, it is
                                                            Classroom            504             15
important to design for potential increases in
student enrollment, so that the building HVAC               Labs2                 30                 20
system will be able to provide sufficient                   Training
                                                                                  30                 20
ventilation to all building occupants, even in              shop
classrooms housing more students that originally            Music room            50                 15
expected or desired.
                                                            Library               20                 15
As noted above, outdoor air must also be                    Offices                7                 20
sufficient to replace the air exhausted by the              Conference
cafeteria, industrial arts areas, science                                         50                 20
laboratories, rest rooms, showers, and other                                                    0.10 cfm/sq.
special purpose areas. Additionally, the air-               Corridors
movement capability of the HVAC system                      Auditoriums           150                15
should be great enough to provide effective air
flow at the occupants’ breathing zone, which is             spectator             150                15
from three to six feet above the floor in most              areas
school areas. In special areas, such as swimming

              Table 6-2                                  from supply outlets to exhaust grilles without
 Outdoor Air Ventilation Requirements                    reaching the occupants, the ventilation
 for Educational Facilities (continued)                  effectiveness will be reduced. Barriers and
                                                         partitions installed in rooms can also reduce
               Estimated Max. Outdoor Air                ventilation effectiveness.55
                 Occupancy         Require-
               (per/1000 ft2 or      ments               Many buildings are designed with supply air
                        2 1        3
                   100m )       (ft /min/pers.)          outlets and return air inlets located at ceiling
Gymnasium            30               20                 level. This placement can lead to short-
playing                                                  circuiting of air. As the air moves across the
                                                         ceiling, much of the room (especially the
Darkrooms             10            0.50 cfm/sq.
                                                         occupants’ breathing zone) is left with poor
Public                                   50              ventilation. Designers of new or remodeled
restrooms3                                               school buildings should recognize the potential
Locker                               0.50 cfm/           for short-circuiting and avoid designs in which it
rooms                                  sq. ft.           is likely to occur.56
Cafeteria             100               20
Kitchen                20               15               Peak carbon dioxide concentrations above 1,000
Smoking                70               60               parts per million (ppm) in the breathing zone
lounges5                                                 indicate ventilation problems or contamination
Swimming                            0.50 cfm/sq.         from outside sources such as traffic or other
pools                                    ft.             combustion. Concentrations at 1,000 ppm or
                                                         higher may result in complaints about indoor air
     Net occupiable space.                               quality. Such complaints are not the result of
     Special contaminant control systems may be          carbon dioxide levels, but may result from the
   necessary for processes or functions                  buildup of odors or other indoor air
   including laboratory animal occupancy.                contaminants in the room. Carbon dioxide
     Per water closet or urinal.                         concentrations below 1000 ppm generally
     Although the code specifies a maximum of            indicate that ventilation is adequate to deal with
   50 occupants per classroom; a more realistic          the routine products of human occupancy.57
   maximum level is approximately 30
   occupants per classroom.                              Provide Flexibility to Adjust HVAC for
     Normally supplied by transfer air, local            Changes in Building Occupancy and Use
   mechanical exhaust; with no recirculation
                                                         Design of the internal HVAC delivery system
   6                                                     should incorporate the ability to easily redirect
     Some office equipment may require local
                                                         the internal airflows as occupancy and activity
                                                         patterns change over the life of the building. The
The amount of outdoor air listed in Table 6-2            HVAC system should be designed and balanced
assumes good mixing with recirculated air in the         to deliver specified airflows to the occupants'
supply air system and uniform distribution               locations, taking into account any interference
within the occupied zone. Ventilation                    from workstations, partitions, and other
effectiveness can be defined as the ratio of the         furnishings. Occupied zones should not have
amount of outdoor air reaching the occupants             stagnant air.58
compared to the total amount of outdoor air
supplied to the space. Ideally, the ventilation
effectiveness of a space should approach one-to-
one, or unity (1.0). If the ventilation air moves

Take Special Precautions When Using                          Screen to prevent the entry of insects, birds,
Natural Ventilation                                          and rodents
                                                             Avoid using natural ventilation where dust-
Windows that open and close allow natural
                                                             free environments are vital, such as
ventilation. This can enhance the occupants’
                                                             computer rooms
sense of well-being and feeling of control over
                                                             Avoid placing windows next to industrial
their environment. Unfortunately, there is little
                                                             process venting, odor sources, urban traffic,
research measuring the effectiveness of natural
                                                             and building exhausts61
ventilation on reducing indoor contaminant
                                                         Control Microbial Growth Through
In most situations, a sealed building can provide
                                                         HVAC Design
better indoor air quality than a building with           The design of the HVAC system should assist in
operable windows. Uncontrolled infiltration and          the prevention and removal of microbial growth.
air entry allows outdoor air contaminants to             Microbial contamination can originate from
bypass filters and air cleaning equipment; it can        water reservoirs in the air conditioning
also disrupt the balance of the mechanical               distribution system and cooling towers.
ventilation system and conflict with energy              Condensate pans in air supply units should be
conservation goals. However, some school                 designed for self-drainage to preclude the
districts may choose to allow for natural                buildup of such contamination. Design of
ventilation in the building design. This may             condensate pans should take into account the
enhance occupant comfort and satisfaction with           slope of the pan, drain location (bottom is
the indoor environment and can provide                   preferred to side), draining into another drain
supplemental ventilation on demand.                      with a trap, and ease of access for inspection and
                                                         maintenance.62, 63,64
If natural ventilation will be used to supplement
mechanical ventilation, several building design          Maintenance of interior environmental
issues should be addressed. Openings for                 conditions should comply with ASHRAE
outdoor air should be below head height (three           Standard 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions
to six feet) in the occupied zone. Windows,              for Human Occupancy. Relative humidity
ventilating sash, and other openings in the              should not exceed 70 percent over which
exterior walls should be selected to minimize            microbial growth would be encouraged.
drafts on occupants seated nearby. In addition,          Provisions should be made to maintain relative
they must be adjustable and close tightly.60             humidity between 30 and 60 percent.65, 66

These practices are recommended to enhance the           The cooling coil should be designed to prevent
effectiveness of natural ventilation:                    carryover of water condensate. This may be
                                                         accomplished by maintaining proper air
    Orient major facades toward prevailing               velocities across the coil, or by using water
    winds.                                               eliminators. Carryover of water condensate can
    Provide exterior exposure for all occupied           contribute to microbial growth that will be
    spaces.                                              distributed through the HVAC system.
    To the extent possible, design exterior.
    openings on opposite faces of the building to        Special attention to material selection is also
    create cross circulation.                            warranted where high air moisture levels are
    Limit building depth.                                expected, such as in kitchens, showers, or
    Avoid the intrusion of traffic or other noise        downstream from cooling coils in air handlers.
    through wall openings.                               In these high-risk areas, easily cleanable, smooth
                                                         surfaces are recommended.

Provide Exhaust for Special Use Areas                     generators, for instance) and from building
                                                          exhausts from certain special use areas.
The overall design of the building exhaust
system should ensure direct exhaust of areas
                                                          A more detailed discussion of ventilation
where odors, dust, and other contaminants are
                                                          recommendations and good maintenance and
created. Areas requiring direct, local exhaust
                                                          operation for several special use areas is
should also be maintained under negative
                                                          presented in Chapter 10: Controlling
pressure to help prevent the leakage of pollutants
                                                          Contaminant Sources in Classrooms, Offices,
into other occupied areas of the building. These
                                                          and Special Use Areas.
areas should be located where emissions can be
isolated and controlled.67, 68
                                                          Keep Duct Insulation Contained and Dry
Activities for which local exhaust is necessary           Supply and outside air ductwork must be
include science demonstrations and projects,              insulated, as required by code. However, it is
chemical and housekeeping material storage,               important to minimize or eliminate the use of
kiln firing, welding, internal combustion engine          internal acoustical duct liners and employ other
use, spray painting, cutting and milling, cooking,        means of noise reduction that do not involve
photo processing, some photocopying                       contact of the building air supply with exposed
operations, rest room exhaust, and dryers.69              fibrous materials. Fibrous insulation may be a
                                                          site for microbial growth in the HVAC system,
Particulate and gaseous contaminants from local           may emit VOCs, and if exposed or abraded, may
sources should be captured, collected, and                shed particles into the air, presenting a health
removed as close to the source as practical. This         hazard.
includes bench and hood exhausts in chemistry
laboratories, cleaning supply rooms,                      Particular attention should be paid to keeping the
photography darkrooms, art studios, and                   duct insulation dry during construction.
vocational shops.70                                       Ductwork is often installed before the building is
                                                          watertight, and insulation may be wet for long
If dangerous chemicals are used in any building           periods of time before the air handlers are
activity and directly exhausted (such as a science        operational, and able to dry the insulation out. It
lab), a decision should be made concerning the            is advisable to discard any duct insulation that
need to filter or scrub exhaust contaminants in           shows signs of mold growth or has been
light of land uses and activities downwind of the         saturated for extended periods of time.
building, and to meet air quality standards. Any
regulated new or modified outdoor air pollutant           Sound attenuation devices should have a non-
source must:                                              fibrous lining, or as an alternative, should have a
                                                          coating over all exposed fibrous surfaces. If
    Not cause or contribute to a violation of any         coated fibrous liners are used it is important that
    ambient air quality standard.                         the design prevent air velocities from exceeding
    Not violate any applicable emission                   ASHRAE and manufacturer standards, since
    standard.                                             high velocities may abrade surface coatings,
    Use best available control technology for air         expose fibers, and distribute fibers through the
    emissions.                                            building.

The project manager or designee should contact            Noise from equipment within the classroom,
the Washington Department of Ecology or the               emanating from air outlets, or from ceiling
local air pollution control authority regarding           systems can be disruptive. The ASHRAE
requirements for preconstruction permits for              Fundamentals Handbook recommends a
stack emissions (from boilers, heaters, power             classroom sound criterion not to exceed NC-30

for an acceptable noise level.71 The Washington           extended surface filters (ASHRAE Dust Spot
State Board of Health Primary and Secondary               rating of 85 percent) without pre-filters as the
School Regulations (WAC 246-366-110) are                  most cost effective approach to minimizing
less stringent, allowing a background sound               energy consumption and maximizing air quality
limit of NC-35. At minimum, system and                    in modern HVAC variable air volume systems
equipment selection and sound attenuation                 that serve office environments.73
techniques should limit HVAC system noise to
those specified by state health regulations.                   Using Medium to High Efficiency
Compliance of installed units with state                         Filters Reduces the Chance
regulations should be verified by the design                         of Spreading Illness
consultant, contractor, or by the local health
                                                          One of the benefits of selecting medium to high
                                                          efficiency filters is to reduce the spread of
A complete description of the language can be
                                                          infectious diseases. However, excluding sick
found in WAC 246-366-11- (1), (2).
                                                          teachers, staff and students from the building is
All duct insulation must meet the requirements
                                                          preferred. As described in Chapter 2 of this
of the National Fire Protection Association
                                                          Manual, some microbial diseases can be
(NFPA-90A) for flame spread and smoke
                                                          transmitted through the indoor air. These include
contribution. Insulation R-value should be
                                                          tuberculosis, influenza, measles, and the
consistent with requirements of the Washington
                                                          common cold. A principle means of
State Energy Code.
                                                          transmission of viruses and bacteria is by droplet
                                                          nuclei. These start as moisture droplets
Properly Select, Install, and Maintain Air
                                                          containing organisms expelled by infected
                                                          individuals, dry out, then the residue is carried
Filters should be selected for their ability to           through the building by air currents.74
protect both the HVAC system components and
general indoor air quality. As the efficiency of          Typically, these residues are one to five microns
filters increases, so does their cost. However, in        in size and can remain suspended in the air for
many buildings, the best choice is medium                 days. These pathogens and allergens are
efficiency, pleated filters because these have            respirable, and can be removed from the air by
higher removal efficiency than low efficiency             some air filters. This reduces the possibility of
filters. They will also last longer without               transmission from an infected person to others
clogging than high efficiency filters. Medium             susceptible to infection.75
efficiency filters have an ASHRAE Dust Spot
rating of 30 percent to 60 percent.72                     Particles in the size range of droplet nuclei can
                                                          be substantially removed from the recirculated
To maintain the proper airflow and minimize the           or mixed air stream by medium to high
amount of additional energy required to move              efficiency filters (although a high efficiency
air through these higher efficiency filters,              filter should be used for removal of tuberculosis
pleated-type extended surface filters are                 viruses). A 60 to 65 percent dust spot efficiency
recommended for use where possible. In                    filter (ASHRAE Standard 52.1) will remove 85
building areas that are designed to be                    percent or more particles of an average size of
exceptionally clean (for instance, computer               2.5 microns. An 80 to 85 percent efficiency filter
rooms), the designers may specify use of both a           will remove 96 percent of 2.5-micron size
medium efficiency pre-filter and a high                   particles.76
efficiency extended surface filter (ASHRAE
Dust Spot rating of 85 to 95 percent). Some               Air filters will perform their designed function
manufacturers recommend high efficiency                   provided that they are properly selected for the

HVAC system, installed correctly, and replaced             ranges without air conditioning (mechanical
when necessary. Air filters must be properly               cooling).
fitted to prevent air by-pass. Although a regular
inspection and maintenance program for air                 The level of relative humidity directly affects the
filters is appropriate, it is recommended that             temperature ranges found to be acceptable by
pressure gauges be installed on central systems            occupants. Assuming other factors concerning
to detect clogged filters.77 These gauges indicate         occupant comfort remain constant, a
pressure drop across the filter face and are easily        combination of temperature and relative
monitored to determine the need for filter                 humidity can lead to the definition of an
replacement. As the filters capture dirt, airflow          operative temperature to help define comfort
resistance across the filter increases, decreasing         boundaries. ASHRAE Standard 55 describes the
the quantity of air moving through the system.             operative temperature ranges for lightly clothed,
                                                           sedentary adults.80
As noted above, outdoor air employed for
ventilation and dilution of contaminants should            For thermal comfort, the optimum range for
not exceed concentration limits stated in the              relative humidity is 40 to 60 percent in the
National Ambient Air Quality Standards as                  summer, and 30 to 50 percent in the winter.
established by the EPA. Pre-treatment of air               From a health standpoint, higher humidity levels
through filtration or sorption may be used to              (above 60 percent) can encourage microbial
reduce contaminants to acceptable levels (see              buildup. Dust mites, bacteria, and fungi all
Table 6-1).78 When necessary, dust collectors              thrive under moist, humid conditions. For this
should be used when the dust loading equals or             reason it is appropriate to maintain the relative
exceeds 10 milligram per cubic meter, or 4                 humidity below 60 percent throughout the year.
grains per 1000 cubic feet.                                At the other extreme, very low humidity can
                                                           create discomfort, respiratory problems, and
K. Control Interior                                        aggravate allergies in some individuals. In the
Temperature, Humidity and                                  winter, it is advisable to maintain relative
Other Conditions                                           humidity at 30 percent or above.81
Comfort in school buildings is affected by a
                                                           As noted previously in Chapter 6, ventilation
number of factors. These include temperature,
                                                           equipment should be constructed and maintained
thermal radiation (such as heat from direct
                                                           to minimize the opportunity for growth and
sunlight), humidity, the speed of the air, the
                                                           dissemination of microorganisms through the
occupants’ level of activity, the ages, sex, and
                                                           system. Construction should comply with
physical conditions of the occupants, and the
                                                           applicable codes.82
type and quantity of clothing occupants are
wearing. ASHRAE Standard 55, Thermal
                                                           Steam humidifiers must use clean steam, rather
Environmental Conditions for Human
                                                           than treated boiler water, so that occupants will
Occupancy, recommends temperature ranges
                                                           not be exposed to chemicals. Systems using
that should be maintained to keep building
                                                           other media must be maintained in accordance
occupants comfortable. In winter, the
                                                           with the manufacturer's recommendations to
recommended temperature range is 68 to 75
                                                           reduce growth of microorganisms. A
degrees F. for people doing light, primarily
                                                           maintenance schedule should be established for
sedentary activities. In the summer ASHRAE
                                                           humidifiers after installation.83
recommends a temperature range of 73 to 79
degrees F.79 In Washington State, some areas
                                                           Air temperature within a room generally
cannot achieve these recommended temperature
                                                           increases from floor to ceiling. If a sufficiently
                                                           large difference exists in the occupied zone so

that the temperature at the head is more than 5               The sophistication of the control system
degrees F. higher than near the floor, discomfort             (The system should be matched with the
may result. Good air mixing, and insulation of                current or anticipated technical ability of the
wall and floor surfaces can reduce temperature                school’s HVAC system operation
differences.84                                                personnel.).
                                                              The resources and capabilities of district
While little or no air movement may be                        staff to respond promptly to a detected error
necessary to achieve thermal comfort, the                     or failure and to perform preventive
dilution of contaminants within the occupied                  maintenance (A system capable of
zone or subzones will require effective dilution              producing a failure analysis may not be
with adequate amounts of air movement or                      beneficial if responses cannot be provided in
circulation. Supply and return air distribution               a timely manner.).
systems serving occupied zones should be                      The district’s experience with existing
designed and operated to achieve effective                    controls in maintaining comfort in its school
ventilation and temperature uniformity during all             buildings (Time spent reviewing the
operating modes during the occupancy period. In               adequacy of existing control systems will
winter, average air movement above 30 feet per                help establish design criteria for the new or
minute in the occupied zone may result in                     remodeled building.).
uncomfortable drafts.85                                       Quality of the control systems (control
                                                              systems should be selected that are of high
Building spaces with dissimilar heating and                   quality and capable of working in harmony
cooling load characteristics, such as amount of               with the HVAC system to produce a high
window exposure, occupancy patterns, and                      level of indoor air quality).
internal energy sources should have independent
means of temperature control. Interior spaces             Placement of temperature controls is important.
generally should not be on the same temperature           Thermostats should not be located in direct
control zone as spaces on the perimeter of the            sunlight, above a heating element or a heat-
building. In winter, interior spaces may require          emitting appliance, in an inaccessible location,
cooling while perimeter spaces may require                or in a zone outside the area served by the air-
cooling or heating. Interior spaces such as               handling unit the thermostat controls.
offices may be grouped on a common zone
when the thermal load characteristics and                 M. Advantages and
occupancy profiles are quite similar.                     Disadvantages of HVAC
Classrooms, libraries, and gymnasiums should              Systems for Classrooms
be zoned separately. Systems should monitor
                                                          A good description of HVAC systems that may
temperatures in each occupied space to ensure
                                                          be used in schools is presented in a document
satisfactory thermal performance.86
                                                          entitled Selecting HVAC Systems for Schools to
                                                          Balance the Needs for Indoor Air Quality,
L. Properly Select and Place                              Energy Conservation and Maintenance, by the
Control Systems                                           Maryland State Department of Education. A
Careful attention should be given to the selection        summary of HVAC system options with a brief
of temperature and other HVAC system controls             discussion of their advantages and disadvantages
for new or renovated school buildings. The                is provided here to assist school facility design
following factors should be considered when               teams.87 The OSPI/DOH School Health and
selecting HVAC system controls:                           Safety Guide also have checklists related to
                                                          HVAC design and operation.88

The Environmental Protection Agency                          Units can be noisier than allowed by state
recommends, where feasible, utilizing central                code (NC 35). Additional costs may be
HVAC air handling units that serve multiple                  incurred to bring unit ventilators into
rooms in lieu of unit ventilators or individual              compliance with the code (compliance
heat pumps. “Unit ventilators and heat pumps do              should be verified).
have the advantage of reduced floor space                    Since maintenance is normally performed in
requirements, and they do not recirculate air                the classroom, it often has to be scheduled
between rooms. However, it is more difficult to              when class is not in session.
assure proper maintenance of multiple units over             Unit components can be difficult to clean.
time, and they present additional opportunities              When the units are delivering large
for moisture problems through the wall                       quantities of outdoor air, relief of air from
penetration and from drain pan and discharge                 the building is needed to avoid over-
problems.”89                                                 pressurization.
                                                             Outdoor air must be balanced in each unit to
Unit Ventilators                                             assure proper ventilation.
Unit ventilators have been one of the most                   About one to two percent of classroom
popular methods of heating, cooling, and                     space must be dedicated to floor-mounted
ventilating schools. They are usually located on             units.
room floors at the outside wall beneath a                    Easy access to units and controls provides
window, but they may be ceiling mounted.90                   an opportunity for misuse or abuse of
Advantages                                                   Unit ventilators cannot be used in interior
   Specifically developed for classroom use                  classrooms.
   with appropriate ruggedness and aesthetic                 Airflow can be easily obstructed by objects
   features.                                                 placed on top of the units or by blocking the
   No circulation of air between classrooms.                 air intakes.
   Independent classroom control and
   operation.                                            Variable Air Volume Systems
   Effective room air distribution capable of            Variable air volume (VAV) systems are
   offsetting downdrafts at cold perimeter               frequently selected for school HVAC systems.
   walls.                                                These systems serve multiple rooms, where the
   Constant volume of air flow in each room              volume of the air delivered to each room is
   served.                                               governed by the room’s thermostat. A terminal-
   Duct work and central air handling                    located heating coil provides heat. Fans must be
   equipment are not needed.                             installed in terminal units to provide a constant
   One inoperative unit does not affect the              air supply. Air is supplied through registers or
   entire system.                                        diffusers located on the ceiling or high on the
   Easy to plan for future additions .                   wall.91

Disadvantages                                            Advantages
   Controls for heating, cooling, economizer                Properly designed and maintained, the VAV
   and ventilation are required in every unit.              system provides the greatest level of indoor
   Excess outdoor air may blow in during cold               air quality of all systems.
   windy weather through the ventilation                    System equipment is primarily centralized,
   damper, causing drafts and risk of coil                  so maintenance in every room is minimized.
   freezing.                                                Medium to high efficiency filters can be
   Filters are limited to one inch thickness,               used.
   which limits the level of filter effectiveness

    Interior and perimeter rooms can be supplied              Additional single zone systems can be
    by the same system.                                       readily added to serve new spaces.
    These units are efficient, since there is less            Except for thermostats, these units are
    fan and reheat energy used than most other                remote and relatively safe from tampering.
    systems.                                                  Remote locations can be controlled through
    Since the system is primarily centralized, it             a centralized control system.
    can be remotely located and secure from
    tampering or vandalism.                               Disadvantages
    Outdoor air can be automatically adjusted to             For larger facilities or those with multiple
    compensate for changes in total supply                   levels, the space needs for units and ducts
    airflow and building population.                         may be impractical.
                                                             Relative humidity may not be adequately
Disadvantages                                                controlled.
   The return air is transmitted through plenum              Rooftop locations may be less accessible,
   spaces—plenum spaces can attract dirt and                 and lead to undesirable noise and roof leaks
   dust, compromising air quality.                           from maintenance traffic.
   Classroom relative humidity is not directly               Multiple rooftop units may be unsightly.
   controlled.                                               Refrigeration in these systems less likely to
   Maintenance of terminals can be difficult if              be as energy efficient as central chillers.
   they are located above classroom ceilings.
   A fan and filter must be maintained at every           Multizone Systems93
   terminal unit.
   Fan-powered units can be noisy if located              Multizone units can serve six or more rooms at a
   above room ceilings.                                   time, and are often designed for rooftop
   Air distribution ducts take up ceiling space,          mounting. If cooling is provided, the
   and may be especially costly to install as an          Washington State Energy Code requires use of a
   upgrade in existing buildings.                         three-deck unit.
   The number of units can only be expanded
   economically if the expansion was planned              The advantages of multizone units are similar to
   for in the initial capital project.                    single zone units, with the following exceptions:
                                                              Initial cost can be lower than single zone
   Performance of the whole system may be
                                                              units if clusters of classrooms will be served.
   compromised if one or only a few key
                                                              Acoustics, aesthetics, and maintenance are
   components malfunction.
                                                              more manageable since fewer units are
Single Zone Systems92                                         needed than with single zone systems.
                                                              With reduced cooling, part of the air
A single zone system usually serves one room,                 continues to be dehumidified by the cooling
and is often located on the rooftop. This system              coil, providing better humidity control.
should be heavy-duty for school use. Airflow is
constant, with the temperature varied by                  Disadvantages
thermostat control.                                          Requires more extensive ductwork to
Advantages                                                   Less flexibility for accommodating space
   The initial cost is often less than other                 changes or expansion.
   systems for smaller schools.
   Central refrigeration and boiler plants may
   be unnecessary.
   Medium efficiency (30 to 60 percent dust
   spot) filters may be used.

Water Source Heat Pumps94                                     Medium efficiency filters can be used.
                                                              Zone is guaranteed the proper quantity of
Water source heat pumps are units that can be                 outside air (and is measurable).
selected to serve each schoolroom. The heat                   Ducts may be installed downstream of the
pumps are connected by a low temperature water                induction unit, allowing better distribution
loop (65 to 95 degrees F.) and extract or reject              within the space.
heat to the loop. Temperature in the loop is                  There are no moving parts in the induction
maintained by a boiler or cooling tower.                      unit, and nothing to adjust or maintain
                                                              except the filter and the heating water
Advantages                                                    control valve or electric coil.
   Heating or cooling of each space separately,
   year round.                                            Disadvantages
   Energy efficiency.                                        The system concept is relatively new for
   Flexibility in location, potentially serving              heating and ventilating application, and
   interior and perimeter rooms.                             many designers are not fully aware of the
   The supply air is constant.                               system’s potential.
   Closet locations for units can reduce noise.              Units cannot provide 100 percent outdoor
   Units cannot provide 100 percent outdoor               Furnaces
                                                          Furnaces (residential type units) serve each
   Outdoor air must be preconditioned for
                                                          classroom. These systems can be natural gas or
   ventilation since most units are not designed
                                                          electric heated.
   to heat or cool large proportions of
   untempered outdoor air.                                Advantages:
   Units located directly in the room or above a             Classrooms can be individually heated and
   ceiling may not meet sound criteria.                      ventilated.
   Space must be allocated from classroom                    Energy efficient units can be acquired
   floor space—these units should not be                     (although life cycle costs must be evaluated
   located above ceilings due to maintenance                 to determine if the higher capital costs are
   difficulties and potential condensate                     offset by reduced energy costs and/or
   leakage.                                                  increased service life).
   Moisture removed from the air must be sent                Flexibility in locating furnaces--they can be
   to a disposal point.                                      placed in exterior and interior rooms with
   Wet surfaces in the units may serve as sites              appropriate outside air connections.
   for microbial growth.                                     Noise can be minimized to meet code
   Units cannot be equipped with medium                      requirements through the use of closet-like
   efficiency filters.                                       enclosures.
                                                             Units are relatively inexpensive.
Induction Systems
                                                             Medium efficiency filters can be used.
Induction systems can handle any size area and
allow great flexibility in zoning (either interior        Disadvantages
or exterior).                                                Combustion air is required for each natural
                                                             gas unit.
Advantages                                                   Floor space must be allocated in each
   Each area served by an induction unit is a                classroom for the unit.
   separate zone of temperature control.                     Air conditioning can be added with a
   Systems operate very quietly.                             separate coil, however this requires supply

    and return water piping (or a DX unit) for            HVAC system requirements for operation and
    each furnace.                                         maintenance should be realistically matched
    Units are not adequate to individually handle         with the training and capabilities of school
    large areas, such as a gymnasium. Multiple            district staff, as well as the availability of parts
    units are required to serve large areas.              and service. To meet the requirements for good
                                                          indoor air quality, additional training for staff
Separate Ventilation Systems11                            needs to be provided. A particular HVAC
Separate ventilation systems may be used to               system should not be strictly selected on the
supplement or upgrade existing systems to                 basis of past experience and familiarity, since
current standards. These systems heat, cool,              other concepts may contribute to a more
dehumidify, humidify and filter outdoor air in a          productive and healthy classroom
central system which distributes this air by              environment.97
ductwork to classrooms. They can work in
                                                          Another measure that can help reduce repairs
concert with unit ventilators, fan coil units, or
                                                          and replacement of equipment involves
heat pumps to overcome some of the
                                                          protection of equipment against vandalism.
shortcomings of those systems. This
                                                          Some units are more easily vandal-proofed than
supplemental ventilation can benefit these
                                                          others. Consideration should be given to
existing classroom HVAC units by reducing
                                                          protection of accessible units, such as unit
maintenance, allowing the use of smaller,
                                                          ventilators placed under windows, and outside
quieter, and less expensive units, offering better
                                                          air intakes or exhausts.98
humidity control, reduced condensation on unit
cooling coils, and providing cleaner room air at
                                                          O. Integrate IAQ Measures with
the required ventilation rate.
                                                          Energy Management
N. Design to Facilitate                                   In the 1970s, rising energy prices led to a
Operation and Maintenance                                 number of conservation measures that, in turn,
                                                          affected the design, construction, and operation
Designing for good indoor air quality should
                                                          of buildings. Because conditioning air became
include measures to simplify access for
                                                          more costly, efforts were made to increase the
preventive maintenance, equipment repair, and
                                                          levels of insulation in walls and ceilings, and to
replacement. Equipment rooms should be sized
                                                          reduce infiltration of outside air by sealing
and designed to facilitate entry, and provide for
                                                          cracks and seams. Thermostats were turned
inspection and servicing of equipment.
                                                          down to reduce energy demand. In addition,
Ductwork should have access doors to facilitate
                                                          ventilation systems usually provided less
inspection of dampers, turning vanes, and other
                                                          outdoor air per occupant, with greater
components that require periodic inspection,
                                                          recirculation of indoor air. This required less
cleaning, or service. Good access should also be
                                                          energy to heat or cool than outside air.99
provided for inspection and maintenance of
filters, condensate pans, heating and cooling
                                                          In recent years, there has been some debate
coils (and coil housings), and other system
                                                          about the impacts of such energy conservation
components. It is equally important to provide
                                                          measures on indoor air quality. Essentially,
access for maintenance, inspection, and
                                                          "tight buildings" were blamed for poor indoor
servicing when mechanical equipment is located
                                                          air quality, as leaks in the building envelope
above ceilings, although locating equipment
                                                          were sealed. However, the uncontrolled entry of
above ceilings should be avoided whenever
                                                          outdoor air is not desirable. Although infiltration
                                                          may reduce or dilute some air contaminant
                                                          levels, it is unfiltered and may introduce
                                                          contaminants into the building, and be a source

of drafts and discomfort for building                         Water damage to insulation, ceiling tiles,
occupants.100                                                 carpets, and walls nullifies insulating
                                                              properties and promotes biological growth
As buildings have reduced infiltration and                    with the potential for indoor air
natural ventilation and have come to rely                     contamination. Proper maintenance will
increasingly upon mechanical ventilation                      improve energy efficiency and help prevent
systems, it has become clear that proper                      indoor air quality problems.
operation and maintenance of such systems is a                Reducing infiltration improves comfort and
key component in preventing indoor air quality                reduces the heating and cooling demands on
problems.101 This is probably even more                       the HVAC equipment.
important now than in the past, since there are
new sources of indoor air pollutants that have             A number of actions taken to improve indoor air
been introduced into buildings in recent years,            quality have little or no impact on building
and the use of some sources has increased. More            energy consumption. Examples include the
recent sources of air contaminants include                 following:105
photocopiers, printers, and other office supplies
and equipment.                                                Modify janitorial practices and products to
                                                              eliminate products that produce substantial
The greatest compromise with respect to energy                air emissions, and substitute less toxic
management needs and indoor air quality needs                 products where possible.
is probably related to the supply of outdoor air to           Purchase and use building products,
building occupants.102 Mechanical ventilation                 furnishings, and equipment which produce
systems should provide adequate supplies of                   lower levels of emissions or have less toxic
outdoor air to building occupants--generally 15               constituents in comparison to alternative
cubic feet per person per minute or more, as                  products; and reschedule occupancy or
required by the Washington State Ventilation                  activities to prevent or reduce occupant
and Indoor Air Quality Code (Chapter 51-13                    exposure to contaminants.
WAC) and recommended in ASHRAE Standard                       Ensure clean and dry HVAC components,
62. However, as discussed earlier, ventilation is             such as drip pans and condensate lines.
only one of many factors that must be
considered to prevent and manage indoor air                There are opportunities in HVAC system design
quality problems.                                          to reduce energy demands. Demand-controlled
                                                           ventilation may be used. Through the use of a
For the most part, energy efficiency objectives            timed program or carbon dioxide controllers,
and indoor air quality management objectives               outdoor airflow can be reduced during the times
are compatible, or compliment one another.                 when occupancy is reduced (unless other indoor
Good building and HVAC system maintenance                  air pollutant sources require dilution). Energy
can not only help maintain good indoor air                 can also be saved if heat is exchanged from
quality, but avoid the waste of energy. Here are           exhaust air to supply air coming into the
a few examples:103,104                                     building. In addition, an important factor to
                                                           consider in the selection of HVAC components
    Poor maintenance of HVAC components                    is energy efficiency.106
    such as filters, pulleys, belts, bearings,
    dampers, and coils can increase resistance
    and reduce air supply. Good maintenance
    will improve energy efficiency and indoor
    air quality.

P. Target and Evaluate                                       Caulking, sealants, glazing compounds, and
Materials, Interior Finishes,                                joint fillers
and Furnishings                                              Insulation, thermal and acoustical
                                                             Fire proofing materials
It is important to evaluate building materials,
interior finishes, and furnishings to determine          Mechanical Systems
the extent to which they may contribute to                  Duct Sealants
indoor air quality problems once the building is            Duct insulation
occupied. Preferred products can then be                 Interiors and Finishes
specified, procured, and integrated into the                 Sub floor or underlayment
building while contributing to a healthy indoor              Floor or carpet adhesives
environment. The process of evaluating building              Carpet backing or pad
materials can be divided into three steps,107                Carpet or resilient flooring
which are discussed in detail in this Chapter:               Wall coverings
    Identifying materials and products to target             Paints, stains, sealants
    for evaluation.                                          Paneling
    Collecting and reviewing product                         Partitions
    information and evaluating manufacturers’                Furnishings
    test results (supplemented with additional               Ceiling tiles
    testing and modeling as needed).
    Developing recommendations and
    specifications for product and material              Several criteria that may be used to evaluate
    acquisition.                                         materials with respect to indoor air quality
Most building projects use hundreds of separate
materials and products. In selecting materials to            Quantity—If used in large quantities, even
evaluate, it is important to consider the overall            products with relatively low emissions per
building design and anticipated uses of space.               unit area can be important sources of
The intended use of major materials should be                contaminants. Attention should be focused
reviewed, and the materials that have the                    on products having the largest surface areas
greatest potential to adversely affect indoor air            or highest total weight per volume of
quality should be identified for further study.              building space. Although threshold
Table 6-3 lists the categories of building                   quantities have not been established, walls,
materials that are likely to have the most                   ceilings, and floor surfaces all have large
significant impacts on indoor air quality.                   surface areas so attention should be directed
                                                             toward paint, ceiling tile, and flooring
                    Table 6-3                                systems. Furniture and built-in cabinets may
 Building Components and Materials to                        also have a sizable surface area in a room or
          Evaluate for IAQ10                                 building.
                                                             Location—All other things being equal,
                                                             students and staff are most likely to be
Site Preparation/Foundations                                 affected by materials that are closest to
    Soil treatment pesticides                                them. These include work surfaces and other
Building Envelope (Floors, Walls, Ceilings)                  classroom and office furniture.
   Wood preservatives                                        Human Health Effects—Some organic
   Concrete sealers                                          chemicals are much more toxic than others.
   Curing agents                                             Even very small quantities of certain
                                                             compounds may cause serious illness or

    even death. Others may cause DNA damage               However, solvent-based products may be
    (including birth defects) and cancer. Where           satisfactory when high ventilation rates can be
    possible, avoid using products that contain           used during installation and drying and
    highly toxic chemicals, or those containing           occupants are not exposed to these materials
    materials known to cause cancer or birth              while they are drying. After the products are dry,
    defects.                                              occupants will be exposed to much lower levels
    Potential Emission Rates—Products that                of harmful or odorous chemicals than during the
    serve the same function may have                      application or curing process.
    dramatically different emission rates and
    may emit different chemicals (the emission            Latex-based paints typically use water as a
    factor times the quantity used determines the         vehicle and should therefore be expected to
    total emission rate). In addition, emission           release much lower quantities of VOCs than
    rates for many materials vary over time, and          varnishes and other solvent-based paints.
    are influenced by such factors as                     However, there is a great deal of variation
    temperature and humidity.                             among latex and solvent-based paint products
    Contaminant “sink”—Some products                      with respect to VOC content. It is valuable to
    (carpeting, partitions and certain                    examine VOC content in different products
    furnishings) are fleecy and tend to absorb            before making a selection.109 It is recommended
    contaminants released from other products,            that architectural coatings containing no more
    and to re-release those contaminants over             than 250 grams per liter of VOCs be used, where
    time. These products may also readily retain          feasible. Some information may be listed on the
    dirt, dust, and provide a hospitable                  product container, or may be obtained through
    environment for microorganisms.                       Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), suppliers,
    Installation and maintenance—The method               or manufacturers. Additional information on
    of installation can be a significant                  paint is presented in Chapter 7 of this Manual.
    contributor to emissions (for instance, carpet
    adhesives are a major source of VOCs in               VOC emissions from sealants, adhesives, and
    carpet installations). The materials that will        caulks are difficult to characterize. These
    be used for future maintenance of each                materials emit many different compounds. The
    product affect its long-term impact on                composition and intensity of the emissions vary
    indoor air quality. In the long run, the air          depending on the compound. In large part, these
    emissions of maintenance products may be              emissions depend on the type of solvent used in
    much more significant than emissions from             the specific formulation for each compound.
    the original installed product.                       Similar to paints, emission rates from these
                                                          materials tend to be highest during the curing
Wet-Applied Materials and Products                        period. It is useful to reduce the use of these
The list of target materials should include those         materials to the minimum quantity needed to
that are wet- applied, such as adhesives, paints,         perform the job, and provide additional
caulks, sealants, and finishes. These materials           ventilation during application and curing.110
tend to produce high levels of emissions during
their application and curing period. Wet-applied
materials are of particular concern because a             Insulation should be evaluated for several
large portion of their content must evaporate into        reasons: it is a potential site for microbial
the air. For many of these materials,                     growth; binding materials or other insulation
manufacturers have reduced the level of                   treatments may emit VOCs; and exposed,
solvents, or developed water-based alternatives.          abraded or deteriorated insulation can shed
                                                          particles into the air.

                                                         VOC emissions from carpets are typically low
                                                         when compared to other components of the
                                                         carpet system and other building materials. In
                                                         fact, solvent-based carpet adhesives in glued-
Cushioned Floor Coverings and Other
                                                         down installations represent the most significant
Fleecy Materials
                                                         source of VOCs in the carpet system. Due to
Fabric upholstery, textile wall coverings,               indoor air quality issues, adhesive manufacturers
carpets, and other fleecy materials can have a           have developed low solvent and solvent free
large impact on indoor air quality. Fleecy               adhesives. Seam sealers are another large source
surfaces act as a “sink” for bacteria, viruses,          of VOCs, but are usually the least significant by
pollens, spores, organic chemicals, and dust.            volume among adhesives used in carpet
Dust mite concentrations will also be higher on          installation. Low emitting compounds are
carpeted floors than hard surface flooring. Dust         available and should be requested. Carpet pads
mite exposure is important in asthma, a                  may also emit VOCs.117
widespread chronic illness that is a significant
cause of student absenteeism.111,112                     It is important to recognize that the volume of
                                                         emissions from carpet and related materials is
Consider the advantages and disadvantages of             important, but even very low emissions (less
using materials with hard surfaces rather than           than 2 parts per billion) of some chemicals (such
fleecy surfaces in covering floors, walls, and           as 4-phenyl cyclohexane (4-PC) in new carpets)
other interior furnishings. Fleecy materials             have been associated with illness in certain
should be used only when essential for aesthetic         individuals.
or acoustic purposes. They should be installed at
a time that avoids peak emissions from other             The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), a trade
materials, and only with good ventilation to             organization representing about 95 percent of
control airborne chemical concentrations.113,114         the industry, has set up a carpet VOC testing
                                                         program. The CRI test measures total VOCs,
Carpet should not be used in areas of schools            styrene, 4-PC and formaldehyde. The
that will receive heavy foot traffic, such as            organization’s testing criteria are set as follows:
entrances and corridors. In these locations,             total VOC emissions should be less than 0.6
proper carpet maintenance can be too costly and          milligram per square meter of carpet per hour
time consuming. Carpet should also not be                (mg/m2/hr), styrene emissions should be less
placed in proximity to water or food sources. In         than 0.4 mg/m2/hr, 4-PC emissions should be
addition, since poorly maintained carpet may             less than 0.1 mg/m2/hr, and formaldehyde
create indoor air quality problems, carpet               emissions should be less than 0.05 mg/m2/hr. If
flooring should only be selected if the school is        the carpet passes the test, it is tagged.
able to follow the required maintenance
program.115                                              If carpet for schools is desired, carpet meeting
                                                         these industry standards (at a minimum) should
Carpeting is a system of components, which               be specified, although this does not guarantee a
usually includes the carpet, pad, adhesive, floor        safe carpet. TVOC testing does not provide
preparation compounds and/or underlayment,               information on comfort and health effects of
and seam sealers. The carpet is typically glued          specific VOCs, and there may be significant
down to a concrete surface that has been                 variations between batches of carpets. Testing
prepared with a sealer, or in some cases has a           the batch to be purchased would provide a more
self-adhesive backing.116                                accurate assessment of emissions, although this
                                                         may be cost prohibitive unless a sizable
                                                         purchase is contemplated.118

An IAQ Consortium from the Council for                     sheet vinyl floor coverings, since these
Educational Facility Planners has produced an              coverings have the potential to release high
issue brief that may be helpful in comparing               levels of VOCs. Treatment to seal wood
floor coverings.119                                        products, including particleboard may also be
Materials Containing Formaldehyde                          effective. 2 to three coats of nitrocellulose-based
                                                           varnish or water-based polyurethane can reduce
School construction frequently uses pressed
                                                           formaldehyde emissions significantly.
wood products in a variety of applications.
                                                           Laminated products should have all surfaces (for
These pressed wood products often contain urea-
                                                           instance, the ends of shelves, and unexposed
formaldehyde, a contaminant that may off-gas
                                                           surfaces) covered with laminate. Any pre-drilled
over a substantial period of time.
                                                           holes should be plugged after assembly. It is
                                                           important to recognize, however, that barrier
Wood products to evaluate include plywood,
                                                           coatings and sealants may pose their own indoor
particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard
                                                           air quality problems and adequate ventilation
(MDF). The principle uses of plywood include
                                                           should be maintained during application and
decorative wall paneling, doors, cabinets, and
                                                           until the odor fades completely. However,
furniture. Particleboard is used for sub flooring,
                                                           water-based coatings can help reduce VOC
wall paneling, cabinetry (core materials and
shelving), cabinet tops, closet shelving, in doors,
and furniture. MDF is used in cabinet, furniture,
                                                           Hardwood plywood or products containing this
and trim manufacture. Substitutes for these
                                                           material should be certified to be in compliance
products include composite materials with no
                                                           with the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer
urea-formaldehyde; gypsum board for walls;
                                                           Association’s standards and ASTM
solid wood or metal cabinets; solid wood, metal
                                                           International’s D4690-99 Standard Specification
or plastic furniture; solid wood or metal doors;
                                                           for Urea-Formaldehyde Resin Adhesives.
waferboard, oriented-strand board, iso-board,
                                                           Particleboard should also comply with the
and phenol-formaldehyde bonded
                                                           Composite Panel Association’s standards for
particleboard.120 It is recommended that
                                                           formaldehyde emissions.
products containing urea-formaldehyde be
avoided, or low emitting products be selected.
                                                           Materials Containing Asbestos
Materials can be obtained with lower potential             Buildings being remodeled may contain asbestos
formaldehyde off gassing (refer to the discussion          materials. Therefore, Washington State and
on the next page concerning collecting and                 Federal AHERA regulations require that all
evaluating product information). Researchers               buildings have an inspection and written survey
have found up to a 23-fold difference in                   for asbestos materials, prior to bidding any
emission from the same products from different             construction work. The AHERA asbestos
manufacturers due to different resins being used           management plan will seldom meet these
and/or pre-treatment to reduce emission levels.            requirements for renovation or demolition
Material formulation and pre-treatment can be              projects. School districts have additional
very effective in controlling formaldehyde                 requirements to have an accredited project
emissions.121                                              designer develop a work plan for asbestos
                                                           projects, special air clearance samples
Barrier coatings and sealants might be used to             performed where friable asbestos was disturbed
reduce formaldehyde emissions. Barriers, such              and record keeping of individual asbestos
as vinyl floor coverings have reduced                      certificates, hazardous waste manifests, all
formaldehyde in residences up to 60 percent.               asbestos permits and a written report of the
However, caution should be used in selecting               project events. Materials of concern in building
                                                           renovations include roofing felts, roofing

cements, concrete additives, coal tar pitch,                preferred. When these are not available,
vermiculite, vinyl asbestos tiles, plaster, gypsum          products with higher emission levels may be
board, stage curtains, ceiling tiles and spray              used provided that contamination of building air
texture.124 Management of asbestos in buildings             is minimized by temporarily ventilating, curing
is discussed further in Chapter 9 of this Manual.           off-site, and/or isolating the materials from the
                                                            interior environment.129
Q. Identify Cancer-Causing
Agents and Reproductive                                     In communicating with materials suppliers,
Toxins                                                      designers should clearly express their concerns
                                                            about maintaining good indoor air quality. An
It is useful for each school district to be aware of
                                                            emphasis should be placed on the manufacturers
any building products, materials, furnishings, or
                                                            to test products and make the results available
finishes which may contain cancer-causing
                                                            to the design team. Standardized test procedures
agents or reproductive toxins. This information
                                                            are evolving, and many manufacturers are
can assist the district in identifying the level of
                                                            becoming accustomed to requests or bid
risk, and selecting alternative products where
                                                            document requirements that they submit
appropriate. Where possible, use of these
                                                            information concerning product emissions.
products should be avoided, or if required,
occupant exposure should be prevented or
                                                            School designers should ask manufacturers for
minimized. Building contractors and suppliers
                                                            information on material content, including the
should be required to disclose in writing any
                                                            presence of carcinogens or reproductive toxins,
detectable amounts of carcinogens (substances
                                                            and the compliance of the product with specific
which are proven to cause cancer), mutagens
                                                            emission rate guidelines (see Chapter 6).
(substances which are proven to alter DNA), or
                                                            Information should also be requested concerning
teratogens (substances which are proven to
                                                            the emission test protocol, and organization
cause birth defects) which are likely to be
                                                            evaluating the product. When considering
emitted into the indoor air from any materials,
                                                            products such as carpeting, it is useful to obtain
furnishings and finishes they propose to install.
                                                            similar information on the products necessary
The following resources may be used to identify
                                                            for proper maintenance. As noted above, the
such agents and toxins:125
                                                            CRI testing program can be one screen for
                                                            carpet product selection.
    Monographs on the Evaluation of
    Carcinogenic Risks to Humans by the
                                                            Representative samples of prospective finishing
    International Agency for Research on
                                                            materials may be acquired. Samples should be
    Cancer (IARC).126
                                                            stored in a closed jar to determine if odors are
    EPA Risk Information System Web site.127
                                                            generally unacceptable either by laboratory
    National Toxicology Program Web site.128
                                                            analysis or sniff test using a representative
    Tenth Annual Report on Carcinogens by US
                                                            sample of staff and students.130
    Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1991,
    or most recent revision.
                                                            MSDSs should be reviewed for materials that
    Catalog of Teratogenic Agents, Eighth
                                                            vendors may use when installing finishing
    Edition by Thomas H. Shepard, or most
                                                            materials, particularly adhesives or solvents.131
    recent revision.
                                                            When insufficient information is available from
                                                            the MSDSs, suppliers or manufacturers should
R. Collect and Evaluate Material
                                                            be contacted. If this is not practical or possible,
and Product Information
                                                            an alternative product whose contents and safety
Building materials known to have low pollutant              are known and acceptable may be a better
emission and toxicity characteristics should be             choice.

Product information for building materials,             S. Consider Meeting Emission
supplies, furnishings, and other products is            Rate Guidelines
available through a number of sources. For
                                                        Following are emission rate guidelines that are
instance, Environment by Design: A Sourcebook
                                                        adapted from those used by the Washington
of Environmentally Aware Material Choices by
                                                        State Department of General Administration in
Kim LeClair and David Rosseau identifies
                                                        selecting targeted building materials for state
building products which may have lower
                                                        office buildings. These guidelines are being
environmental and public health impacts.
                                                        provided to help school districts formulate
Caution should be used in reviewing alternative
                                                        guidelines for their own use to obtain products
products, to determine the merits of claims by
                                                        with lower emissions in new school construction
manufacturers concerning product emissions,
                                                        and school remodeling projects.
and independent testing to substantiate claims.
                                                        The specifications should require the contractor
EPA has also completed a catalog that
                                                        to provide written notification to all suppliers of
categorizes materials and identifies their
                                                        materials of concern, to assure that the
potential to impact indoor air quality. This
                                                        manufacturers meet product emission
document is available from the National
                                                        procurement specifications. A compliance form
Technical Information Service (NTIS) as EPA
                                                        may be used to require certification of
600/8-90-074, Classification of Materials as
                                                        compliance from manufacturers or suppliers.
Potential Sources of Indoor Air Pollution.
                                                        All emission rate calculations should specify the
Emission rate tests may be conducted using the
                                                        occupant space volume to determine product
dynamic environmental chamber technology as
                                                        loading. An average school classroom, for
prescribed by the U.S. Environmental Protection
                                                        instance, may provide approximately 300 cubic
Agency (EPA-600/8-89-074). As an alternative,
                                                        feet (8.5 cubic meters) of space per person. (This
materials may be tested in accordance with
                                                        example is based upon the assumption that the
ASTM D5116 Standard Guide for Small-Scale
                                                        classroom is 1000 square feet in area, 9 feet
Environmental Chamber Determinations of
                                                        high, with up to 30 occupants.):
Organic Emissions from Indoor
Materials/Products (See Chapter 12 Other
                                                        Formaldehyde: The product emission rate
Resources for ASTM).132,133
                                                        measured in milligram per square meter of
                                                        emitting surface per hour (mg/m2/hr) should not
It is important to review and evaluate
                                                        result in an indoor air concentration level of
manufacturers’ test results. Even when emission
                                                        formaldehyde greater than 0.05 ppm at the
test data are available from manufacturers,
                                                        anticipated loading (square meters of floor space
batch-to-batch variations in formulations,
                                                        per cubic meter of occupant space (m2/m3 ))
variations in manufacturing processes, curing,
                                                        within 30 days of installation.134
packaging, storage, transport, and other factors
limit its usefulness. Because of variations in
                                                        Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC):
product emissions from test data, pre-
                                                        The product emission rate in mg/m2 per hour
conditioning and building flush out (discussed
                                                        should not result in an indoor air concentration
later in this Chapter) provide an additional
                                                        level of TVOCs greater than 0.5 mg/m2 at the
opportunity to reduce emissions before students
                                                        anticipated loading (m2/m3 within the building)
and staff occupy the building.
                                                        within 30 days of installation.135

                                                        4-Phenyl Cyclohexane (4-PC): The product
                                                        emission rate in mg/m2 per hour should not
                                                        result in an indoor air concentration level greater

than 1 part per billion (ppb) of 4-PC at the              materials until after the bulk of VOCs have been
anticipated loading (m2/m3 within the building)           emitted from the materials and removed from
within 30 days of installation.136                        the building. Information on emission rates and
                                                          decay curves can also be useful in negotiating
Other Pollutants: Any pollutant not specifically          with manufacturers and suppliers to minimize
mentioned in the three paragraphs above should            VOCs through pre-shipment storage practices
meet an emission rate standard that will not              and modified installation procedures.
produce an air concentration level greater than
1/10 the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) industrial           U. Pre-Condition Furnishings
workplace standard (Reference: American                   and Materials
Conference of Governmental Industrial
                                                          Pre-conditioning of building materials and
Hygienists, 1330 Kemper Meadow Drive,
                                                          products allows off gassing and ventilation of
Cincinnati, Ohio 45240) at the anticipated
                                                          emissions prior to installation. If materials are
loading in the building within 30 days of
                                                          pre-conditioned, they may be more likely to
                                                          meet product emission standards established in
                                                          the specifications. In addition, pre-conditioning
T. Develop Specifications for
                                                          may allow a reduction in time set aside for air
Targeted Materials
                                                          flushing (before building occupancy) once the
Based upon the designer’s evaluation of relevant          product is installed.
product information, it is then possible to
develop recommendations and specifications for            The appropriate type of pretreatment depends
targeted materials. As discussed above, it is             upon the type of material, budget available, and
appropriate to place responsibility on the                flush-out time available in the building. For
product manufacturer to provide data on product           instance, furniture or carpet might be unwrapped
emissions. For most products of concern,                  and unrolled in a ventilated warehouse until
designers should include the following in their           airborne pollutants are dissipated as much as
product specifications: 1) a clear identification         possible, before installation in the building.138
of the school district’s objectives for indoor air        See Chapter 7, Section I for a discussion of
quality management, and specific emission limits          bake-out before occupancy.
or restrictions regarding chemical content of
products; and 2) a requirement for submission of          Suppliers may be able to unpack, unwrap, and
product chemical contents and emissions test              store new dry furnishings and materials (such as
results to demonstrate that the manufacturer has          carpet and other flooring materials, acoustic
investigated the product’s performance.                   tiles, other textiles, office furniture, and wood
Documentation should be provided which                    shelving) in a clean, dry, ventilated location for
indicates that the product meets the school               at least 24 to 48 hours so that some volatile
district’s requirements.                                  organic compounds will be emitted before
Test data of emission rates or source strengths of
building products and materials are also useful           V. Document Design Decisions
when 1) prescribing ventilation system operating          From the outset of a project, thorough
protocols to maintain acceptable indoor air               documentation improves communication among
quality, and 2) when assessing complaints                 members of the design team and between the
associated with indoor air quality problems. For          designers and clients, construction contractors,
instance, it is possible to select materials with         and building operators. Design documentation
fast decay curves, use increased ventilation to           for HVAC systems is essential, and called for
further accelerate the decay process, and delay           under ASHRAE Standard 62. It is desirable to
the installation of carpeting or other fleecy

designate a member of the design team as the
lead person and contact for project
documentation issues.

Documentation should include the pollutant
source control plan, site planning considerations
with respect to maintenance of indoor air
quality, and specific HVAC design elements,
including design objectives, system performance
assumptions, loads, control logic, and other
aspects of the HVAC system and its operation.
Decisions regarding the selection, testing, pre-
conditioning, installation, and pre-occupancy
ventilation of materials, interior finishes, and
furnishings should be documented.

Documentation is also valuable for training
operation and maintenance staff and can be
useful in resolving occupant complaints. It may
also help reduce liability in the event of
litigation if the documentation establishes the
designers’ and school district’s efforts to
produce and maintain good indoor air quality.

As project documentation accumulates, it may
be useful to organize and assemble it in durable,
moisture-resistant binders. Supplemented by
operating and maintenance recommendations,
the documentation helps to create an owner’s
manual for the building. Architects and
engineers should retain copies of the project
documentation in their files and distribute
multiple copies to building owners and operator.

7. Constructing Schools for Good IAQ

Recommended Practices for                                     and allowed to dry, where possible. Drying
Construction                                                  times should be chosen so pollutant
                                                              emission rates are achieved before
    Control moisture, VOCs and dust
                                                              installation of dry furnishing materials.
    Monitor construction
                                                              Allow products that have odors and
    Commission the building
                                                              significant VOC emissions to off-gas in dry,
    Monitor air quality
                                                              well-ventilated space to dissipate emissions
    Train maintenance staff
                                                              prior to delivery to the construction site.
    Document design and construction
                                                              Install odorous and/or high VOC-emitting
    Flush air before and after occupancy
                                                              products before porous and fibrous
    Take precautions during remodeling or
                                                              materials. If this is not possible, protect
                                                              porous materials with plastic.
                                                              Vacuum carpeted and soft surfaces with a
B. Control Moisture, VOCs and                                 high-efficiency particulate arrestor (HEPA)
Dust                                                          vacuum. If ducts contain dust and dirt, clean
It is important to use good practices during                  them before they are used to circulate air.
construction to prevent residual moisture, dust,              Low bid process.
and VOCs from becoming problems after                         Change orders.
building occupation. These practices are
recommended:142,143                                       C. Monitor Construction
                                                          Monitoring construction activities is essential.
    Use the smallest feasible quantity of VOC-            Field visits and progress inspections should
    emitting wet materials, such as adhesives,            ensure adherence to indoor air quality
    paints, sealants, glazes and caulks.                  performance goals and criteria. The school
    Establish control strategies for minimizing           district’s IAQ coordinator, or the architect and
    use of wet materials.                                 engineer should identify critical components to
    Immediately remove materials showing                  be monitored during construction and develop a
    signs of mold and mildew from the site,               plan for construction site monitoring or quality
    properly dispose of them, and replace them            control related to indoor air.
    with new, undamaged materials.
    Replace all filtration media immediately              For instance, where possible, air supply and
    prior to occupancy.                                   return system testing, adjusting, and balancing
    Continuously ventilate during installation of         work should be monitored and verified as the
    materials that emit VOCs until emissions              work progresses. Products selected for building
    dissipate. Ventilate areas directly to outside        construction and finishing should also be
    areas.                                                verified, as well as installation practices and
    Turn the ventilation system off, and protect          sequences for installation. In addition, a review
    HVAC supply and return openings from                  of work area cleanliness should be undertaken,
    dust infiltration during dust producing               since dirt and debris accumulation in the HVAC
    activities (e.g., drywall installation and            system can present indoor air quality problems.
    finishing).                                           Project specifications should clearly define the
    Provide temporary ventilation as required.            requirements for specific products, work plans,
    Install dry furnishings after until wet               desired practices, and installation sequences to
    materials (such as paints) have been applied          help ensure good indoor air quality.

Changes made by contractors or designers                  GA provides assistance and guidance throughout
during construction can significantly affect              the commissioning process. GA provides direct
indoor air quality. These changes are often in            access to qualified, reliable commissioning
response to previously unanticipated problems             authorities so there is no need to advertise. The
or events during construction. During the change          school selects the most qualified commissioning
order and shop drawing approval process,                  authority and GA helps negotiate the scope of
architects and engineers should assure that any           work and commissioning cost. GA will then
changes meet the design intent and indoor air             write and manage the contract with the
quality performance criteria that have been               commissioning authority. (See Chapter12 Other
established. It is especially important to                Resources).
carefully review modifications and substitutions
of HVAC system components, sealants, finishes,            GA has identified the following benefits of
insulation, composite wood products,                      commissioning:
furnishings, and other items that the designer has
identified as important for indoor air quality.           For Building Owners
                                                              Fewer change orders
D. Commission the Building                                    Reduced construction and operating costs
Commissioning involves verifying the                          Fewer construction delays
performance of building systems to assure that                Problems are discovered early when they
building systems meet the design intent and                   aren't expensive to correct.
satisfy the needs of the school district and
building occupants. Building systems may                  For Building Occupants
include the HVAC system, the building                         Properly operating systems
envelope and structure, the electrical and                    Safer and more comfortable buildings; fewer
lighting system, the plumbing system, and fire                occupant complaints
protection system. Commissioning of the HVAC                  Training on all systems
system is of principal concern with respect to                Proper O&M manuals
indoor air quality. The reader is referred to
ASHRAE Guideline 1, Guideline for                         HVAC commissioning begins at the pre-design
Commissioning of HVAC Systems for detailed                stage, not after construction. At this early stage,
information. The final product of HVAC                    the roles of the design and construction teams in
commissioning is a functional, finely tuned               commissioning are defined, building
system for heating, ventilating, and air                  requirements are outlined, and minimum
conditioning the building. Recommissioning                requirements for the HVAC system are defined
may be necessary in the future to address                 for the school. This should include defining
changes in space use and occupancy, and                   HVAC needs and layouts for each area of the
deterioration of HVAC performance with age.               school and activity, with consideration given to
                                                          occupancy levels.145
The State of Washington Department of General
Administration has established commissioning              HVAC design documents should include
guidelines for new state office buildings. These          requirements for a commissioning plan. The
guidelines might be adapted for use in                    commissioning plan is customized for each
commissioning school buildings.144                        project, describing the commissioning process
                                                          from start to finish. It should be completed
The Department of General Administration
                                                          before the construction phase of a project. The
(GA) also provides a service to assist schools
                                                          plan should state the requirements that each
with commissioning and retro-commissioning.
                                                          party involved in commissioning should follow,

including the sequence for commissioning tasks,             should be verified through functional
scheduling of tasks, documentation                          performance testing. Functional performance
requirements, verification procedures, and                  testing should progress from equipment or
staffing needs.146,147                                      components through subsystems to complete
                                                            systems. At the end of the process, all systems
It is important to make sure that commissioning             and equipment must be shown to be operational
tasks are incorporated into the contract                    under all normal and emergency conditions.
specifications. The specifications should define            Each system should be operated through all
responsibilities of the parties in all phases of the        modes of system operation, including seasonal,
project; describe the commissioning process                 occupied and unoccupied, or warm-up and cool
through the project phases; and state                       down, as applicable. These tests, along with
requirements for performance tests and                      other tasks in the commissioning process, help
checklists, for preparation of operation and                eliminate problems by identifying and correcting
maintenance manuals, and for operation and                  deficiencies early in the construction process.
maintenance training, and documentation.148                 Prior to functional performance testing, the
                                                            commissioning agent should observe and verify
The commissioning agent normally takes a lead               that the system is physically installed in
role in preparing a commissioning plan, test                accordance with the contract documents.150,151
plans, and reports. This person may be assigned
from the school district, or may be an engineer             The commissioning plan should define the
hired to perform this function (although not                detailed procedures for testing by each party. It
necessarily from the design team). The agent                should include a checklist for performance
also coordinates the commissioning team and                 testing, report forms to submit test data, and it
work schedule, reviews commissioning                        should state calibration requirements for test
specifications, oversees performance tests, and             equipment. A sequence and schedule for
reviews training materials, procedures, operation           completion of all testing and related procedures
and maintenance manuals, drawings and other                 should be outlined.152
documentation. Other parties involved in
commissioning have different, but                           As part of commissioning, building performance
complementary roles. For instance, contractors              should be tested before occupancy. This includes
may perform tests and checks of components                  a thorough test of the building envelope to
and systems, adjust equipment and systems,                  ensure there are no water leaks, that doors and
assemble operations and maintenance manuals,                windows are correctly sealed and operate as
and help train building staff.149                           intended, that drains are functional, and that
                                                            outdoor air is not being drawn into the building
The commissioning agent may also perform the                through openings in the envelope (doors and
role of IAQ coordinator, depending upon the                 windows) located near loading docks or other
individual’s expertise and the preferences of the           potential problem areas. Mechanical systems
school district. The duties of the IAQ                      should be checked to verify that they operate
coordinator were outlined in Chapter 4.                     correctly, that systems are balanced, and that
                                                            outdoor air dampers operate correctly. The
Performance Testing and Inspection                          HVAC system should be checked to be sure that
Without proper commissioning, testing, and                  the proper amount of outdoor air is distributed to
balancing, buildings are likely to be delivered to          interior spaces, that all air supply registers,
the owner and operating staff with many                     diffusers, and return grilles are open and
operational problems remaining. To know that                unobstructed, and that they provide for adequate
the building is operating as designed, the                  mixing in each supply zone. Local exhaust
performance and operation of the systems                    grilles and hoods should be inspected and tested

to verify proper installation and operation.                  Requirements and schedules for all
Appropriate negative and positive pressure                    maintenance.
relationships should be verified in all interior              Health and safety issues.
zones.                                                        Special tools needed and spare parts needed
                                                              in inventory.
E. Monitor Air Quality                                        Operation of dampers, valves, and other
                                                              manual and automatic controls.
School districts may wish to institute an air
                                                              Troubleshooting problems.
quality-monitoring program before the building
                                                              Identification of information which may be
is occupied. Monitoring can be used to develop
                                                              found in the operating manuals.
baseline data before occupancy to show changes
                                                              Locations of all HVAC system plans,
over time; detect unusual levels of common
                                                              documents, and manuals in the facility.
compounds; look for compounds of concern that
were identified during the selection of building
materials; and to detect the presence of radon or
                                                          G. Document Design and
other soil gases. This information can be used            Construction
either as a basis for taking corrective actions or        Documentation is essential in all phases of
to verify that the building HVAC system is                building design and construction from the early
functioning properly. Tests may include                   pre-design stages through commissioning
measurement of VOCs, carbon monoxide,                     following construction. At the pre-design stage,
carbon dioxide, radon, and total particulates.            it is useful to document design and benchmark
                                                          information, including occupancy requirements,
F. Train Maintenance Staff                                design assumptions, building construction,
                                                          building loads, zoning, cost considerations,
It is useful for the building operations and
                                                          building uses, and design compromises.155
maintenance staff to be on site periodically
during construction, particularly during startup,
                                                          Few, if any buildings are constructed precisely
testing, adjustment, balancing, and performance
                                                          as they were designed. Documentation during
testing. This will help familiarize operators with
                                                          construction, commissioning, and initial
equipment, components, and systems. To the
                                                          occupancy should record the progress of the
extent possible, these activities should be
                                                          project, departures from the original design
scheduled in advance so that building staff may
                                                          (reflected in as-built drawings), and any events
make arrangements to attend.153
                                                          that might be expected to affect indoor air
                                                          quality in the completed building. It should also
Building operators should be provided with
                                                          include test and balance reports and other test
complete training in operation and maintenance
                                                          results from the pre-occupancy and post-
of the HVAC system. Specialized contractors
                                                          occupancy period.
and/or manufacturers’ representatives may
provide this. Training should include:154
                                                          Each check or test should be documented. A
                                                          copy of the HVAC commissioning plan and
    Overview of indoor air quality issues and
                                                          functional performance test results should be
    their importance.
                                                          included with the operation and maintenance
    Equipment startup procedures.
    Operation in normal and emergency modes.
    Shutdown procedures.
                                                          Documentation of building and HVAC system
    Seasonal changeovers .
                                                          performance may be accomplished in part
    A description of all equipment and systems.
                                                          through videotaping. This form of
    Warranties and guarantees.
                                                          documentation may be especially useful in

providing training to operation and maintenance            School districts should schedule some air
staff.                                                     flushing before occupancy, and should not
                                                           immediately move in students and staff after
A useful reference for documentation is                    construction and furniture placement. One
ASHRAE Guideline 4, Preparation of Operating               option that may be considered is to schedule part
and Maintenance Documentation for Building                 of the air-flushing period during the two-to-three
Systems. It complements ASHRAE Guideline 1,                week cleanup period at the end of construction.
Commissioning of HVAC Systems.                             If air flushing is conducted during cleanup,
                                                           additional filtration will be needed to handle
Responsibility for documentation should be                 excessive amounts of dust resulting from
determined and assigned for each work                      construction activities.
component as early as possible. Documentation
may be required of the IAQ coordinator,                    If the desired level of air flushing before
commissioning agent, other district staff,                 occupancy cannot be achieved, emphasis may
architects and engineers, and contractors.                 need to be placed on other methods to reduce
Documentation should be kept on file at the                staff and student exposure to VOCs. More
school district’s central offices. Additional              attention may be placed on materials selection,
copies of applicable information may also be               pre-conditioning of materials, and supplemental
kept in the school’s files.                                ventilation following occupancy.

H. Flush Air Before and After                              It is recommended that where possible, air
Occupancy                                                  flushing occur in two stages. The first stage of
                                                           air flushing should take place after completion
Ventilation with 100 percent outdoor air should
                                                           of all interior construction and prior to
be provided at normal operating temperatures               placement of any furniture in ventilated spaces.
prior to occupancy in order to reduce or flush             The second stage begins after all furniture has
out indoor air contaminants. This will help
                                                           been unpacked and placed in the ventilated
remove VOCs, and improve the quality of the air            space. The project should not be considered
the occupants receive once they arrive at the              substantially completed until the agreed upon
                                                           flush-out period has been completed. The
                                                           designer/builder is encouraged to operate all air
Careful attention during the facility planning
                                                           handler systems on 100 percent outside air as
stages should be given to scheduling for air
                                                           much as possible beyond the designated flush-
flushing. School districts should consult with the
                                                           out period before building occupancy.158,159
design team and allow as much time as
reasonably possible for air flushing before                It is also desirable to schedule the flush-out
occupancy.                                                 period during the summer months, if possible.
                                                           This will help minimize excessive energy
The State of Washington now requires 30 days               consumption.160
of flushing before occupancy of major state
projects on the capitol campus. For minor                  As the building is ventilated, the doors and
projects, carpet and furnishings may be opened             drawers of cabinetry and furnishings should be
and aired out in the vendor’s warehouse for a              opened for full exposure. All cabinetry should
minimum of thirty (30) days.157 As an                      be inspected for surfaces of exposed
alternative, it may be desirable to extend the lead        particleboard. This is a source of formaldehyde
time for operation of the HVAC system prior to             emissions. If found, these surfaces may be
building occupancy each day. Extending the                 treated with two or three coats of nitrocellulose
lead-time will help flush out contaminants which           or water-based polyurethane lacquer.
have accumulated in the building air overnight.

After the building is occupied, it is advisable to        As a first step, it is useful to define the project’s
continue flushing out air contaminants with               goals with respect to indoor air quality.
additional ventilation. This may be                       Procedures, schedules, construction methods and
accomplished by operating the ventilation                 materials, and building systems operations
system at normal rates seven days per week, 24            should be controlled to prevent or minimize
hours per day, for a designated period following          degradation of indoor air quality as a result of
occupancy.                                                remodeling or renovation.

I. Bake-Out before Occupancy?                             It is important to keep in mind that remodeling
“Bake-out” is the practice of running the                 may involve changes to the HVAC system, or it
ventilation system at a higher temperature                may affect the way air is distributed by or
during air flushing and before occupancy. This            returned to the HVAC system. Examples include
practice was recommended at one time on the               changes in ductwork, or construction of walls
theory that elevating temperatures in the                 that separate air supplies from returns, or that
building increases the vapor pressure of residual         separate temperature zones. Where such changes
solvents in building materials, and if maintained         are made, make sure that affected areas are
long enough, will cause the depletion of                  provided with appropriate ventilation at levels
solvents, with a corresponding reduction in VOC           specified by the ventilation code and ASHRAE
emissions.161 However, there is the potential that        Standard 62-(current version), that the air is
VOCs released during bake-out could be                    distributed efficiently, and that the zoning is
absorbed for later release by other walls or              proper.
furnishings in the building. Also, bake-out may
damage some building components. Therefore,               Before remodeling or renovation activities are
bake-out is not recommended as an air quality             started, the school facilities or project manager
measure.                                                  should meet with the contractor or individual(s)
                                                          selected to perform the work to develop a
                                                          written work plan (note: requirements for a work
J. Take Precautions During
                                                          plan should be clearly identified in the project
Remodeling or Renovation
                                                          specifications). This work plan should be
Some construction projects will occur while the           designed to prevent or minimize the introduction
building is occupied. Precautions should be               of air contaminants to occupied areas during and
taken before, during and following completion             after the work, and should reflect all guidelines
of these projects to protect students and staff           outlined in this chapter.
from unnecessary exposure to indoor air
contaminants. The following guidelines are                Notification and Scheduling
designed to help maintain good indoor air
                                                          When possible, remodeling in an occupied or
quality while remodeling or renovating existing
                                                          partially occupied building should occur when
school facilities.
                                                          occupancy is at its lowest levels. Depending
                                                          upon the nature and extent of remodeling, it may
Remodeling or renovation refer to activities
                                                          also be possible to temporarily relocate students
including removal and/or replacement of the
                                                          and staff who are most likely to be affected by
                                                          remodeling activities. These actions can help
                                                          reduce the exposure of students and staff to
    Roofs, walls, ceilings, lighting, HVAC
                                                          noise as well as indoor air contaminants. Care
    systems, plumbing, sewers, floors, or floor
                                                          should be taken to provide additional ventilation
                                                          during unoccupied periods, since HVAC system
    Architectural coatings such as paints.
    Built-in furnishings.

controls typically reduce or eliminate outdoor air          contaminants. Care should be taken to inspect,
ventilation at these times.                                 clean and replace air filters during and after
                                                            remodeling or renovation, since additional dust
School administrators should notify building                and other contaminants are generated.
occupants, including teachers, administrative
staff, maintenance staff, students, and parents in          Some renovation or remodeling may expose
advance of remodeling work to be performed. At              asbestos-containing materials. WAC 296-62-077
a minimum, it would be desirable to provide at              governs remodeling activities where employee
least three days notice for scheduled work, or              exposure to asbestos could occur. Asbestos
twenty-four hours notice (if possible) for                  building inspections and surveys are required
emergency work. The notice should briefly                   prior to bidding any construction related work.
describe how indoor air quality and other school            Also see recommendations for controlling
health and safety conditions may be affected by             asbestos in Chapter 9.
the work, and what actions the school and the
contractors will take to eliminate or reduce the            Selection of Material, Interior Finishes
exposure of building occupants to noise and                 and Furnishings
pollutants.                                                 In undertaking building renovation or
                                                            remodeling, it is important to take precautions in
Ventilation Control and Work Area                           selecting and installing materials, finishes and
Isolation                                                   furnishings to minimize the introduction of
Like other construction activities, remodeling              indoor air pollutants. It is suggested that the
and renovation may produce gases, vapors, dust,             recommendations for selection and application
and other indoor air contaminants. Measures                 of materials, and ventilation procedures defined
should be taken to adequately ventilate work                for new construction (see Chapter 6) be
areas while minimizing the release of indoor air            reviewed and, where feasible and applicable, be
contaminants to other areas of the building. This           used in the remodeling or renovation process.
can be accomplished by restricting air flows                This includes targeting products, collecting and
from the work area, providing supplemental or               evaluating information on potential air emissions
auxiliary work area ventilation, and using                  and other hazards associated with products,
pressure containment (keeping the work area at a            identifying and specifying acceptable emission
negative pressure with respect to the occupied              rates to minimize occupant exposure to indoor
areas).                                                     air contaminants, and taking other reasonable
                                                            measures to pre-condition products or ventilate
Examples of ventilation controls include                    buildings during and following application or
blocking off or sealing return air registers so that        installation.
contaminants are not drawn from the
demolition/construction area and recirculated               Painting
into adjoining occupied areas; installing
                                                            In conducting a painting project in an occupied
temporary barriers to confine dust and noise; and
                                                            or partially-occupied building, it is useful to
setting up temporary local exhaust fans to
                                                            consider the recommendations offered in
remove odors and contaminants. Caution should
                                                            Chapter 6 of this Manual concerning the
be used to avoid the exhaust of contaminated air
                                                            selection and application of materials, interior
near outside air intakes.
                                                            finishes, and furnishings, and specifically
                                                            recommendations for targeting wet-applied
If necessary, fumes, dust, gas, and vapor
suppression and/or auxiliary air filtration or
cleaning may be used to control the release of

Paint formulations are often complex mixtures.             considering VOC emission data on the
They have the potential to introduce a multitude           container, it is useful to obtain the MSDS on the
of chemicals into the indoor air. Other products           paints under consideration. After reviewing
such as strippers, primers, and thinners are also          available information, select the paint and
used in painting projects. All of these products           related paint products that have the lowest
can produce solvent odors, which can cause                 hazard potential while providing good functional
discomfort and health symptoms in people                   qualities, within the limits of the budget.167
exposed to these products during application,
and during the period of evaporation after                 Good management of paint projects can
application. Paint pigments may contain lead               minimize indoor air quality problems. One
and other metals.162                                       method of control is the use of a paint protocol
                                                           that gives proper notice to the school
Many paint strippers have contained methylene              administration, parents, and students, and
chloride, a toxic chemical and suspected                   minimizes exposure. The Anne Arundel Public
carcinogen. New strippers are on the market that           Schools have developed a model paint protocol,
do not contain this chemical and claim to emit             which is presented in their document Indoor Air
low levels of VOCs.163                                     Quality Management, and in the EPA document
                                                           Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools.168,169
The two primary types of interior paints are
alkyd or solvent-based paint, and latex paint.             Before painting, a proactive effort must be made
Solvent-based paint has a higher VOC content,              to communicate with all affected parties. This
typically ranging from 300 to 400 grams per                means letting teachers, staff, students, and
liter, while latex paint has between 50 to 250             parents know what painting will be done, how it
grams of VOCs per liter.164 VOC content is                 will affect students’ schedules, and steps the
specified on most paint containers in response to          school will take to reduce impacts. Work should
disclosure requirements imposed by the State of            be scheduled during unoccupied periods or low
California. VOC content is listed on containers            occupancy, if possible.170
in milligrams per liter.
                                                           Project specifications should require a work plan
Although paints with low VOC content may be                that considers the need for paint removal and
desirable, some of these paints have drawbacks:            how that will take place. Off-site paint removal
they may be more difficult to apply, may require           of some items (doors, windows, trim) may be
additional coats, may be more susceptible to               appropriate. Special care should be taken when
fading, may be less resistant to mildew, less              sanding a surface to prepare for painting, due to
washable, and may be more costly.165                       the dust released into the air. Dust from older
                                                           paint may also contain lead particles, although
Durability is also important. Paint with lower             paints manufactured after February 1978 had
VOCs might create more indoor air quality                  reduced lead levels. Methods to deal with lead
problems in the long run than a higher emitting            paint vary, depending on the status of the
paint, if the low-emitting paint requires                  facility. Control can range from simple
repainting more often.166                                  encapsulation to total removal depending upon
                                                           the severity of the condition. The painted surface
Select paint that is rated for the surface to be           should be determined to be lead free before
painted. Interior paints sold before September             preparing for repainting. Checking paint records
30, 1991 may contain mercury, and therefore                or old paint cans, or performing an initial
should not be used. Exterior paints should not be          screening with the assistance of trained
used for interior use since this could also lead to        personnel can confirm this.171,172,173
exposure to biocides and mercury. In addition to

The work plan should also provide for protection          AHERA surveys and management plans on file
of furniture, supplies, and other articles in the         at the school.180 However, the original AHERA
work area. These articles may collect dusts and           inspections were primarily for visible, interior
absorb vapors, and slowly release them back to            asbestos materials. Regulations require that
the room air after the room is reoccupied.174             buildings owners must have an inspection and
                                                          written survey for all asbestos materials, prior to
Areas should be well ventilated during painting           bidding any construction work. Careful
and for several days after painting. Supply fans          consideration should be given to the costs and
should be operated continuously from the                  indoor air impacts associated with removal of
beginning of the painting project until several           asbestos tiles versus leaving the tiles in place.
days after the painting is done. It is useful to          Removal of asbestos-containing products may
block return air openings to prevent circulating          present greater costs and health risks to workers,
air from the work area to occupied areas.175,176          school staff, and students than a project in which
                                                          asbestos-containing products are adequately
Some items may be painted in a protected area             contained, but left in place.
outdoors, or in a well-ventilated area offsite.
Paints may be mixed in a protected outdoor area           Additional ventilation should be provided after
as well. Paints and products such as thinners and         new carpet installation. If possible, continuously
cleanup materials should be in closed containers          operate the building ventilation system at normal
when not in use. When paint is poured, for                temperature and maximum outdoor air during
instance, the lid should be placed back on the            installation and for 72 hours after installation. It
container. Paint and related product containers           is advisable to install carpet only when the
should be sealed after use. Containers should             building is not in use, except in small areas
also be stored in designated rooms equipped               where direct exhaust under negative air pressure
with exhaust ventilation--never in HVAC rooms,            (in relation to surrounding rooms and hallways)
where vapors from containers or spills could              may be applied. New carpet should be cleaned
enter the HVAC system. Some paint products,               with a HEPA filtration vacuum.181
including existing stocks containing lead or
mercury, or having higher VOC emission than               Roofing
desired will require proper disposal or recycling.
                                                          Roofs should be maintained to avoid ponding of
The local health department or solid waste utility
                                                          water, and roof leaks and internal water-
should be contacted for information on proper
                                                          damaged materials should be dried or replaced
disposal of paint products, materials, and
                                                          in a timely fashion. If possible, roof
cleanup supplies.177,178,179
                                                          replacements should introduce a slope to an
                                                          existing flat roof system. Flat roofs collect
                                                          water, and after leaks appear, require patching or
For carpet selection and installation in occupied         replacement that sometimes involves the use of
buildings, it is useful to follow the guidance            adhesives or tars. These materials often contain
concerning selection, use and installation of             toxins that may be harmful if their fumes enter
materials, interior finishes, and furnishings in          the building.
Chapter 6 of this Manual,
                                                          If possible, roofing projects should be
A decision may be made to replace an existing             undertaken when the school is unoccupied since
tile floor with carpeting. In this case, it is            vapors may enter air intakes. Roofing tar tanks
important to determine whether the old tile               (instead of open kettles) should be located as far
flooring contains asbestos fibers. Information            away from air intakes as possible, and preferably
may be found in inspection reports under                  downwind from the building. If this is not

feasible, consideration may be given to
temporarily blocking nearby air intakes, or
shutting down the HVAC system and allowing
natural ventilation while supplementing the air
supply with portable fans.182

Specifications for repair or replacement of flat
roofs should clearly require contractors to
remove all failed materials. Contractors should
take precautions (recommended above) during
the construction process to ensure that fumes
from the installation of build-up materials or
membranes cannot be drawn into or infiltrate the

8. Operating and Maintaining HVAC Systems

A. Recommended Practices for                             consultants selected to assist in problem
Operating and Maintaining                                resolution.185
                                                         C. Document the HVAC System
    Assign responsibilities for operation and
    maintenance                                          School districts should maintain a file containing
    Document the HVAC system                             the following written description of the HVAC
    Inspect and maintain HVAC system and                 system installed in each building:
    Control temperature and humidity                         The type of HVAC system (for instance,
    Record inspections and maintenance                       unit ventilator, variable air volume, single
    Provide training on personal protective                  zone).
    equipment and safety standards                           A sketch or narrative describing HVAC
                                                             zones and what equipment serves each zone.
B. Assign Responsibilities for                               Design documents or blueprints may be
Operation and Maintenance                                    made available for this purpose.
                                                             HVAC system components, delivery system,
No matter how good the design and construction
                                                             and controls.
of the school HVAC system, it will not perform
                                                             Types of activities and uses within each area
its functions well without proper operation and
                                                             of the building.
maintenance. School districts should assure that
                                                             Mechanical systems used for local exhaust.
properly trained personnel are assigned and
available to perform HVAC maintenance. A
                                                         School districts should also maintain the
written list of responsibilities for the HVAC
                                                         following to assist in conducting needed indoor
maintenance staff should be prepared.
                                                         air quality evaluations:

School administrators should also make certain
                                                             HVAC system designs and assumptions.
that school activities or operations do not
                                                             Bid documents.
adversely affect the quality of the indoor air.
                                                             Building permits.
Many of the practices recommended in this
                                                             Certificate of occupancy.
Manual are intended to help prevent indoor air
                                                             Commissioning reports.
quality problems from activities such as cleaning
                                                             As-built drawings.
and maintenance, as well as building repairs and
                                                             Air balancing reports.
school classroom functions. In addition, school
                                                             Photos and videotapes (if available).
district administrators should ensure that all
records pertaining to the operation and
                                                         HVAC operations and maintenance guidance
maintenance of the HVAC system are properly
                                                         should be readily available to HVAC operation
                                                         personnel. The guidance should include
                                                         manufacturers’ recommended procedures and
The HVAC maintenance personnel should
                                                         timelines for maintenance of HVAC systems
document the completion of all assigned
                                                         components. To the extent that such information
maintenance, and in the event of an indoor air
                                                         is not available, guidance should be obtained
quality problem, should work with school
                                                         from knowledgeable professional organizations
administrators, other staff, and any outside
                                                         or contractors.

D. Establish Maintenance                                      order. Control systems are used to switch fans
Standards                                                     on and off, regulate the temperature of air, or
                                                              modulate airflow and pressures by controlling
Personnel operating HVAC systems should rely
                                                              fan speed and damper settings.189
on the operation and maintenance guidance
prepared specifically for the school building and
                                                              Scheduling Maintenance
use the information presented here to
supplement existing guidance. A useful                        Operation and maintenance documents should
reference document for HVAC maintenance is                    specify when HVAC maintenance activities
Building Air Quality “A Guide for Building                    need to be performed. HVAC checklists are
Owners and Facility Managers,” prepared by                    useful in guiding and documenting HVAC
EPA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human                  inspections. A sample HVAC Checklist is
Services, the Public Health Service, Centers for              included in Appendix B of this Manual.
Disease Control, and the National Institute for               Computerized systems are also available to
Occupational Safety and Health. 186                           prompt staff to carry out maintenance activities
                                                              at the proper intervals.190
The following recommendations are intended as
a broad overview of maintenance guidance                      Filters
associated with HVAC systems.                                 Filter maintenance should be fully defined in the
                                                              operation and maintenance manual. The manual
E. Inspect and Maintain HVAC                                  should describe all filters required, the basis for
Systems and Components                                        change (for example, time, or pressure loss),
It is critical that HVAC components be                        methods of replacement, service schedule, and
inspected, adjusted, cleaned, calibrated, or                  record of work completed.191
replaced as specified in the maintenance
guidance. Components requiring attention                      HVAC filters are tested and rated according to
include, but are not limited to air filters and filter        ASHRAE Standard 52. Ratings are available
seals, condensate pans and drainage piping,                   from manufacturers on the basis of this standard
heating and cooling coils, supply and exhaust                 for weight arrestance, dust spot efficiency, and
vents and louvers, dampers and damper                         dust holding capacity. The dust spot test is a
actuators, fan motor belts, pulleys, bearings,                soiling index reflecting fine particle filtering
humidifiers and dehumidifiers, air cleaners,                  efficiency and is the most useful measure of
thermostats, control devices, sensors, mixing                 efficiency available now.192
boxes, VAV boxes, terminal reheat units,
ductwork, air intakes, and cooling towers.                    Installing more efficient filters in schools will
Outdoor air intakes should be checked to verify               produce cleaner air, and may help create a more
that they are unobstructed and clear of pollutant             effective teaching and learning environment,
sources.187                                                   reduce absenteeism, and lead to fewer
                                                              complaints. Although an improved filter may
It is also important to inspect local exhaust                 cost more initially, it is important to consider the
systems and airflow, and air pressure                         total costs, since some types of filters may
relationships within building areas. Combustion               require fewer changes, require less labor, and
appliances should be checked for odors, leaks,                reduce the need for coil cleaning. Changing
disconnections, deterioration, corrosion and soot             from coarse fiber to extended surface filters may
(flue components), and downdrafts.188                         be cost effective. Unit ventilator filters may be
                                                              upgraded from coarse fiber to extended media
Regular maintenance and calibration of controls               pleated filters with improved dust spot
are necessary to keep them in good operating                  efficiency, weight arrestance, and longer filter

life. In analyzing costs, consider annual costs of         The HVAC Space
filter replacement, labor costs, and coil cleaning
                                                           The maintenance space containing the HVAC
costs (for ineffective filters).193
                                                           should be kept clean and dry, and should not be
                                                           where cleaning and other maintenance supplies
All filters impose a backpressure on the HVAC
                                                           are stored. Unsanitary conditions in the
fan. This increased resistance causes a reduction
                                                           mechanical room are particularly a problem if
in the airflow unless the fan speed can be
                                                           return air is dumped into and circulated through
increased. Therefore, higher efficiency filters
                                                           the room.197
may not be a viable option for an existing unit
unless there is sufficient motor horsepower to
                                                           Duct Cleaning
operate the fan at a higher backpressure and fan
speed. This also prevents some new equipment               Precautions should be taken to prevent dirt, high
from being supplied with higher efficiency                 humidity, or moisture from entering the
filters, since the manufacturer does not provide           ductwork. When equipment or ductwork
an option for a higher horsepower motor. Filter            downstream of the filters becomes excessively
loading from airborne dust will also increase              dirty (when you can see accumulation of dust or
system backpressure and reduce airflow,                    residue on the duct surfaces), they must be
resulting in reduction of the HVAC system’s                cleaned. The ability to clean the system is
efficiency.                                                mainly determined by the system design and
                                                           equipment selection. The less access to the
It is important to recognize that the                      equipment, the more difficult the task. Duct
concentration of contaminants is governed not              cleaning should be performed by properly
only by the filter effectiveness, but also by the          trained personnel in accordance with the
air turnover rate in the room. If the air supply is        General Specifications for Cleaning of
reduced for long periods of time, the quality of           Commercial Heating, Ventilating and Air
the air will deteriorate, no matter how efficient          Conditioning Systems of the National Air Duct
are the filters.194                                        Cleaners Association (See Chapter 12 Other
                                                           Resources). Note that water-damaged or
A more complete discussion of air filters and              contaminated porous materials in the ductwork
other air cleaning devices for school HVAC                 or other air handling system components should
systems is found in the Technical Bulletin by the          be removed and replaced.198, 199
Maryland State Department of Education,
entitled Air Cleaning Devices for HVAC Supply              If ducts require cleaning, the following
Systems in Schools.195                                     precautions should be taken:200

Coil Cleaning                                                  Duct cleaning should be scheduled during
                                                               periods when the building is unoccupied to
Heating and cooling coils expose large areas of
                                                               prevent exposure to chemicals and loosened
metal surface that transfer thermal energy to or
                                                               dirt particles.
from the air supplied to the building. Dirt
                                                               Negative air pressure that will draw
deposits on these coils reduce their
                                                               pollutants to a vacuum collection system
effectiveness. Once coils are dirty, they need to
                                                               should be maintained at all times in the duct
be cleaned—this can be a difficult and costly
                                                               cleaning area to prevent migration of dust,
procedure, usually requiring vacuuming and
                                                               dirt, and contaminants into occupied areas.
steam cleaning. Accumulation of dirt can be
                                                               Careful attention should be given to
minimized through the proper maintenance of
                                                               protecting ductwork. Duct cleaning
filters and filter housings in the HVAC
                                                               performed with high velocity airflow should

    include gentle, well-controlled brushing to          engineering data. Methods for estimating
    dislodge dust and particles.                         outdoor air quantities are presented in Appendix
    HEPA vacuuming equipment should be used              A of the EPA guide, Building Air Quality.202
    if the vacuum collection unit is inside the
    occupied space.                                      Outdoor air ventilation rates may vary
    If biocides are used, products registered by         depending upon whether the building is new,
    EPA should be used according to                      recently renovated or in operation after the
    instructions.                                        initial break-in period.
    Sealants should not be used to cover interior
    ductwork surfaces.                                   To identify and diagnose building related
    To reduce microbial pollutants, careful              ventilation deficiencies, it may help to compare
    cleaning and sanitizing of all coils and drip        peak carbon dioxide readings among rooms,
    pans should be done when ducts are cleaned.          among HVAC zones, and at varying heights
    Water-damaged or contaminated porous                 above the floor. When the carbon dioxide level
    materials in the ductwork or other                   exceeds 1000 ppm, HVAC maintenance
    components should be replaced.                       personnel should check to make sure that the
    After duct cleaning, a preventive                    HVAC system is operating correctly. If it is not,
    maintenance program should be put in place.          corrective action should be taken.

F. Control Temperature and                               The HVAC system should operate during
Humidity                                                 normal building occupancy except during
                                                         emergency HVAC repairs and scheduled HVAC
Temperature and humidity should be maintained
                                                         maintenance. The HVAC system or local
according to ASHRAE Standard 55-(current
                                                         ventilation should be used during and after
version), Thermal Environmental Conditions for
                                                         normal building occupancy hours if workers are
Human Occupancy. Acceptable temperature and
                                                         using equipment or products that could result in
humidity ranges are discussed in Chapter 6 of
                                                         chemical or particulate releases or exposure.
this Manual.
                                                         Such work includes waxing floors, cleaning
                                                         bathrooms, lubricating machinery, or
The timing of occupied and unoccupied cycles
                                                         shampooing carpets. Where possible, direct
should be adjusted such that the building is
                                                         exhaust should be used to eliminate air
flushed by the ventilation system before
                                                         contaminants at or near their source. Note that
occupants arrive. ASHRAE Standard 62 offers
                                                         Chapter 7 of this Manual discusses ventilation
guidance on lead and lag times for HVAC
                                                         and other control measures that may be taken to
equipment. As noted in Chapter 7, the lead-time
                                                         control contaminants during and after
during initial occupancy of new or remodeled
                                                         remodeling or renovation. This information may
buildings may be extended to help flush out
                                                         be useful for special building maintenance
VOCs from construction materials and
                                                         projects, as outlined above.

                                                         G. Record Inspections and
The HVAC system should be inspected to verify
that it is providing at least the minimum amount         Maintenance
of outdoor air (based upon current average daily         A written record of HVAC system inspections
occupancy) required by the ventilation code in           and maintenance called for under this chapter
effect at the time of building construction or           should be established. HVAC inspection and
remodeling. The rate at which outdoor air is             maintenance records or logs should be
supplied to building areas can be estimated from         maintained for at least three years, and should
actual measurements or from design criteria and          include the specific actions taken and reasons for

actions (e.g., routine maintenance or complaint
response), the name and affiliation of the
individual performing the activity, and the date
of response.

H. Train on Personal Protective
Equipment and Safety
Employees performing work on building
systems should be trained, provided with, and
use appropriate personal protective equipment as
prescribed in WAC 296-800-160 (personal
protective and life saving equipment), WAC
296-62-09031 (occupational noise exposure),
and WAC 296-62-071 (respiratory protection).
In addition, employees should be trained on the
control of hazardous energy standard (lock-out,
tag-out, WAC 296-24-110) and the confined
space entry standard (WAC 296-62-141).

9. Controlling General Contaminant Sources

Recommendations for                                         good indoor air quality. This will minimize the
Controlling General                                         presence and concentration of asthma triggers in
Contaminant Sources                                         the school environment. In addition, schools
                                                            should have asthma management plans that
    Develop an asthma management plan
    Prevent and eliminate mold
    Enforce tobacco use policies
                                                                Providing basic information about asthma.
    Control cleaning and maintenance materials
                                                                Identifying and minimizing asthma triggers,
    Control dust
                                                                especially at school.
    Use integrated pest management
                                                                Specifying procedures the school will use
    Control asbestos
                                                                for administering daily medications at
    Monitor for radon and control as necessary
                                                                school, including whether students may
                                                                carry/use medication outside the school
B. Develop an Asthma                                            clinic.
Management Plan                                                 Identifying supplies, medications, or
In the United States, about 20 million people of                equipment that are provided by the school.
all ages are currently affected by asthma.                      Recognizing acute asthma symptoms
Asthma is the most common chronic childhood                     requiring prompt action.
disease affecting nearly 5 million people                       Identifying which students and staff have
younger than 18 years of age. It also is the                    asthma and what their specific asthma care
leading cause of school absenteeism. Asthma is                  needs are at school.
a chronic obstructive lung disease, caused by
inflammation and increased reaction of the                  Resources on asthma are listed in Chapter 12
airways to various triggers. Symptoms can                   Other Resources.
include, but are not limited to, wheezing,
coughing, chest tightness and shortness of                  C. Prevent and Eliminate Mold
breath. Asthma can be a life-threatening disease
                                                            Molds play an important role in the natural
if not properly managed. Common triggers of
                                                            environment by breaking down dead organic
asthma are exercise, infections, allergy, irritants,
                                                            matter. They reproduce through invisible spores
weather, and emotions (infrequently).
                                                            that float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold
                                                            may grow on any wet or damp spot and have the
Asthma triggers found in schools can include
                                                            potential to cause health problems. Molds
animal allergens, cockroaches, mold, dust mites
                                                            produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases,
and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
                                                            potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).
Maintaining proper ventilation and moisture
                                                            Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may
levels can improve indoor air quality and help
                                                            cause allergic reactions in sensitive people such
reduce the amount of asthma triggers found in
                                                            as those with asthma.
schools. It should be noted that children with
pet allergies may react to animal allergens
                                                            Molds can grow on almost any kind of surface if
brought to school on the clothing of staff and
                                                            they have moisture to grow. Moisture problems
other students. 203
                                                            in schools can start with construction practices
                                                            that allow moisture to accumulate in the building
Schools should address asthma by designing,
                                                            or HVAC system prior to building occupancy.
constructing and operating buildings to achieve
                                                            Moisture problems can also occur in properly

designed and constructed buildings as a result of           The presence of mold can be identified through
water leaks, excessive humidity or improper                 it’s appearance, smell or through testing. If mold
housekeeping practices.                                     can be seen or smelled, it should be assumed
                                                            that there is a mold problem and remediation
EPA suggests these tips for preventing mold in              steps should be taken. Care should be taken to
existing buildings:205                                      avoid exposing remediators or others during
                                                            cleanup. Consult EPA’s publication Mold
    Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building            Remediation in Schools and Commercial
    envelope as soon as possible.                           Buildings207 for guidance in investigation,
    Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix               evaluating, and remediating moisture and mold
    source(s) of moisture problem(s) as soon as             problems. For a brief guide to dealing with
    possible.                                               simple mold problems, see Mold in School:
    Prevent moisture due to condensation by                 What do We Do?208 Also, see Chapter 12 Other
    increasing surface temperature or reducing              Resources, for more resources on mold.
    the moisture level in air (humidity). To
    increase surface temperature, insulate or               D. Enforce Tobacco Use Policies
    increase air circulation. To reduce the
                                                            All tobacco use on public school campuses (K
    moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase
                                                            through 12) in Washington is prohibited by law.
    ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or
                                                            Tobacco use at private schools may be less
    dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and
                                                            restrictive, although specific anti-tobacco
                                                            policies at private schools may be enacted. All
    Keep heating, ventilation, and air
                                                            schools should enforce non-tobacco use
    conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean,
                                                            regulations and policies to prevent student and
    flowing properly, and unobstructed.
                                                            staff exposure to environmental tobacco smoke
    Vent moisture-generating appliances, such
                                                            (secondhand smoke) and degradation of indoor
    as dryers, to the outside where possible.
                                                            air quality. Non-tobacco use policies should
    Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60%
                                                            include the following:209
    relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if
                                                                A statement of the policy or requirement.
    Perform regular building/HVAC inspections
                                                                A definition of who is covered by the policy
    and maintenance as scheduled.
                                                                or requirement (this should include students,
    Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48
                                                                teachers and other staff, and visitors).
                                                                Clarification of what constitutes tobacco
    Don’t let foundations stay wet. Provide
    drainage and slope the ground away from
                                                                A statement of the enforcement procedure
    the foundation.
                                                                that will be taken when the policy is
                                                                violated. Disciplinary actions may include
The EPA “Tools for Schools” IAQ
                                                                reminders, counseling, written reprimand,
Coordinator’s Guide discusses mold and steps
                                                                and student probation or suspension.
to prevent growth.206
                                                            E. Control Cleaning and
Schools should inspect buildings periodically for
discolored or wet ceiling tiles or leaks that could
                                                            Maintenance Materials
indicate water problems. In case of leakage, it is          Indoor air quality complaints can arise from
useful to have wet vacuums, submersible pumps,              inadequate housekeeping that fails to remove
mops, and other spill cleanup equipment                     dust and other dirt. On the other hand, cleaning
available.                                                  materials themselves produce odors and emit a
                                                            variety of chemicals.210

Hazard Communication                                     Cleaning and maintenance chemicals, pesticides,
                                                         and other hazardous chemical in the workplace
It is important to become more familiar with the
                                                         should be used and stored according to
chemicals in cleaning and maintenance products
                                                         manufacturers' instructions, and according to
and their potential toxicity. Select the safest
                                                         specific labeling. Avoid storing open containers
available materials that can achieve your
                                                         of unused paints and similar materials. Also, do
purpose. Review the information provided by
                                                         not store or use hazardous chemicals in
product labels and MSDSs. Request information
                                                         mechanical rooms or HVAC plenums.216
from suppliers about the chemical emissions of
products being considered for purchase.211 The
                                                         A local exhaust system should be permanently
hazard communication standard, WAC 296-800-
                                                         installed where products containing potential air
170 sets forth minimum requirements regarding
                                                         contaminants are stored.217
information, labeling, and training on hazardous
chemicals used in the workplace.
                                                         F. Control Dust
Employees, students, and parents should be               Frequent conventional vacuuming as a dust
notified in advance when areas students and staff        control measure does not appear to be effective.
may occupy will be treated with potentially              On the contrary, conventional vacuums may
hazardous chemicals. Notification procedures             increase airborne dust concentrations.
and timing should be defined by district policy,         Vacuuming is least effective for the very small
consistent with any legal requirements for               particle sizes that have the greatest potential to
notification.                                            create allergy problems or asthma. Vacuuming
                                                         with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air)
Materials Use and Storage                                type cleaner or those that entrain dust in a liquid
                                                         medium (wet-vacs) are more effective.
Less toxic materials should be substituted for
                                                         However, caution should be used with liquid
more toxic materials. In general, water-soluble
                                                         medium systems, since they can distribute dust
materials should be given preference over
                                                         mite antigens in an aerosol form. To minimize
organic solvents. Materials that are higher in
                                                         problems with liquid medium systems,
flash point and/or have a lower vapor pressure
                                                         vacuuming should be performed after normal
are also preferred. Minimize the quantities of
                                                         school hours to allow antigens to dissipate
potentially hazardous materials purchased,
                                                         before peak building occupancy.218
stored, and dispensed.212
                                                         Door mats placed at building entrances may also
Use plain soap and water as cleaning agents.
                                                         be used to help prevent soiling of carpets with
Remove dust with a vacuum and/or damp cloth.
                                                         dust, debris, as well as moisture.
Do not use feather dusters or spray dust
                                                         G. Use Integrated Pest
If products with strong odors or air contaminants        Management RCW 17.21.415
must be used, it is best to use them early in            Public awareness of the health and
weekends or vacation periods to allow fumes to           environmental risks of pesticides is raising
dissipate before the building is reoccupied. Use         interest in the use of alternative pest control
fans during application.214 Make sure that vapors        methods. School officials should adopt
from cleaning products are eliminated before air         integrated pest management (IPM) as an
handling systems switch to their unoccupied              alternative to regular spraying of pesticides
cycles.215                                               (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides) at schools.
                                                         Effective and safe measures to control pests in

schools are consistent with and complement                 consistent with their EPA labels.221,222
measures to ensure good indoor air quality.                Additionally teachers should not be using or
                                                           storing pesticides.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can reduce
the use of pesticides and provide an economical            Control measures to restrict pesticide use, and to
method of pest suppression. IPM programs use               restrict access to pesticides are essential.
current information on the life cycles of pests            Notification must be provided to students, staff,
and their interaction with the environment. Pest           and parents at least 48 hours in advance of
populations are reduced and controlled by                  upcoming pesticide application. Warning signs
creating inhospitable environments, by removing            should be posted around areas before and after
some of the basic elements pests need to survive           pesticides have been applied. Where possible,
or by blocking their access into buildings. Pests          the time of application should be restricted to
may also be managed by other methods, such as              periods when the school is not occupied or when
traps, vacuums, or the judicious use of pesticides         outdoor areas are not scheduled for use. School
as a last resort. IPM programs consist of a cycle          emergency management plans should also
of inspecting, identifying, monitoring,                    address accidents involving pesticides.223,224
evaluating, and choosing the appropriate method
of control.219                                             Following the application of pesticides, all
                                                           building areas that may be affected should be
Pest prevention measures include the                       well ventilated. Consider using temporary
following:220                                              exhaust systems to remove contaminants during
                                                           the work. It may be necessary to modify the
    Maintain sanitation and structural repair of           HVAC system operation during and after pest
    buildings. Employ screens, traps, and other            control activities, such as running air handling
    devices to keep pests from entering                    units on maximum outdoor air to allow several
    buildings.                                             complete air exchanges before occupants reenter
    Use weed removal devices or mowing strips.             the treated space.225
    Keep food sources only in designated areas,
    with food containers sealed.                           When pesticides are applied outdoors, special
    Keep desks and lockers clean.                          precautions should be taken. Pesticides should
    Keep carpeted areas clean, dry, and free of            not be applied near building air intakes.
    food residues.                                         Windows near or downwind of pesticide
    Remove wastes at the end of each day.                  application areas should be kept closed.
    Clean floor drains, strainers, and grates, and
    be sure traps are primed with water.                   Records on pesticide application should be kept
    Repair leaks and other plumbing problems               as required by the Washington Pesticide
    to deny water to pests.                                Application Act, Chapter 17.21 RCW. Records
                                                           must include the time and location of
Restricted use pesticides must be applied by               application, the specific product used, and the
licensed applicators (which may be commercial              concentration and quantity applied. Specific
applicators or school employees) preferably                record keeping requirements are identified in the
when students and staff are not present. Where             statute. WSDA Compliance Guide for the Use
pesticide use is deemed to be necessary, select            of Pesticides (June 2002) can be found at:
pesticides that are species-specific (to the extent
possible) and minimize toxicity for humans and             lGuidePub075.pdf.
non-target species. Ask contractors or vendors to
provide EPA labels and MSDSs. Make sure that               For further information on Integrated Pest
pesticides are stored and handled properly,                Management in schools, refer to EPA document

735-F-93-012, entitled Pest Control in the                 instruction within 60 days following the
School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest               commencement of their employment.
Management.226 To download this document and               Any maintenance and custodial employees
access many other references, see the EPA Web              who perform any activities that may disturb
site on IPM in schools at:                                 asbestos must attend at least 30 hours of Additional              training.
information on IPM may be obtained from the                Any employee working on any aspect of an
Washington State University Cooperative                    asbestos project must be certified and
Extension Service, Urban IPM Clearinghouse                 accredited by the state and/or EPA.
(phone (206) 205-8616). Additional information             Schools must properly transport and dispose
on IPM can be obtained at the Urban Pesticide              of asbestos waste.
Education Strategy Team (UPEST) Web site at:               Schools must use a properly trained AHERA               designated person to ensure that asbestos-
pest/index.html. Information on the health                 related activities are properly conducted and
effects of pesticides may be obtained from the             entered into the asbestos management plan.
Washington State Department of Health                      Short-term workers (telephone repair,
Pesticide Program, phone 1-888-586-9427.                   electricians, plumbers, for instance) must be
                                                           informed of the locations of asbestos
Information on alternatives to use of pesticides           containing building materials in the
for control of head lice may be obtained from              building.
health care professionals, or from documents               Warning labels must be posted in routine
such as Control of Communicable Diseases in                maintenance areas (boiler rooms, pipe
Man, published by the American Public Health               tunnels, air handling rooms, for instance) to
Association, Washington, D.C.                              prominently identify any asbestos containing
                                                           materials or suspected materials.
H. Control Asbestos                                        School building occupants (faculty, staff,
                                                           parents, legal guardians) must be notified in
Asbestos management in schools has been
                                                           writing at least once during each school year
governed in large part through the Federal
                                                           regarding the status of the building's on-
Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
                                                           going asbestos activities, including
(AHERA) of 1986. This act required schools to
                                                           information on the availability for the public
identify all known locations of asbestos
                                                           to review the asbestos management plan
containing building materials, and to prepare an
                                                           during normal business hours.
asbestos management plan for each building.
                                                           At least once every six months, the school
                                                           must conduct a visual surveillance of all
Management abatement methods to respond to
                                                           asbestos containing materials and assumed
friable or hazardous asbestos materials include
                                                           materials in each building to see if there
one or more of the following: operation and
                                                           have been any changes in the conditions of
maintenance; repair; encapsulation; enclosure;
                                                           the asbestos.
and removal. There are several ongoing asbestos
                                                           Records must be kept of the surveillance and
management tasks that should be undertaken to
comply with the law including the following227
                                                           Every three years, schools must conduct an
                                                           inspection to identify all locations of friable
    All maintenance and custodial employees
                                                           and non-friable asbestos.
    must attend at least a two-hour training
    course in asbestos awareness, and new
                                                        Even schools with no asbestos detected need to
    maintenance employees must receive
                                                        comply with certain requirements of AHERA.
                                                        For detailed information on requirements for

asbestos management, contact EPA or the
Washington Department of Labor & Industries.

For more information and many resources on
asbestos in schools, see the EPA Healthy School
Environments-Web site (in 12. Resources)

EPA publications on asbestos management
include Asbestos-Containing Materials in
Schools--Final Rule; A Guide to Performing
Reinspections Under the Asbestos Hazard
Emergency Response Act; Answers to the Most
Frequently Asked Questions About
Reinspections Under the AHERA; Managing
Asbestos in Place: A Building Owner’s Guide to
Operations and Maintenance Programs for
Asbestos-Containing Materials; Guidance for
Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in
Buildings; and Asbestos Model Accreditation

I. Monitor for Radon and
Control as Necessary
Chapters 5 and 6 of this manual discuss how to
assess and handle radon in school siting and
design. The OSPI-DOH School Health and
Safety Guide calls for schools to establish
baseline measurements for key IAQ indicators,
including radon.228 EPA has a publication on
how to measure for radon in schools. 229 Also
see Chapter 12 Other Resources for other
information sources.

10. Controlling Contaminant Sources in Classrooms,
Offices, and Special Use Areas

Recommended Practices for                                provided when necessary. It may be valuable for
Controlling Contaminant                                  the school district to collaborate with parent
Sources in Classrooms, Offices                           groups to consider offering family indoor air
and Special Use Areas                                    quality education programs in schools. In
                                                         addition, a teacher workshop on health issues
    Encourage good personal hygiene
                                                         that addresses indoor air quality may be useful.
    Maintain clean classrooms and offices
                                                         The EPA Tools for Schools program contains a
    Properly ventilate staff work rooms and
                                                         number of checklists that can be used to survey
    printing rooms
                                                         conditions in different areas of the school.230
    Clean and ventilate food handling areas
    Use special precautions for locker rooms
                                                         Maintain Clean Classrooms and Offices
    Provide special ventilation and control
    materials and practices in science rooms             Regular and thorough classroom and office
    Ventilate and control materials and practices        cleaning is important to ensure good indoor air
    in art and theater rooms                             quality. Unsanitary conditions attract insects and
    Provide special ventilation and control              vermin, leading to possible indoor air quality
    materials and practices in vocational art            problems from pesticide use or animal allergens.
    areas                                                Cleaning should include dusting, mopping,
    Provide special ventilation and control              sweeping the floors, regular vacuuming, removal
    chemicals and practices in swimming pools            of trash, and removal of food. To reduce the
                                                         potential for contamination from food spillage,
B. Offices and Classrooms                                food should be eaten in the cafeteria or
                                                         gymnasium, not in classrooms. This is
Encourage Good Personal Hygiene                          particularly important in classrooms that are
Schools are unique buildings from a public               carpeted.231
health perspective because they accommodate
many people within a small area compared to              Spills should be cleaned up promptly. For spills
most buildings. This close proximity increases           on carpets involving more than a quart of water,
the potential for contaminants to pass among             contact custodial staff immediately (carpets need
students and staff.                                      to be cleaned and dried within 24 hours).
                                                         Request that the unit ventilator filter be replaced
Raising students’ awareness about the effects of         if spilled liquid goes into the unit. Also report
their habits on the well being of other students         previous spills on carpets or in unit ventilators,
can help reduce indoor air quality problems.             since they can affect current air quality.232
Students, parents, and staff should be informed
about the importance of good personal hygiene            A vacuuming schedule should be developed for
in preventing the spread of contagious diseases.         all carpet areas based on traffic rate and the
This includes proper hand washing, and                   potential for soiling. Daily vacuuming will be
covering coughs and sneezes.                             required in the majority of carpeted areas when a
                                                         school is in full use. Vacuums with revolving
Written materials on personal hygiene may be             brushes and strong suction are the best for
available from local health departments.                 cleaning carpets that have been glued down. At
Individual instruction and counseling should be          least 5-micron filtration is recommended to

reduce dispersion of fine particles by vacuums           locate sensitive students away from animals and
into the air. HEPA filtration vacuums should be          animal cages.237 See Section: Use of Plants,
used. Desks, tables, and chairs should be moved          Animals and Microbes, page 84, for additional
at least weekly to allow the entire carpet to be         information.
                                                         Some staff and students may be sensitive to
Stains are most easily removed when they get             personal body care products. School employees
prompt attention. A spot removal kit should be           should be encouraged to minimize the use of
available in every carpeted building. Some spot          perfume, cologne, scented aftershave, perfumed
cleaners are solvent-based, but other citrus-            soaps, or hairspray. Students in the higher grade
based products are available.234                         levels should receive similar guidance.238

Hot water extraction and shampooing are very             Rugs and furniture may also be sources of dust,
effective together to clean carpets. Hot water           VOCs, and allergens. Teachers should not bring
extraction alone may be done as follows: heavy           items that may present indoor air quality
traffic areas should be cleaned three times per          problems into classrooms or offices. Stuffed
year; medium traffic areas should be cleaned             furniture and toys have contributed to the spread
twice per year; and light traffic areas should be        of headlice in schools.
cleaned once per year. If carpets are shampooed
several times each year, then one hot water              Other Classroom and Office Maintenance
extraction during the year is usually sufficient.        Practices
Excessive wetting of carpets should be avoided.
                                                         Drain traps can become a problem when the
Staff and students should also be informed of the
                                                         water in the drain trap evaporates due to
need to avoid spilling milk and other liquids on
                                                         infrequent use, allowing sewer gases to enter the
the carpet. Mats or foot grilles at building
                                                         room. Drain traps should be filled regularly if
entrances should be used to prevent soiling and
                                                         they are infrequently used. These include floor
soaking of carpets.235
                                                         drains, sinks, and toilets.239

Certain people are sensitive to animal fur,
                                                         Excess moisture contributes to the growth of
dander, body fluids, and animal waste products
                                                         mold and mildew that causes odors and other
and may experience allergic reactions to these
                                                         indoor air quality problems. Excess moisture is
irritants. Some individuals may become
                                                         the result of condensation on cold surfaces,
sensitized by repeated exposure to animal
                                                         leaking or spilled liquid, or excess humidity.
allergens. Alternatives to keeping animals in
                                                         Excess moisture may also be the result of poor
classrooms should be considered. If animals are
                                                         drainage and improperly adjusted sprinklers.
present in classrooms, they should be kept in
                                                         Check for condensate on cold surfaces. Check
cages as much as possible, and should not roam
                                                         for leaks from the plumbing or roof. Also look at
freely. Cages should be cleaned regularly.
                                                         ceiling tiles and walls for patches of
Animals should be located away from
                                                         discoloration, and around sinks and lavatories
ventilation system vents to avoid circulating
                                                         for signs of leaks.240
allergens through the room.236
                                                         Comfort factors should also be checked
Special care can be taken with sensitive
                                                         periodically to make sure that the students and
students. Consult the school nurse about student
                                                         staff perception of the indoor environment is
allergies, ask parents about potential animal
                                                         acceptable. Check the temperature and humidity,
allergies in a note taken home by students, or
                                                         locate any drafts, and determine if there is a
during conferences with parents. Check for
                                                         problem with direct sunlight shining on
allergies when new students enter the class, and

occupants.241 Lighting levels should be checked           Spirit Duplicating Machines
as well. Inadequate lighting levels may
                                                          Spirit duplicating machines use methyl alcohol
contribute to occupant discomfort and the
                                                          as a duplicating fluid. Methyl alcohol is a
perception that the indoor environmental quality
                                                          flammable liquid and must be stored according
is poor. While controlling for glare and heat,
                                                          to local fire codes (for instance, over ten gallons
there should be as much natural lighting as
                                                          must be stored in an approved metal cabinet).
                                                          Overexposure to methyl alcohol vapors may
                                                          cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, irritation and
Some changes in classrooms or offices may
                                                          burning of the eyes, and blurred vision or
affect the effectiveness of ventilation in these
                                                          temporary vision loss. Use of low methyl
rooms. When office or instructional areas are
                                                          alcohol content duplicating fluid can greatly
changed with the addition or removal of
                                                          reduce the inhalation and fire hazard.244
equipment, furniture, personnel, or partitions,
there should be consideration given to
                                                          Spirit duplicators are best located in a separate
modification of the air distribution system. Also,
                                                          room dedicated to copying, with the room well
make sure that the airflow from the HVAC is not
                                                          ventilated and the duplicating equipment
diverted or obstructed by books, papers, or other
                                                          exhausted to the outdoors at a rate of eight air
                                                          changes per hour. If possible, the exhaust should
                                                          be on a wall opposite the operator at the
C. Properly Ventilate Staff Work                          equipment height and should maintain a slight
Rooms and Printing Rooms                                  negative pressure to limit odor permeation to
Duplicating equipment can affect indoor air               other areas.245
quality. This equipment includes photocopiers,
spirit duplicating machines, mimeograph                   Due to the problems associated with spirit
machines, and diazo dyeline (blue print)                  duplicators, careful consideration should be
machines and electronic stencil makers.                   given to any decision to purchase and use one.
                                                          However, if spirit duplicators are used, it is
Copiers and Printers                                      important that proper ventilation is provided and
                                                          fire codes for material storage be followed.
Photocopiers produce ozone as the major
                                                          Anyone operating the equipment should have
contaminant. Most manufacturers recommend
                                                          training that addresses safety precautions. The
that the area in the vicinity of photocopiers be
                                                          following precautions should be taken:246
mechanically ventilated at the rate of at least
four air changes per hour (0.5 cubic feet per
                                                              Exposed skin should be washed after each
minute per square foot of floor space, assuming
                                                              duplicating run.
an 8 ft. ceiling). Ventilation by a central air
                                                              Allow duplicating paper to dry before
conditioning system with total air circulation
                                                              collating and stapling.
through the space at this rate should be
                                                              Make sure that only properly trained staff
satisfactory. In some cases, direct exhaust to the
                                                              use equipment.
outdoors may be needed, and more stringent
                                                              Do not use duplicating fluid as a cleanup
manufacturer’s instructions regarding ventilation
should be followed.243
                                                              Avoid spilling, and develop spill procedures
                                                              that follow the manufacturer's
Laser printers also produce ozone and other air
contaminants in low levels. These printers
should be operated in well-ventilated areas, and
care should be taken to replace ozone filters
according to manufacturer recommendations.

Mimeograph Machines                                        and crumbs should be removed and disposed of
                                                           properly, counters should be wiped clean, and
Mimeograph machines use black mimeograph
                                                           floors should be swept and wet mopped to
ink, which primarily is untreated napthenic oil. It
                                                           remove food. Containers should be well sealed
is not normally an inhalation hazard and requires
                                                           with no traces of food left on the outside
no special ventilation.247
                                                           surfaces of containers.250
Dyeline Copiers
                                                           Periodically inspect for signs of microbial
Diazo dyeline copiers use ammonia in an                    activity such as slime and algae. Check upper
aqueous solution. This solution can be a strong            walls and ceilings for evidence of mold growth.
irritant affecting the eyes and mucous                     Inspect the kitchen for plumbing leaks. Also
membranes. The equipment is designed to allow              check sink faucets and areas under sinks for
direct ducting to the outdoors. Because of its             stains, discoloration, and/or damp areas.251
potential for air contamination, it is normally
located in a separate room. In addition to the             Exhaust Fans
direct outdoor machine exhaust, the room should
                                                           It is important to confirm that local exhaust fans
be exhausted independently of the machine, and
                                                           function properly. They should be switched on
not recirculated. The room exhaust should create
                                                           whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning
a slight negative pressure to limit permeation of
                                                           are taking place.252
odors to other spaces.248

                                                           Depending upon the configuration of the school,
Stencil Markers
                                                           operating kitchen fans may draw air from
Stencil makers usually require no special                  adjacent loading docks. If delivery trucks or
ventilation. The contaminants generated during             other vehicles are idling at the dock, exhaust
stencil making are in trace amounts, and                   fumes can be drawn in and degrade indoor air
typically are located only in the immediate                quality and cause adverse health effects. Signs
vicinity of the equipment. An exhaust or return            should be placed to remind drivers to avoid
air register near the point of contaminant release         idling their engines in receiving areas. Doors
should be sufficient to control any odor.249               between the receiving area and the kitchen
                                                           should be closed whenever possible. If these
For each copy or printing machine described                control methods are not effective, it may be
above, periodic inspection and maintenance                 desirable to consider modifying fan and air
should be performed in accordance with                     intake locations to prevent contamination
manufacturers’ recommendations.                            problems.253

D. Clean and Ventilate Food                                To help prevent the spread of odors throughout
Handling Areas                                             the school building, kitchens should have
Activities in the school kitchen generate odors,           separate ventilation systems. Kitchen air should
moisture, food waste, and other trash. All of              not be circulated to other parts of the building.
these should be managed carefully to avoid
indoor air quality problems.                               Gas Appliances
                                                           If gas appliances are used, confirm that they
Maintaining Cleanliness                                    function properly and are venting outdoors.
It is essential to maintain cleanliness in the food        Check for backdrafting and gas leaks,
service area. Food waste and food-contaminated             combustion gas odors, or natural gas odors.254
paper products produce odors and encourage
insects and vermin. After cooking, food scraps

Waste Storage                                             environment. They can become airborne through
                                                          evaporation, by generation of dust particles, and
Proper placement of dumpsters will also prevent
                                                          release of gases, aerosols, and fumes by
odors from entering the building and minimizes
                                                          combustion or other chemical reactions. Health
opportunities for insects and vermin to enter the
                                                          effects can range from noxious and irritating
building. Wastes should be placed in appropriate
                                                          odors to serious acute respiratory effects and
containers with lids that close securely.
                                                          chronic disease or injury.259
Dumpster lids should be kept closed, except
when dumpsters are being used. Dumpsters
                                                          The Washington Department of Ecology has
should be kept well away from air intake vents,
                                                          awarded grants to several counties and school
operable windows, and food service doors.255
                                                          districts to support Rehab the Lab programs.
                                                          These programs help schools adopt safer
E. Locker Rooms
                                                          chemical experiments, encourage mirco
A number of locker room conditions can affect             chemistry where applicable and dispose of
indoor air quality including standing water, high         hazardous chemicals. For more information,
humidity, warm temperatures, and damp or dirty            contact Ecology (see Chapter 12).
clothing.256 Lockers should be built with an air
space behind them through which return air is             The DOH/OSPI K-12 Health & Safety Guide
circulated. This will draw odors out of garments          recommends good health and safety practices to
and equipment stored in lockers. Locker rooms             help ensure safer schools.260 There is a specific
should be kept clean. Wet towels and soiled               section on science classrooms and laboratories
practice uniforms should be removed and                   as well as a list of chemicals that should not be
laundered on a regular basis. Students should be          allowed in schools in the Appendix.
asked to take soiled personal clothes home
regularly for laundering.257                              King County developed a Rehab the Lab
                                                          program and has posted chemicals, rehabilitation
Some products, such as disinfectants, used to             and teaching curricula on their Web site (See
control germs and odors in the locker room may            Chapter 12).
also contribute to indoor air quality problems if
these materials are improperly used. Chemical             The Washington Department of Labor and
cleaners and disinfectants should be used only            Industries has adopted regulations for design and
when students are not in the locker rooms, and            operation of ventilation equipment and storage
exhaust fans should be operated to remove                 of hazardous chemicals. See the Labor and
cleaning product vapors and odors. Although               Industries Industrial Ventilation Guidelines.
improper use of cleaners may produce indoor air
quality problems, it is important that showers            Minimize Use of the Most Hazardous
and other locker room areas are cleaned                   Chemicals
regularly and properly.258
                                                          School systems should use the least hazardous
                                                          chemical whenever possible. Schools should
F. Science Rooms                                          eliminate carcinogenic, highly toxic, and highly
Most school science laboratories contain a wide           reactive chemicals from science laboratories
variety of chemicals that are used in instruction.        unless there is some overriding educational
These include radioactive materials, explosives,          benefit and they are used in well-controlled
corrosives, flammable liquids, oxidizers, and             demonstrations. MSDSs should be kept on file
toxic materials.                                          for all chemicals used in science laboratories.
                                                          Reference should be made to MSDSs that list
These materials can present indoor air quality            carcinogens, and provide numerical ratings for
problems when they are released into the school

hazards such as flammability and reactivity                Animals used in labs may also present problems.
according to the NFPA Standard 704. Ratings of             Animal dander, hair, and saliva and insect parts
3 or 4 in any category may be considered highly            may cause allergic reactions in some teachers
hazardous. Diluted substances, rather than                 and students. Care should be taken to ensure that
concentrates, should be used where possible.261            animal cages and bedding do not become
                                                           reservoirs for disease carrying parasites and
Ether should be replaced with non-toxic                    infectious agents. Only non-pathogenic
substitutes where possible. Solutions without              organisms should be cultured in the laboratory,
formaldehyde should be used for preserving                 and they should be treated as if they were
biological specimens. Alternatives to mercury              pathogenic.265 See Section: Animals, page 80.
barometers and thermometers should be used,
since breakage or spillage of mercury creates a            Exhaust Emissions
hazard. Hot plates and a water bath should be
                                                           Toxic or otherwise objectionable emissions
used in place of alcohol lamps.262
                                                           should be exhausted directly outdoors from the
                                                           point of generation, using a lab hood. To avoid
Chemical Storage
                                                           the spread of odors through other school spaces,
Proper storage of chemicals is essential. This             the lab should be kept under negative pressure
begins with an inventory of each chemical by               when in use, and the air should not be
container, with the date of receipt, date of               recirculated through a central air system.266
opening, and scheduled disposal (if appropriate).
Proper inventorying should lead to placement of            Lab hoods should be used to capture all gases or
orders for chemicals to minimize the quantities            aerosols released within it. Hood location is very
stockpiled. Storage areas should be organized              important--when possible they should be on an
such that only compatible chemicals are stored             outer wall and far from any doorway to avoid
together, to prevent fires, explosion, or excessive        turbulence from opening and closing doors. The
heat. Chemical suppliers can provide                       outside exhaust must be located to avoid re-entry
instructions for proper storage of laboratory              into the building by way of open windows, fresh
chemicals used in schools. Storage areas should            air intakes, or other means. Hoods should be
also be separated from main classrooms and                 checked regularly for proper airflow.267
ventilated separately to the outside and
maintained under negative pressure. Chemical               Chemical Hygiene
storage rooms may be required to contain smoke
                                                           It is appropriate to have a good lab chemical
and heat detectors, explosion proof lighting,
                                                           hygiene plan, such as that required under WAC
static-free switches and electrical outlets, and be
                                                           296-62-40009. The plan should include the
air conditioned with humidity control. Building
                                                           following elements:
and fire codes should be used to guide the
design, construction, and operation of chemical                Standard operating procedures to ensure
storage areas.263                                              health and safety for students and staff.
                                                               Methods to reduce personal exposure to
Use of Plants, Animals and Microbes                            chemicals through engineering controls,
Some courses involve experiments with plants                   personal protective equipment, and good
and microbes that may either be toxic or produce               hygiene practices.
allergic spores that can become airborne.                      Measures to ensure equipment is operating
Pathogenic and non-pathogenic microbes may                     properly.
be intentionally or unintentionally cultured and               Information and training on the hazards and
spread to other parts of the school if proper                  protection methods, including emergency
procedures are not used.264                                    plans.

    Procedures for approving lab activities.            compounds, and ozone. Kiln may also heat up
    Procedures for medical consultation and             rooms and cause discomfort to occupants.270
    Identification of personnel responsible for
                                                        Less Toxic Alternatives
    implementing the chemical hygiene plan.
    A policy for incorporating higher levels of         It is important to request a MSDS for all
    protection for work involving very toxic or         prospective art materials, and choose the ones
    hazardous chemicals.                                that are safest. The Art and Creative Materials
                                                        Institute is a non-profit association of
Lab Drains                                              manufacturers of children’s quality art materials.
                                                        The AP (Approved Product) Seal appears on
Lab drains must be kept in working order.
                                                        certain packages and containers of children’s art
Sediment in drain traps can promote the growth
                                                        materials, indicating that they are approved as
and accumulation of microorganisms.
                                                        non-toxic. See the Institute’s Web site (Chapter
Antisiphon traps in sinks must contain water to
prevent noxious odors from the sanitary sewer
line from migrating back into the indoor air.
                                                        The K-12 Health & Safety Guide recommends
Cupsinks in lab fume hoods and on benches
                                                        good health and safety practices to help ensure
frequently dry out, and have often been found to
                                                        safer schools. Appendix E Visual and
be a source of odors. The problem can be
                                                        Performing Arts describes potential hazards and
resolved by periodically running water in these
                                                        cautions against use of certain supplies and
drains, or plugging unused drains with a
                                                        chemicals.271 The bibliography also lists
                                                        publications on hazards related to arts education.

G. Art and Theater Rooms                                The Center for Safety in Arts and California
                                                        Department of Education also developed a list of
Hazardous Materials                                     products that are safe for children from grades
                                                        K-6. Lists of safer products are available from
Use and storage of student art materials may
                                                        these organizations. Their addresses are listed in
affect indoor air quality. Materials of concern
                                                        Chapter 12 of this Manual.272 The Rochester
include clay, paint, markers, pigments, varnish
                                                        Institute of Technology and University of
and lacquer, acid, ink, solvents and adhesives.
                                                        Florida also maintain a Web site on health
Theater crafts involve preparing and using
                                                        hazards in the arts (see Chapter 12).
props, scenery, lighting and costumes. Materials
used in theater productions may include many of
                                                        Safe Practices
the above-mentioned products, and involve the
use of other materials, such as sawdust, and            Good safety, handling, and storage practices
welding or soldering materials.269                      should be used in art rooms. These practices
                                                        include the following:273
Clay and glazes are composed of minerals and
metal compounds. When these materials are                   Have appropriate procedures and supplies
handled in their dry form, their dust can become            available for spill control.
airborne and easily inhaled. Some of the dust in            Label all hazardous supplies with date of
standard ceramic work is hazardous, particularly            receipt/preparation and pertinent
crystalline free silica. When greenware is fired            precautions.
in a kiln, the high temperature causes emissions            Keep lids on containers when not in use.
of materials such as sulfur dioxide, metals,                Follow recommended procedures for
nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, organic                  disposal of used substances.

    Supply storage should be separate from                  repair, vocational-agricultural activities, and
    main classroom area where possible, and                 operation of motor vehicles and equipment.
    should be ventilated.                                   Solvents, paints, varnishes, lacquers, acids,
    Substitute less hazardous or non-hazardous              adhesives, glues, waxes, and other products
    materials when possible.                                containing hazardous constituents may be
    Use fume hoods and local exhaust as                     used.276
    Isolate contaminant producing activities or             Welding and Related Activities
                                                            Welding, brazing, and thermal cutting processes
    Use moist premixed rather than powdered
                                                            generate many types of metal fumes and gases
                                                            that may present health hazards. Metal fumes are
    Use instructional techniques that require the
                                                            often largely from filler metal. Fumes may also
    least amount of materials.
                                                            originate from the base metal, coatings to the
                                                            base metal, and from the flux or electrode
As noted above, kilns are a potential source of
                                                            coatings. Gases may come from the arc, or
indoor air pollutants. The kiln should be fired at
                                                            changes in the surrounding air. Some metal
times of lower occupancy. Preference should be
                                                            fumes may only be irritants, but others can cause
given to the use of electric kilns in purchasing
                                                            long-term damage to the exposed welder.277,278
decisions, since there are fewer emissions than
gas-fired kilns. Also, outside groups that use the
                                                            Control can be achieved through good work
art facility after school should not use glazes that
                                                            practices and properly designed engineering
are prohibited for use by students of the
                                                            controls. Work practices include wearing
                                                            personal protective clothing, masks, practicing
                                                            good housekeeping, sanitation, and personal
Kilns should be isolated in a separate kiln room
                                                            hygiene, handling compressed gases safely,
if possible, and should have local exhaust
                                                            knowing how to handle emergency situations,
ventilation. Usually a canopy hood exhaust
                                                            and using HEPA vacuums.279
should be used, although some school
remodeling projects may add on kiln vents with
                                                            Ventilation must prevent contaminants
exhaust directed through an exterior wall. Kilns
                                                            generated during the welding process from
may also be placed outside the art room in a
                                                            passing through the welder’s breathing zone.
partially enclosed, covered porch away from
                                                            Mechanical ventilation is normally required, and
building air intakes. General guidelines for
                                                            consists of local exhaust, local supply, and
design of canopy hoods are listed in the State of
                                                            dilution ventilation. Local exhaust may be
Maryland Technical Bulletin entitled Guidelines
                                                            provided by either fixed enclosures or freely
for Controlling Indoor Air Quality Associated
                                                            movable hoods placed as close to the welding
with Kilns, Copiers, and Welding in Schools.275
                                                            operation as practicable. After a system is
                                                            installed and set in operation, its performance
H. Vocational Art Areas                                     should be checked to see that it meets
Industrial and vocational art areas involve                 engineering specifications, including rates of
operations that have potential health hazards,              airflow, duct velocities, and negative pressures.
including the potential to affect indoor air                General guidelines for design and operation of
quality. Such operations may include ceramic                exhaust hoods may be found in the State of
coating, grinding, forming and forging, use of              Maryland Technical Bulletin entitled Guidelines
molten metals, paint spraying, plating, operation           for Controlling Indoor Air Quality Associated
of gas furnaces or ovens for heating or drying              with Kilns, Copiers, and Welding in
products, welding, wood working, jewelry                    Schools.280,281

Flammable gas and oxygen cylinders should be              General Safety Precautions
separately stored according to fire codes.
                                                          Since hazardous materials are often used in
Welding and cutting should also be done at a
                                                          vocational arts areas, safety precautions must be
safe distance from flammable materials.282
                                                          taken, including the following:284,285,286

Spray Booths                                                  Read labels, use MSDSs, and identify all
Spray booths are used for painting, cementing,                precautions for health and safety.
glazing, metalizing, cleaning, or welding.                    Substitute with less harmful materials.
Various hazardous materials may be released as                Follow manufacturers’ recommendations for
dust, vapor, or mists. Care must be taken to                  safety, handling, and storage of materials.
follow all applicable codes (including fire and               Develop appropriate procedures and have
electrical codes) in the design and operation of              supplies available for spill control.
spray booths. Following are design,                           Follow recommended procedures for
construction, and operational                                 disposal of used substances.
recommendations:283                                           Secure gas cylinders.
                                                              Locate storage areas away from the main
    Use noncombustible material, such as steel,               classroom areas and make sure storage areas
    concrete, or masonry in construction.                     are ventilated separately.
    Provide all spray areas with mechanical                   Change or isolate processes to minimize
    ventilation which is in continuous operation              student contact.
    to remove vapors during and after spraying.               Use wet methods to reduce dust.
    Assure a ventilation rate across the face of              HEPA vacuums should be used in
    the paint spray booth of at least 100 feet per            automotive and industrial shops and craft
    minute.                                                   activities that generate dusts, fumes, or
    Equip spray booths with proper filters to                 particulates. Dry sweeping should be
    remove dust and mists generated in the                    curtailed in these areas, although damp
    spraying process. Dust filters do not remove              mopping may be used to clean floors.
    mists so special arrestor pads should be                  Use appropriate personal protective
    used.                                                     equipment (for instance, gloves, masks, eye
    Design booths to direct airflows toward the               protection)
    exhaust outlets.                                          Exercise good housekeeping, including
    Provide explosion proof lights and switches               cleanliness, proper waste disposal, and
    and exhaust fan motors (if inside the booth)              washing.
    as required by code.
    Construct the interior of booths to be smooth         Special Ventilation Considerations
    and continuous without edges or areas for
                                                          Vocational arts facilities should be thermally
    pocketing of residues and to facilitate
                                                          treated for year-round use. Special attention
    cleaning and washing.
                                                          should be given to mechanically forced air
    Keep interior surfaces free of combustible
                                                          systems that provide for the ventilation and
                                                          circulation of fresh air. The amount of
    Keep portable lamps away from spray
                                                          ventilation air required is dependent upon the
                                                          types of activities to be conducted. This should
    Keep fire suppression sprinkler heads clean.
                                                          be determined early in the design process,
                                                          because it is important for occupant comfort and
                                                          protection of equipment from corrosion due to
                                                          excess humidity. Special consideration should
                                                          be given to local exhaust from operations, such

as fumes generated by welding, furnaces,                  These precautions include locating the chlorine
masonry dust, and spray-painting. An exhaust              room with consideration of prevailing winds to
system must be provided for each welding booth            dissipate leaked chlorine away from the pool
area. Engine fumes must be exhausted to the               facility, and meeting specific requirements for
outside where internal combustion engines are             the mechanical ventilation system. Requirements
used. Separate HVAC controls for industrial arts          for the chlorine room ventilation system include
facilities should be provided if evening                  locating the air inlet as far as possible from fan
programs or use of the industrial arts facility is        intake to promote good circulation; providing a
planned at times other than during the day. An            minimum of one air change per minute in the
exhaust system with HEPA filters should be                chlorine room when the fan is operating (when
used when changing brake linings. Other                   the room is occupied); ensuring that there is
precautions for brake repair should be followed,          adequate suction from the fan near the floor; and
including those listed in WAC 296-62-07745,               locating the exhaust for the fan and chlorinator
Work Practices and Engineering Controls for               vent away from the air intake to prevent undue
Automotive Brake Repair Operations.287                    hazard for pool users. WISHA regulations
                                                          govern the use of and storage of chlorine and
I. Swimming Pools                                         other chemicals. Often requiring eyewash for the
School pool facilities should have separate
ventilation systems to prevent pool exhaust air
from being recirculated into other occupied
areas. In addition, ASHRAE Standard 62 calls
for a minimum of 0.5 cfm/sq. ft. of outdoor air
supplied to pool and deck areas, with higher
levels provided as necessary to control humidity.
This is only a minimum, additional ventilation
air may be required to alleviate IAQ problems.

It is also critical to provide good mixing of
outdoor air in the pool area, including the
breathing zone of swimmers a few inches above
the pool water level. Many indoor air quality
complaints come from swimmers who breathe
vapors containing irritating levels of chlorine

State regulations adopted by the Board of Health
(Chapter 246-260 WAC) govern water
recreation facilities. In operation of pools, care
should be taken to use the proper level of
disinfectants, as called for in WAC 246-260-
031. If chlorine gas is used, special precautions
must be taken during design, construction, and
operation of chlorine rooms to minimize the
potential for a chlorine leak, and to reduce the
potential exposure of people to chlorine gas.

    11. Organizing to Maintain Good Indoor Air

Recommended Practices for                                  associated with building renovations and
Organizing to Maintain Good                                repairs.
Indoor Air Quality                                         The local health department.
                                                           School boards and site councils.
    Designate an IAQ Coordinator for building
                                                           News media.
    Prepare an IAQ management plan
                                                       The functions of the IAQ coordinator in the school
    Provide training and education
                                                       may be performed at the upper level of
    Communicate with staff, students, parents, and
                                                       administration in a school or school district by
    other interest groups
                                                       personnel such as a safety officer, risk manager,
    Be proactive in managing IAQ problems
                                                       principal, vice principal, business official,
                                                       facilities director, or maintenance supervisor. Staff
B. Designate an Indoor Air                             at a lower level within the school district
Quality Coordinator for Building                       organization may also perform the functions. One
Operations                                             potential advantage of using upper level
Chapter 4 recommends that an indoor air quality        administrative personnel to serve as IAQ
(IAQ) coordinator be assigned to verify that           coordinator is that such personnel are more likely
practices to ensure good indoor air quality are        to have greater control over decisions affecting
carried out in school siting, design, and              indoor air quality than staff at lower levels.
construction. Once the school is operational, it is    (ESD’s will train and council school districts but
important to maintain the position of IAQ              will not accept positions of responsibility
coordinator to help ensure that good building          (liability) such as IAQ Coordinator within a
management practices are followed, and that staff      specific district).
are available to make sure that problems and
complaints related to indoor air are properly          Any individual assigned to serve as IAQ
handled.                                               coordinator should have the skills to organize,
                                                       manage, and communicate well with others and
The IAQ coordinator may serve several functions        should have sufficient time to devote to such a
in the school: coordinating a team of school staff     function. The individual assigned does not need to
and outside interests with the goal of maintaining     have specific technical skills related to indoor air
good indoor air quality; acting as a point of          quality, although knowledge of indoor air quality
contact for information, and receipt of indoor air     issues should be developed through training
quality complaints; and helping to facilitate          courses.
responses to indoor air quality complaints and
problems. The IAQ coordinator may be the key           The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
point of contact for the following groups:288          Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools offers many
                                                       helpful ideas and recommendations for ensuring
    Custodians, facility operators.                    good indoor air quality in schools. The guide
    Teachers and administrative staff.                 discusses the role and function of the IAQ
    Students and parents.                              coordinator, describes the steps involved in
    Contract service providers, as well as             writing an indoor air quality management plan,
    architects, engineers, and contractors             and provides several indoor air quality checklists
                                                       and forms.

C. Prepare an IAQ Management                                    Review the checklists, conduct a walkthrough
Plan                                                            inspection, and identify priorities for building
                                                                repair, upgrade, and improved maintenance.
Chapter 6 of this Manual recommends preparation
                                                                Get consensus and approvals for repairs,
of an indoor pollutant source control plan. This
                                                                upgrades, and improved maintenance activities
plan will address site and facility planning issues,
                                                                and perform these activities as approved.
HVAC system design, and selection of materials,
                                                                Conduct follow-up inspections to determine if
interior finishes, and furnishings to reduce
                                                                repairs, upgrades and improved maintenance
building emissions. However, the indoor pollutant
                                                                have been properly completed and have
source control plan does not address building
                                                                achieved the desired results.
operational issues which are also essential in
                                                                Develop and follow a schedule for upcoming
maintaining good indoor air quality.
                                                                activities, such as remodeling, staff changes,
                                                                and completion of checklists and monitoring
An indoor air quality management plan should be
                                                                activities that affect indoor air quality.
prepared and implemented to ensure healthy
                                                                Maintain good documentation and files for all
indoor air quality in operating schools. A key
                                                                completed forms, records of repairs or
element in activating an indoor air quality
                                                                maintenance changes, memos, final reports,
management plan includes gaining top
                                                                and activity reports. Key staff should be made
administrative support. School administrative
                                                                aware of their responsibilities to maintain
officials should be committed to preparing and
carrying out an indoor air quality management
plan--this includes providing authority to the IAQ
                                                            DOH -Additional Plan Elements
coordinator and the resources to carry out the
plan.289                                                    In addition to the steps listed above, the
                                                            Washington State Department of Health
EPA - Steps to Activate the Plan                            recommends the following plan elements:
In Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools, EPA
                                                            A. Develop a protocol for handling indoor air
recommends several steps to activate the indoor
                                                               quality complaints including the following:
air quality management plan, including the
                                                                Designation of key staff for receipt and
                                                                handling of complaints.
    Identify key members of the indoor air quality
                                                                Follow-up and investigation procedures.
    team who will work with the IAQ coordinator.
                                                                Preparation and use of complaint forms.
    These may include teachers, administrative
                                                                Checklists and other documentation.
    staff, facility operators, building maintenance
                                                                Procedures for use of outside specialists in
    staff, local health department officials,
                                                                resolving indoor air quality problems.
    contract service providers, and parent
                                                                Communication with other building staff,
                                                                students, parents, and other interested and
    Distribute action packets to the team members.
                                                                affected parties through problem identification
    The action packets provide specific
                                                                and resolution.
    information on indoor air quality relevant to
    the team members’ functions, and allow an
                                                            B. Establish procedures for handling emergency
    audit of the school building to determine
                                                               indoor air quality problems.
    potential sources of indoor air quality
    problems. Team members submit completed
                                                                Define “emergency” (i.e., a spill or release of
    checklists to the IAQ coordinator indicating
                                                                hazardous substances).
    their findings.

    Identify response options (i.e., building                 D. Provide Training and
    evacuation/spill cleanup, modification of                 Education
    HVAC system operation).
                                                              Chapter 4 of this Manual emphasizes the need for
    Assign key school personnel to address the
                                                              educating school district staff, students, and
                                                              parents to help maintain good indoor air quality in
    Describe coordination with local emergency
                                                              school buildings. It was recommended that a basic
    response agencies and private contractors or
                                                              orientation on this Manual be provided.
    Identify special equipment or materials needed
                                                              All staff should have a fundamental understanding
    for emergency response.
                                                              of the school’s indoor air quality program, how
    Define training requirements, communication
                                                              they can help support good management practices,
    procedures, and documentation requirements.
                                                              and to whom indoor air quality complaints should
    Establish a protocol for communicating with
                                                              be submitted. Staff should also be aware of what
    local emergency response agencies, the health
                                                              to do in an emergency. Teachers working with
    department, the Department of Labor &
                                                              hazardous materials (e.g., in science labs, art
    Industries, building staff, students, parents, the
                                                              rooms, or vocational arts facilities) should have
    press, and other interested and affected
                                                              additional training to ensure that practices used in
    agencies and groups.
                                                              their facilities minimize health and safety risks.
                                                              School site councils, where they exist, should also
C. Address proper operation and maintenance of
                                                              have a fundamental understanding of the school’s
   all building systems including:
                                                              indoor air quality program and how decisions the
                                                              council may make will affect indoor air quality.
    Precautions for special use areas such as copy
    rooms, art rooms, science laboratories,
                                                              Building maintenance staff and supervisors should
    vocational arts facilities, locker rooms, pools,
                                                              have specialized training addressing indoor air
    general offices and classrooms.
                                                              quality issues. Such training should include proper
    Purchasing procedures to minimize use of
                                                              building maintenance procedures as it relates to
    hazardous products.
                                                              indoor air quality, HVAC system operation and
    Proper storage and use of products.
                                                              maintenance, hazard communication standards,
    Procedures for control of staff and student
                                                              safety procedures for use of hazardous substances,
    exposure to contaminants through proper
                                                              and emergency procedures.
    scheduling and notification prior to
    maintenance, repair and remodeling activities.
                                                              E. Communicate with Staff,
D. Identify education and training needs for staff,
                                                              Students, Parents, and Other
based upon their roles in indoor air quality                  Interest Groups
management. At a minimum, staff should have a                 On-going communication with staff, students,
basic understanding of the topics addressed in this           parents, the school board, the site council, and
Manual, their building HVAC system, and the                   other interested and affected groups concerning
relationship between the HVAC system and                      the school’s indoor air quality program is
building activities. Budgets and schedules should             essential. Good communication will help alleviate
be prepared to meet these education and training              problems and concerns, and is likely to generate
needs.                                                        support for the school’s efforts to maintain healthy
                                                              buildings for staff and students. Communicating
                                                              not only involves sharing information, but
                                                              listening and responding to concerns and issues
                                                              raised by these various groups.

Information should be provided during all phases                appropriate representative of the school
of school development--from siting, design,                     district is designated as the focal point for
construction or remodeling--through operation to                communication with staff, students, parents,
explain actions the school district is taking to                and the press. It is important that the contact
ensure good indoor air quality. It is important to              person be accessible to the press, provide
provide accurate information in a timely manner.                accurate information, and not speculate on
                                                                problems or solutions.293
Information should include identification of the                Diagnose indoor air quality problems. Several
steps students and staff can take to help maintain              steps are recommended for diagnosing
building air quality. When building maintenance,                problems following the receipt of complaints.
repairs or remodeling will occur, the school should             Initial steps include conducting a walk-
clearly identify what will be done to ensure those              through and inspection of the facility and
activities are not disruptive, and reduce the                   discussion of the problem with staff and
potential for exposure of students and staff to                 students. Further information may need to be
indoor air pollution.                                           gathered to help determine potential causes of
                                                                the problem, although in some cases no
F. Be Proactive In Managing IAQ                                 definite causes may be found. It may be
Problems                                                        discovered that performance standards for
                                                                HVAC system operation, maintenance, or
A good program to prevent indoor air quality
                                                                other operational practices are not consistent
problems should provide a healthy, productive
                                                                with the school’s indoor air quality plan or the
environment for students and staff. However,
                                                                recommendations in this Manual. Practices not
some indoor air quality problems may arise, and it
                                                                consistent with good indoor air quality should
is important to give serious attention to how
                                                                be corrected as soon as possible.
indoor air quality complaints and problems are
                                                            Figure 11-1 illustrates the step-by-step process
                                                            involved in conducting an indoor air quality
Following are basic steps to address indoor air
                                                            investigation.294 (Outside assistance may be
quality problems reported by staff or students:
                                                            needed at any point in the investigation, depending
                                                            on the complexity of the problem, the skills
    Establish a complaint response procedure.
                                                            available in-house, time pressures or other
    This includes developing a complaint form,
    developing a log to track complaints, and
    identifying a key contact person for receipt of
                                                            This Manual is not intended to provide detailed
    complaints. It is critical that complaints be
                                                            instructions on how to troubleshoot indoor air
    received in a courteous and professional
                                                            quality problems. The reader is referred to four
    manner, and that follow-up actions be taken
                                                            specific references that offer very useful
    promptly and documented.291,292
                                                            recommendations for addressing indoor air quality
    Establish communication procedures.
    Accurate and timely information concerning
    the resolution of indoor air quality problems is
                                                            Building Air Quality--A Guide for Building
    essential. Once a problem is known to occur,
                                                            Owners and Facility Managers was prepared by
    staff and parents should be made aware as
                                                            the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the
    soon as possible of the circumstances and
                                                            U.S. Public Health Service, the Centers for
    what the school is doing to address the
                                                            Disease Control, and the National Institute for
    problem. Some problems may be of interest to
                                                            Occupational Safety and Health. Chapters 6 and 7
    the press. In such a case, it is useful to make
                                                            of this guide provide detailed information for
    sure that a high level administrator or other
                                                            diagnosing and correcting indoor air quality

           Figure 11-1
         Conducting an                             problems, and the appendices provide useful
 Indoor Air Quality Investigation                  checklists for complaint documentation and
                                                   problem investigation
      Start (person or concern)
                                                   Another excellent guide is Managing Indoor Air
                                                   Quality, by Shirley J. Hansen. This book offers
          Initial Walkthrough                      insight into indoor air quality from a manager’s
      Preparation                                  perspective, and provides useful recommendations
      Visual inspection
                                                   for handling complaints as well as investigating
      Talk with occupants and staff
                                                   and resolving problems.

                                                   Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools prepared by
           Do you have an           yes
           explanation for                         EPA provides a helpful problem-solving checklist
           the complaint?                          and wheel for use by school staff.

                       no                          Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities
       Collect additional                          developed by School Facilities Maintenance Task
       information about                           Force, National Forum on Education Statistics,
           building occupants                      and the Association of School Business Officials
           the HVAC system                         International offers effective and practical
           pollutant pathways
           pollutant sources
                                                   recommendations for school facilities maintenance
           (sample contaminants                    planning.
           if needed)
                                                   The first three documents provide advice on hiring
                                                   outside professionals (should they be needed) to
         Develop hypotheses                        help resolve indoor air quality problems.
         Test by manipulating
         building conditions or
       exposure or by performing
           appropriate tests.

no      Do results         yes   Attempt a
       support your                control
       hypothesis?                strategy

                      no         validation

 no          Is the problem

           Make necessary
           changes so that
           the problem will
              not recur.

                 Finish                       93
12. Other Resources
For updated contacts and links, visit the Department of Health’s Indoor Air Program Web

Federal Government                                    Occupational Safety and Health Administration
                                                      U.S. Department of Labor
Ann Wawrukiewicz, IAQ Program Coordinator
                                                      Occupational Safety & Health Administration
U.S. E. P. A., Region 10
                                                      200 Constitution Avenue
1200 Sixth Avenue
                                                      Washington, D.C. 20210
Seattle, WA 98101
                                                      Web site:
Phone: (206) 553-2589
Phone: (206) 553-1200 or (800) 424-4372
                                                      EPA Risk Information System Web site:
Web site:
                                                      National Toxicology Program Web site:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Indoor Environments Division
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
                                                      Energy Smart Schools
Mail Code 6609J
                                                      Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable
Washington, DC 20460
Phone: (202) 564-9370
                                                      US Department of Energy
Fax: (202) 565-2038/2039/2040/2071
                                                      Web site:
Web site:
EPA Tools for Schools
                                                      Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Web site:
                                                      Phone: (800)-363-3732
EPA Design Tools for Schools
                                                      Department of Environmental Health
                                                      Continuing Education
                                                      Northwest Center for Occupational Health &
EPA Tools for Schools Technical Assistance
                                                      Region X OSHA Training Institute Education
Phone: (866) 837-3721
                                                      4225 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite 100
                                                      Seattle, Washington 98105
EPA IAQ Technical Hotline:
                                                      Phone: (800) 326-7568
Phone (866) 837-3721
                                                      Fax: (206) 685-3872
Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 37133
Washington D.C. 20013-7133
Phone: (800) 438-4318
Web site:

Consumer Product Safety Commission                    Phone: (509) 477-6701
1301 Clay Street, Suite 610-N               
Oakland, CA 94612-5217                                Web site:
Phone: (510) 637-4050                       
Fax (510) 637-4060
Email:                                 Building Commissioning Program and
Phone: (800) 638-2772 (TTY 800-638-8270)              Energy Life Cycle Cost Analysis Program
Web site:        Department of General Administration
                                                      Engineering & Architectural Services
State of Washington                                   Karen Purtee (360) 902-7194
Department of Health
  Office of Environmental Health and Safety           Roger Wigfield (360) 902-7198
  Indoor Air: Tim Hardin                              Email:
  7171 Cleanwater lane, Bldg. 3             
  PO Box 47825
  Olympia, WA 98504-7825                              Washington Dept of Labor & Industries
  Phone: (360) 236-3363                               WISHA Services Division
  Email:                       P.O. Box 44649
  Web site:                                           Olympia, Washington 98504                Phone: (360) 902-5443 or (800) 4-BE-SAFE
                                                      Fax: (360) 902-5459
  Office of Environmental Health and Safety           Email:
  School Health and Safety: Nancy Bernard             Web sites:
  Phone: (360) 236-3072                               WISHA Consultants:
  Web site:                                           nal_consultants.htm
                                                      Janice Camp, (206) 543-9711 Dir of Field
  Washington Poison Center                            research Team UW
  Web site:                                           Field Research & Consultation Group          The University of Washington
  Phone: (800) 222-1222                               4225 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite 100
                                                      Seattle, WA 98105-6099
Superintendent of Public Instruction                  Phone: (206) 543-9711
Greg Lee                                              Fax: (206) 616-6240
Old Capitol Building
PO Box 47200                                          Steve Loftness, Project Officer
Olympia, WA 98504-7200                                Rehab the Lab
Phone: (360) 725-6268                                 Department of Ecology
FAX: (360) 753 6712                                   PO Box 47600
Email:                           Olympia, WA 98504-7600
                                                      Phone: 360 407-6060
Cooperative Extension                                 Email:
Washington State University Energy Programs
Rich Prill, WSU Energy Outreach Building

Publications and Resource Lists                         National Hispanic Indoor Air Quality Hotline
EPA Tools for Schools
                                                        Phone (800) 725-8312
                                                        The National Safety Council's Radon Hotline
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
                                                        Phone: (800) 557-2366]
and Washington Department of Health
                                                        Web site:
Health and Safety Guide for K-12 Schools in
                                                        Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute
                                                        4100 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 200
California Collaborative for High Performance
                                                        Arlington, VA 22203
Schools (CHPS)
                                                        Phone: (703) 524-8800
Web site:
                                                        Fax: (703) 528-3816
National Clearinghouse for Educational
                                                        American Conference of Governmental
Facilities at the National Institute of Building
                                                        Industrial Hygienists ACGIH
                                                        1330 Kemper Meadow Drive
1090 Vermont Ave., NW Suite 700,
                                                        Cincinnati, Ohio 45240, USA
Washington, D.C. 20005
                                                        Phone: (513) 742-2020
Phone: (888) 552-0624
                                                        Fax: (513) 742-3355
Web site:
                                                        American Industrial Hygiene Association
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and          2700 Prosperity Avenue, Suite 503
Air-Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE                       Fairfax, Virginia 22031
1791 Tullie Circle, N.E.                                Phone: (703) 849-8888
Atlanta, GA 30329                                       Email:
Phone: (800) 527-4723
Fax: (404) 321-5478                                     National Air Duct Cleaners Association
Web site:                        (NADCA)
                                                        1518 K Street, NW Suite 503
American Lung Association                               Washington, DC 20005
The American Lung Association                           Phone: (202) 737-2926
61 Broadway, 6th Floor                                  Fax: (202) 347-8847
NY, NY 10006                                  
Phone: (212) 315-8700                                 American Society for Testing and Materials
American Association of School Administrators           100 Barr Harbor Drive
1801 N. Moore St.                                       West Conshohocken, PA19428-2959
Arlington, VA 22209-1813                                Phone: (610) 832-9585
Phone (703) 528-0700                                    Fax: (610) 832-9555
Fax 703-841-1543
Web site:

American Lung Association of Washington                Hazards in the Art Classroom, University of
2625 Third Avenue                                      Florida Art Teaching Resources Web site:
Seattle, WA 98121                            
Phone: (800) 732-9339                                  zards.html
Fax (206) 441-3277
Email:                                   Asbestos
                                                       EPA Healthy School Environments Web site:
Art and Creative Materials Institute, Inc.   
1280 Main Street, 2nd Floor
P. O. Box 479
Hanson, MA 02341-0479
Phone: (781) 293-4100                                  American Lung Association of Washington
Fax: (781) 294-0808                                    [http://www/ or
Web site:                      http://www/
National Safety Council Indoor Air Program
Web site:        School Asthma Allergy Web site:
National Safety Council's Environmental Health
Center, Teacher's Guide to Indoor Air Quality.         Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web
Web site:                                              site:
                                                       Asthma and Schools Web site:
The American Indoor Air Quality Council      
Post Office Box 11599
Glendale, Arizona 85318-1599                           EPA Web site: Asthma and Indoor
Phone (800) 942-0832                                   Environments
Fax: (623) 581-6270                          
Web site:                   Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of
                                                       Asthmatics Web site:
National Education Association NEA           
Web site:          Mold
                                                       California Department of Health Services
                                                       (CDHS) Infosheets
Art and Creative Materials
                                                       Web site:
Art and Creative Materials Institute
P. O. Box 479, Hanson, MA 02341-0479
Phone: 781-293-4100
                                                       Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial
                                                       Buildings Web site:
Rochester Institute of Technology Web site on
Health Hazards in the Arts: Information for
                                                       Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health
Artists, Craftspeople, and Photographers
                                                       Professionals Web site:

EPA Tools for Schools Kit - IAQ Coordinator's           King County Rehab the Lab Program
Guide, Appendix H Mold and Moisture                     Local Hazardous Waste Management Program            in King County
                                                        Dept. of Natural Resources
EPA Mold Resource Page                                  130 Nickerson Street, Suite 100                 Phone: (206) 263-3080
                                                        Fax: (206) 263-3070
North Dakota Department of Health Mold in               TTY: (206) 296-0100
School: What Do We Do?                                  Email:        Web site:
df                                                      tm

New York City Department of Health & Mental             Chemical Storage in Schools and Impact on
Hygiene Guidelines on Assessment and                    Indoor Air Quality, Massachusetts Department
Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments             of Public Health
rpt1.html                                               hoa.pdf

California Indoor Air Quality Program Mold              Hiring Professional Assistance
Related Web Site:
                                                        Guidelines For Selecting An Indoor Air Quality
                                                        Consultant Web site:
Bioaerosols: Assessment and Remediation
                                                        Hiring Professional Assistance to Solve an IAQ
=349 from the American Conference of
                                                        Problem Web site:
Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)

                                                        Integrated Pest Management
Map of Radon Zones in Washington State
                                                        University of Florida Web site:
                                                        WSDA Compliance Guide Web site:
Reducing Radon in Schools: A Team Approach
Radon Measurement in Schools
                                                        Urban Pesticide Education Strategy Team
                                                        (UPEST) Web site:
Science Labs and Materials                              pest/index.html
Steve Loftness, Rehab the Lab Project Officer
Washington Dept. of Ecology
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Phone: 360 407-6060

Getting Rid of Hazardous                                  King County Solid Waste Division
Materials                                                 King Street Center
                                                          201 S. Jackson St., Suite #701
Many products used to repair or maintain a
                                                          Seattle WA 98104-3855
school, or used in laboratories, shops, or other
                                                          Phone: (206) 296-4466
classrooms may be hazardous and contribute to
                                                          FAX (206) 296-0197
poor indoor air quality. These products include
                                                          (800) 325-6165 (ext.6-4466
certain paints, solvents, adhesives used in
building repair and maintenance, chemicals from
science laboratories, and certain art supplies.
                                                          Mason County
                                                          Department of Utilities and Waste Management
If these products will not be used and disposal is
                                                          Shelton/Mason County Recycling Program
necessary, proper precautions should be used.
                                                          Contact Person: Toni Clement
Some materials and empty containers may be
                                                          P.O. Box 1277
safely and legally disposed in the municipal
                                                          Shelton, WA 98584
solid waste stream. Other materials may require
                                                          Phone: (360) 432-5126
handling and disposal as hazardous waste, with
                                                          Fax: (360) 426-1338
management services provided by local agencies
or private waste management contractors.
                                                          Pierce County Public Works and Utilities
Before disposing of any material that may be
                                                          Solid Waste
hazardous, the school district should contact the
                                                          9850 64th Street West
regional office of the Washington Department of
                                                          University Place, WA 98467-1078
Ecology, the local health department, or the
                                                          Phone: (253) 798-2179
local hazardous waste management coordinator
                                                          Fax: (253) 798-4674
for the city or county to determine appropriate
reuse, recycling, or disposal methods for such
                                                          Skagit County - Public Works Department
                                                          Contact Person: Frances Ambrose
Some materials that are no longer usable by the
                                                          Solid Waste Division
school district may be given away for reuse by
                                                          1111 Cleveland Avenue
another organization or business. For further
                                                          Mount Vernon, WA 98273-4215
information on material exchange, contact the
                                                          Phone: (360) 336-9400
following organizations:
                                                          Fax: (360) 336-9400
Reusable Building Materials Exchange
                                                          Snohomish County Solid Waste Management
Clark County Department of Public Works
Environmental Services-Solid Waste
                                                          2930 Wetmore Ave., Suite 101
Contact Person: Anita Largent
                                                          Everett, WA 98201-4044
PO Box 9810,
                                                          Phone: (425) 388-3425
Vancouver WA 98660
                                                          Fax: (425) 259-4945
Phone: (360) 397-6118 ext. 4352
Fax (360) 397-2062

Thurston County
Department of Water and Waste Management
Solid Waste Division
Contact Person: Janine Bogar
921 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Bldg 4, Room 100
Olympia, WA 98502
Phone: (360) 754-4348
Fax: (360) 754-4682

IMEX, the Industrial Materials Exchange is a
free service designed to match businesses that
produce wastes, industrial by-products, or
surplus materials with businesses that need
Phone: (206) 296-4899

King County Household Hazardous Waste
School and Youth Program
Attn: Gail Gensler
130 Nickerson St, Suite 100, Seattle WA 98109
Phone: (206) 263-3082 |
Fax: (206) 263-3070
TTY: (206) 263-3413

Spokane Regional Solid Waste System
Scott Windsor, Hazardous/Infections Waste
1225 E. Marietta, Spokane, WA 99207
Phone: 509-625-7898
Fax: 509 625-7899

                             Appendix A
                        Chapter 246-366 WAC
                    Primary and Secondary Schools
Last Update: 12/23/91

WAC SECTIONS                                              (2) "Board of education" - An appointive or
246-366-001Introduction.                                  elective board whose primary responsibility is to
246-366-010 Definitions.                                  operate public or private or parochial schools or
246-366-020 Substitutions.                                to contract for school services.
246-366-030 Site approval.                                (3) "Instructional areas" - Space intended or
246-366-040 Plan review and inspection of                 used for instructional purposes.
schools.                                                  (4) "New construction" - Shall include the
246-366-050 Buildings.                                    following:
246-366-060 Plumbing, water supply and                    (a) New school building.
fixtures.                                                 (b) Additions to existing schools.
246-366-070 Sewage disposal.                              (c) Renovation, other than minor repair, of
246-366-080 Ventilation.                                  existing schools.
246-366-090 Heating.                                      (d) Schools established in all or part of any
246-366-100 Temperature control.                          existing structures, previously designed or
246-366-110 Sound control.                                utilized for other purposes.
246-366-120 Lighting.                                     (e) Installation or alteration of any equipment or
246-366-130 Food handling.                                systems, subject to these regulations, in schools.
246-366-140 Safety.                                       (f) Portables constructed after the effective date
246-366-150 Exemption.                                    of these regulations.
                                                          (5) "Occupied zone" - Is that volume of space
WAC 246-366-001 Introduction.                             from the floor to 6 feet above the floor when
These rules and regulations are established as            determining temperature and air movement,
minimum environmental standards for                       exclusive of the 3 foot perimeter on the outside
educational facilities and do not necessarily             wall.
reflect optimum standards for facility planning           (6) "Site" - Shall include the areas used for
and operation.                                            buildings, playgrounds and other school
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-               functions.
051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-001,            (7) "Portables" - Any structure that is
filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; Order 55, §            transported to a school site where it is placed or
248-64-210, filed 6/8/71.]                                assembled for use as part of a school facility.
                                                          (8) "Health officer" - Legally qualified physician
WAC 246-366-010 Definitions.                              who has been appointed as the health officer for
The following definitions shall apply in the              the city, town, county or district public health
interpretation and the enforcement of these rules         department as defined in RCW 70.05.010(2), or
and regulations:                                          his authorized representative.
(1) "School" - Shall mean any publicly financed           (9) "Secretary" - Means secretary of the
or private or parochial school or facility used for       Washington state department of health or the
the purpose of school instruction, from the               secretary's designee.
kindergarten through twelfth grade. This                  (10) "Department" - Means Washington state
definition does not include a private residence in        department of health.
which parents teach their own natural or legally          [Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 92-02-
adopted children.                                         019 (Order 225B), § 246-366-010, filed

12/23/91, effective 1/23/92; 91-02-051 (Order             [Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-
124B), recodified as § 246-366-010, filed                 051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-030,
12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 82-07-015 (Order             filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 89-20-026
225), § 248-64-220, filed 3/9/82; Order 131, §            (Order 333), § 248-64-240, filed 9/28/89,
248-64-220, filed 8/5/76; Order 55, § 248-64-             effective 10/29/89; Order 88, § 248-64-240,
220, filed 6/8/71.]                                       filed 10/3/73; Order 55, § 248-64-240, filed
WAC 246-366-020 Substitutions.
The secretary may allow the substitution of               WAC 246-366-040 Plan review and inspection
procedures or equipment for those outlined in             of schools.
these regulations, when such procedures or                (1) Any board of education, before constructing
equipment have been demonstrated to be                    a new facility, or making any addition to or
equivalent to those heretofore prescribed. When           major alteration of an existing facility or any of
the secretary judges that such substitutions are          the utilities connected with the facility, shall:
justified, he shall grant permission for the              (a) First submit final plans and specifications of
substitution in writing. Requests for substitution        such buildings or changes to the jurisdictional
shall be directed to the jurisdictional health            health officer;
officer who shall immediately forward them,               (b) Shall obtain the health officer's
including his recommendations, to the secretary.          recommendations and any required changes, in
All decisions, substitutions, or interpretations          writing;
shall be made a matter of public record and open          (c) Shall obtain written approval from the health
to inspection.                                            officer, to the effect that such plans and
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-               specifications comply with these rules and
051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-020,            regulations.
filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; Order 55, §            (2) The health officer shall:
248-64-230, filed 6/8/71.]                                (a) Conduct a preoccupancy inspection of new
                                                          construction to determine its conformity with the
WAC 246-366-030 Site approval.                            approved plans and specifications.
1) Before a new school facility is constructed, an        (b) Make periodic inspections of each existing
addition is made to an existing school facility, or       school within his jurisdiction, and forward to the
an existing school facility is remodeled, the             board of education and the administrator of the
board of education shall obtain written approval          inspected school a copy of his findings together
from the health officer that the proposed                 with any required changes and
development site presents no health problems.             recommendations.
The board of education may request the health             [Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-
officer make a survey and submit a written                051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-040,
health appraisal of any proposed school site.             filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; Order 55, §
(2) School sites shall be of a size sufficient to         248-64-250, filed 6/8/71.]
provide for the health and safety of the school
enrollment.                                               WAC 246-366-050 Buildings.
(3) Noise from any source at a proposed site for          (1) Buildings shall be kept clean and in good
a new school, an addition to an existing school,          repair.
or a portable classroom shall not exceed an               (2) Instructional areas shall have a minimum
hourly average of 55 dBA (Leq 60 minutes) and             average ceiling height of 8 feet. Ceiling height
shall not exceed an hourly maximum (Lmax) of              shall be the clear vertical distance from the
75 dBA during the time of day the school is in            finished floor to the finished ceiling. No
session; except sites exceeding these sound               projections from the finished ceiling shall be less
levels are acceptable if a plan for sound                 than 7 feet vertical distance from the finished
reduction is included in the new construction             floor, e.g., beams, lighting fixtures, sprinklers,
proposal and the plan for sound reduction is              pipe work.
approved by the health officer.                           (3) All stairway[s] and steps shall have handrails
                                                          and nonslip treads.

(4) The floors shall have an easily cleanable             requirements are more stringent or in excess of
surface.                                                  the state building code.
(5) The premises and all buildings shall be free          (2) Water supply: The water supply system for a
of insects and rodents of public health                   school shall be designed, constructed,
significance and conditions which attract,                maintained and operated in accordance with
provide harborage and promote propagation of              chapter 246-290 WAC.
vermin.                                                   (3) Toilet and handwashing facilities.
(6) All poisonous compounds shall be easily               (a) Adequate, conveniently located toilet and
identified, used with extreme caution and stored          handwashing facilities shall be provided for
in such a manner as to prevent unauthorized use           students and employees. At handwashing
or possible contamination of food and drink.              facilities soap and single-service towels shall be
(7) There shall be sufficient space provided for          provided. Common use towels are prohibited.
the storage of outdoor clothing, play equipment           Warm air dryers may be used in place of single-
and instructional equipment. The space shall be           service towels. Toilet paper shall be available,
easily accessible, well lighted, heated and               conveniently located adjacent to each toilet
ventilated.                                               fixture.
(8) Schools shall be provided with windows                (b) The number of toilet and handwashing
sufficient in number, size and location to permit         fixtures in schools established in existing
students to see to the outside. Windows are               structures, previously designed or utilized for
optional in special purpose instructional areas           other purposes shall be in accordance with the
including, but not limited to, little theaters,           state building code. However, local code
music areas, multipurpose areas, gymnasiums,              requirements shall prevail, when these
auditoriums, shops, libraries and seminar areas.          requirements are more stringent or in excess of
No student shall occupy an instructional area             the state building code.
without windows more than 50 percent of the               (c) Toilet and handwashing facilities must be
school day.                                               accessible for use during school hours and
(9) Exterior sun control shall be provided to             scheduled events.
exclude direct sunlight from window areas and             (d) Handwashing facilities shall be provided
skylights of instructional areas, assembly rooms          with hot water at a maximum temperature of 120
and meeting rooms during at least 80 percent of           degrees Fahrenheit. If hand operated self-closing
the normal school hours. Each area shall be               faucets are used, they must be of a metering type
considered as an individual case. Sun control is          capable of providing at least ten seconds of
not required for sun angles less than 42 degrees          running water.
up from the horizontal. Exterior sun control is           (4) Showers:
not required if air conditioning is provided, or          (a) Showers shall be provided for classes in
special glass installed having a total solar energy       physical education, at grades 9 and above. An
transmission factor less than 60 percent.                 automatically controlled hot water supply of 100
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-               to 120 degrees Fahrenheit shall be provided.
051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-050,            Showers with cold water only shall not be
filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 82-07-015              permitted.
(Order 225), § 248-64-260, filed 3/9/82; 79-08-           (b) Drying areas, if provided, shall be adjacent
078 (Order 183), § 248-64-260, filed 7/26/79;             to the showers and adjacent to locker rooms.
Order 124, § 248-64-260, filed 3/18/76; Order             Shower and drying areas shall have water
55, § 248-64-260, filed 6/8/71.]                          impervious nonskid floors. Walls shall be water
                                                          impervious up to showerhead heights. Upper
WAC 246-366-060 Plumbing, water supply                    walls and ceiling shall be of smooth, easily
and fixtures.                                             washable construction.
(1) Plumbing: Plumbing shall be sized, installed,         (c) Locker and/or dressing room floors shall
and maintained in accordance with the state               have a water impervious surface. Walls shall
building code. However, local code                        have a washable surface. In new construction,
requirements shall prevail, when these                    floor drains shall be provided in locker and
                                                          dressing areas.

(d) If towels are supplied by the school, they          which shall be maintained at a minimum
shall be for individual use only and shall be           temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
laundered after each use.                               [Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 92-02-             051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-090,
019 (Order 225B), § 246-366-060, filed                  filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 82-07-015
12/23/91, effective 1/23/92; 91-02-051 (Order           (Order 225), § 248-64-300, filed 3/9/82; Order
124B), recodified as § 246-366-060, filed               55, § 248-64-300, filed 6/8/71.]
12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 82-07-015 (Order
225), § 248-64-270, filed 3/9/82; 79-08-078             WAC 246-366-100 Temperature control.
(Order 183), § 248-64-270, filed 7/26/79; Order         Heating, ventilating and/or air conditioning
124, § 248-64-270, filed 3/18/76; Order 55, §           systems shall be equipped with automatic room
248-64-270, filed 6/8/71.]                              temperature controls.
                                                        [Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-
WAC 246-366-070 Sewage disposal.                        051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-100,
All sewage and wastewater from a school shall           filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 82-07-015
be drained to a sewerage disposal system, which         (Order 225), § 248-64-310, filed 3/9/82; Order
is approved by the jurisdictional agency. On-site       55, § 248-64-310, filed 6/8/71.]
sewage disposal systems shall be designed,
constructed and maintained in accordance with           WAC 246-366-110 Sound control.
chapters 246-272 and 173-240 WAC.                       (1) In new construction, plans submitted under
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 92-02-             WAC 246-366-040 shall specify ventilation
019 (Order 225B), § 246-366-070, filed                  equipment and other mechanical noise sources
12/23/91, effective 1/23/92; 91-02-051 (Order           in classrooms are designed to provide
124B), recodified as § 246-366-070, filed               background sound, which conforms to a noise
12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 82-07-015 (Order           criterion curve or equivalent not to exceed NC-
225), § 248-64-280, filed 3/9/82; Order 55, §           35. The owner shall certify equipment and
248-64-280, filed 6/8/71.]                              features are installed according to the approved
WAC 246-366-080 Ventilation.                            (2) In new construction, the actual background
(1) All rooms used by students or staff shall be        noise at any student location within the
kept reasonably free of all objectionable odor,         classroom shall not exceed 45 dBA (Legx) and
excessive heat or condensation.                         70 dB (Leqx) (unweighted scale) where x is thirty
(2) All sources producing air contaminants of           seconds or more. The health officer shall
public health importance shall be controlled by         determine compliance with this section when the
the provision and maintenance of local                  ventilation system and the ventilation system's
mechanical exhaust ventilation systems as               noise generating components, e.g., condenser,
approved by the health officer.                         heat pump, etc., are in operation.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-             (3) Existing portable classrooms, constructed
051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-080,          before January 1, 1990, moved from one site to
filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 80-03-044            another on the same school property or within
(Order 192), § 248-64-290, filed 2/20/80; 79-08-        the same school district are exempt from the
078 (Order 183), § 248-64-290, filed 7/26/79;           requirements of this section if the portable
Order 124, § 248-64-290, filed 3/18/76; Order           classrooms meet the following:
88, § 248-64-290, filed 10/3/73; Order 75, §            (a) Noise abating or noise generating features
248-64-290, filed 7/11/72; Order 55, § 248-64-          shall not be altered in a manner that may
290, filed 6/8/71.]                                     increase noise levels;
                                                        (b) The portable classrooms were previously in
WAC 246-366-090 Heating.                                use for general instruction;
The entire facility inhabited by students and           (c) Ownership of the portable classrooms will
employees shall be heated during school hours           remain the same; and
to maintain a minimum temperature of 65                 (d) The new site is in compliance with WAC
degrees Fahrenheit except for gymnasiums,               246-366-030(3).

(4) In new construction, the maximum ambient            used to maintain the minimum lighting
noise level in industrial arts, vocational              intensities.
agriculture and trade, and industrial classrooms
shall not exceed 65 dBA when all fume and dust                                                Minimum
exhaust systems are operating.                                                                Foot-
(5) The maximum noise exposure for students in                                                candle
vocational education and music areas shall not                                                Intensity
exceed the levels specified in Table 1.                 General instructional areas           30
                                                        including: Study halls, lecture
               Table 1                                  rooms and libraries.
      MAXIMUM NOISE EXPOSURES                           Special instructional areas where     50
            PERMISSIBLE                                 safety is of prime consideration or
 Duration per day        Sound Level                    fine detail work is done including:
 (hours)                 (dBA)                          Sewing rooms, laboratories
 8 hours                       85                       (includes chemical storage
 6 hours                       87                       areas), shops, drafting rooms and
 4 hours                       90                       art and craft rooms.
 3 hours                       92                       Kitchen areas including: Food         30
 2 hours                       95                       storage and preparation rooms.
 1½ hours                      97                       Noninstructional areas including:     10
 1 hour                      100                        Auditoriums, lunchrooms,
 ½ hour                      105                        assembly rooms, corridors, stairs,
 ¼ hour                      110                        storerooms, and toilet rooms.
                                                        Gymnasiums: Main and auxiliary        20
Students shall not be exposed to sound levels           spaces, shower rooms and locker
equal to or greater than 115 dBA.                       rooms.
(6) Should the total noise exposure in vocational
education and music areas exceed the levels              (2) Excessive brightness and glare shall be
specified in Table 1 of subsection (5) of this          controlled in all instructional areas. Surface
section, hearing protectors, e.g., ear plugs,           contrasts and direct or indirect glare shall not
muffs, etc., shall be provided to and used by the       cause excessive eye accommodation or eyestrain
exposed students. Hearing protectors shall              problems.
reduce student noise exposure to comply with            (3) Lighting shall be provided in a manner,
the levels specified in Table 1 of subsection (5)       which minimizes shadows and other lighting
of this section.                                        deficiencies on work and teaching surfaces.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 92-02-             [Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-
019 (Order 225B), § 246-366-110, filed                  051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-120,
12/23/91, effective 1/23/92; 91-02-051 (Order           filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 82-07-015
124B), recodified as § 246-366-110, filed               (Order 225), § 248-64-330, filed 3/9/82; Order
12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 89-20-026 (Order           124, § 248-64-330, filed 3/18/76; Order 55, §
333), § 248-64-320, filed 9/28/89, effective            248-64-330, filed 6/8/71.]
10/29/89; Order 124, § 248-64-320, filed
3/18/76; Order 88, § 248-64-320, filed 10/3/73;         WAC 246-366-130 Food handling.
Order 55, § 248-64-320, filed 6/8/71.]                  (1) Food storage, preparation, and service
                                                        facilities shall be constructed and maintained
WAC 246-366-120 Lighting.                               and operated in accordance with chapters 246-
(1) The following maintained light intensities          215 and 246-217 WAC.
shall be provided as measured 30 inches above           (2) When central kitchens are used, food shall be
the floor or on working or teaching surfaces.           transported in tightly covered containers. Only
General, task and/or natural lighting may be            closed vehicles shall be used in transporting
                                                        foods from central kitchens to other schools.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 92-02-              spill and clothing fires. If more than one
019 (Order 225B), § 246-366-130, filed                   laboratory is provided, one of each fixture will
12/23/91, effective 1/23/92; 91-02-051 (Order            be adequate if the laboratories are in close
124B), recodified as § 246-366-130, filed                proximity.
12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; Order 55, § 248-64-
340, filed 6/8/71.]                                      [Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-
                                                         051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-140,
WAC 246-366-140 Safety.                                  filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; Order 55, §
(1) The existence of unsafe conditions which             248-64-350, filed 6/8/71.]
present a potential hazard to occupants of the
school are in violation of these regulations. The        WAC 246-366-150 Exemption.
secretary in cooperation with the state                  The board of health may, at its discretion,
superintendent of public instruction shall review        exempt a school from complying with parts of
potentially hazardous conditions in schools              these regulations when it has been found after
which are in violation of good safety practice,          thorough investigation and consideration that
especially in laboratories, industrial arts and          such exemption may be made in an individual
vocational instructional areas. They shall jointly       case without placing the health or safety of the
prepare a guide for use by department personnel          students or staff of the school in danger and that
during routine school inspections in identifying         strict enforcement of the regulation would create
violations of good safety practices. The guide           an undue hardship upon the school.
should also include recommendations for safe             [Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 91-02-
facilities and safety practices.                         051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-366-150,
(2) In new construction, chemistry laboratories          filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; 82-07-015
shall be provided with an eyewash fountain and           (Order 225), § 248-64-360, filed 3/9/82; Order
a shower head for flushing in cases of chemical          55, § 248-64-360, filed 6/8/71.]

                                  Appendix B
                                 HVAC Checklist
     (Adapted from Building Air Quality: A Guide for building Owners and Facility Managers,
          EPA/400/1-91/033 DDHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 91-114. December 1991)

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                                       Page 1 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______
                                   Needs          Not
       Component            OK                                        Comments
                                  Attention    Applicable
Outside Air Intake
Location ____________

Open during occupied
Standing water, bird
droppings in vicinity?
Odors from outdoors?
(describe) ___________

Carryover of exhaust
Cooling tower within 25
Exhaust outlet within 25
Trash compactor within
25 feet?
Near parking facility,
busy road, loading

Bird Screen
General condition?
Size of mesh? (1.2"
Outside Air Dampers
Operation acceptable?
Seal when closed?

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                          Page 2 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                 Needs         Not
      Component            OK                              Comments
                                Attention   Applicable
Actuators operational?

Outdoor Air (O.A.) Quantity
(Check against applicable codes
and ASHRAE 62-1989.)
Minimum % O.A. _____
Measured % O.A.
Note day, time, HVAC
operating mode under
Maximum % O.A. _____

Is minimum O.A. a
separate damper?
For VAV systems: is
O.A. increased as total
system air-flow is

Mixing Plenum
Floor drain trapped?
  of outside air dampers
  of return air dampers
  of exhaust air
All damper motors
All damper motors
Air mixers or opposed

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                          Page 3 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                 Needs         Not
      Component            OK                              Comments
                                Attention   Applicable
Mixed air temperature
control setting ______F

Freeze stat setting ___F
Is mixing plenum under
negative pressure?
Note: If it is under
positive pressure,
outdoor air may not be

Type _______________

Complete coverage?
(i.e., no bypassing)
Correct pressure drop?
(Compare to
Contaminants visible?
Odor noticeable?

Spray Humidifiers or
Air Washers
Humidifier type
All nozzles working?

Complete coil
Pans clean, no
Drains trapped?
Biocide treatment
Note: Is MSDS on file?_
Spill contaminant
system in place?

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                          Page 4 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                Needs         Not
      Component           OK                               Comments
                               Attention   Applicable
Face and Bypass Dampers
Damper operation
Damper motors

Cooling Coil
Inspection access?
Supply water temp.
Water carryover?
Any indication of
condensation problems?

Condensate Drip Pans
Accessible to inspect
and clean?
Clean, no residue?
No standing water, no
Noticeable odor?
Visible growth (e.g.,
Drains and traps clear,

Trapped to air gap?
Water overflow?

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                          Page 5 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                  Needs         Not
      Component             OK                             Comments
                                 Attention   Applicable
Mist Eliminators
Clean, straight, no

Supply Fan Chambers
No trash or storage?
Floor drain traps are wet
or sealed?
No air leaks?
Doors close tightly?

Supply Fans
Location ____________
Fan blades clean?
Belt guards installed?
Proper belt tension?
Excess vibration?
Corrosion problems?
Controls operational,

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                          Page 6 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                 Needs         Not
      Component            OK                              Comments
                                Attention   Applicable
Control sequence
conforms to
(describe changes)
No pneumatic leaks?

Heating Coil
Inspection access?
Contol sequence
conforms to
(describe changes)
Supply water temp. __F
Discharge thermostat?
(air temp. setting ___F)

Reheat Coils

Steam Humidifier
Humidifier type
Treated boiler water
Standing water?

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                          Page 7 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                    Needs         Not
       Component              OK                            Comments
                                   Attention   Applicable
Visible growth?
Mineral deposits?
Control setpoint _____F

High limit setpoint ___F

Duct liner within 12
feet? (If so, check for
dirt, mold growth.)

Supply Ductwork
Sealed, no leaks, tight
Fire dampers open?
Access doors closed?
Lined ducts?
Flex duct connected, no
Light troffer supply?
Balanced within 3-5
Balanced after recent

Short-circuiting or other
air           distribution
problems? Note
location(s) __________

Pressurized Ceiling
Supply Plenum
No unintentional
All ceiling tiles in place?

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                          Page 8 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                  Needs         Not
      Component             OK                             Comments
                                 Attention   Applicable
Barrier paper correctly
placed and in good
Proper layout for air
Supply diffusers open?
Supply diffusers
Noticeable flow of air?
Short-circuiting or other
air distribution
problems? Note
location(s) in
Terminal Equipment (supply)
Housing interiors clean
and unobstructed?
Controls working?
Delivering rated
Balanced within 3-5
Filters in place?
Condensate pans clean,
drain freely?
Minimum stops _____%
Minimum outside air
_____% (from page 2 of
this form)
Minimum airflow ___cfm

Minimum outside air

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                          Page 9 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                Needs         Not
      Component           OK                               Comments
                               Attention   Applicable
Supply setpoint
______F (summer)
______F (winter)

Type _______________
Properly located?
_____F (summer)
_____F (winter)

Space temperature __F
Humidity Sensor
Humidistat setpoints
_____% RH

Dehumudistat setpoints
______% RH

Actual RH ______%
Room Partitions
Gap allowing airflow at
Gap allowing airflow at
Supply, return each

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                         Page 10 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                  Needs         Not
      Component             OK                             Comments
                                 Attention   Applicable
Doors close and latch?
No openings allowing
uncontrolled airflow?
Clean, dry?
No noticeable odors?

Return Air Plenum
Tiles in place?
No unintentional

Return grilles?

Balancing capability?
Noticeable flow of air?
Transfer grilles?
Fire dampers open?
Ducted Returns
Balanced within 3-5
Unobstructed grilles?
Unobstructed return air
Return Fan Chambers
Clean and no trash or
No standing water?
Floor drain traps are wet
or sealed?

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                         Page 11 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                  Needs         Not
       Component            OK                             Comments
                                 Attention   Applicable
No air leaks?
Doors close tightly, kept

Return Fans
Location ____________

Fan blades clean?
Belt guards installed?
Proper belt tension?
Excess vibration?
Corrosion problems?
Controls working,
Controls sequence
conforms to
(describe changes)

Exhaust Fans
Distributed (locations)
Controls operational?
Toilet exhaust only?

Gravity relief?

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                         Page 12 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                 Needs         Not
      Component            OK                              Comments
                                Attention   Applicable
Total powered exhaust
Make-up air sufficient?

Toilet Exhausts
Fans working occupied
Registers open, clear?
Make-up air path
Volume according to
Floor drain traps wet or
Bathrooms run slightly
negative relative to

Smoking Lounge Exhaust

Room runs negative
relative to building?

Print Room Exhaust

Room runs negative
relative to building?

Garage Ventilation
Operates according to
Fans, controls, dampers
all operate?

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                         Page 13 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                 Needs         Not
       Component           OK                              Comments
                                Attention   Applicable
Garage slightly negative
relative to building?

Doors to building close

Vestibule entrance to
building from garage?

Mechanical Rooms
General condition?
Controls operational?
Pneumatic controls:
   air dryer
Electric controls?
EMS (Energy
Management System)
or DDC (Direct Digital
    operator on site?
  controlled off-site?
  are fans cycled "off"
  while building is
   is chiller reset to
shed load?
Preventive Maintenance
Spare parts inventoried?
Spare air filters?
Control drawing posted?

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                         Page 14 of 14

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                                 Needs         Not
      Component            OK                              Comments
                                Attention   Applicable
PM (Preventive
Maintenance) schedule
PM followed?

Flues, breeching tight?
Purge cycle working?
Door gaskets tight?
Fuel system tight, no
Combustion air: at least
1 square inch free area
per 2000 Btu input?
Cooling Tower
Sump clean?
No leaks, no overflow?
Eliminators working, no
No slime or algae?
Biocide treatment
Dirt separator working?
No refrigerant leaks?

Purge cycle normal?
Waste oil, refrigerant
properly disposed of
and spare refrigerant
properly stored?

HVAC Checklist - Long Form                                         Page __ of __

Building: ___________________________ File Number: ________________________
Completed by: ______________________ Title: ____________ Date Checked: ______

                              Needs         Not
     Component         OK                                  Comments
                             Attention   Applicable

                                                             EPA, Tools for Schools, 9-15.
1                                                         25
  T. Godish, Indoor Air Pollution Control, Lewis             Hansen, p. 117-120.
Publishers, Chelsea, Michigan, 1989, p. 2-4.                 Anne Arundel County, p. 15.
2                                                         27
  Ibid                                                       EPA, Tools for Schools, p. 5, 6, 15, 16.
3                                                         28
  EPA, American Lung Association, Consumer                   EPA, Tools for Schools, p. 5, 6, 15, 16.
Product Safety Commission, American Medical
Association, Indoor Air Pollution--An Introduction           Washington Department of Health, Special Report-
for Health Professionals, 1994, Washington, D.C. p.       -Radon in Washington, Olympia, Washington, 1994,
1-17.                                                     p. 45, 46.
4                                                         30
  OSHA, p. 15970-15973, 16006, 16007.                        Anne Arundel County, p. 12, 18, 61, 62, 118, 120,
  EPA, Indoor Air Pollution, p. 1-17.                     125, 126, 127, 128.
6                                                         31
  EPA, Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools, EPA             Ibid
402-K-95-001, Washington, D.C., 1995, p. 3, 4.                (OSPI) Office of Superintendent of Public
  Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Indoor Air          Instruction and Department of Health (DOH). Health
Quality Management Program. Annapolis, Maryland,          and Safety Guide For K-12 Schools in Washington,
1989, p. 13.                                              State Department of Health and Office of
  Washington State Department of Health and               Superintendent of Public Instruction, Second Edition
Washington State Department of Labor and                  January 2003.
Industries, Final Report: Interim Inter-Agency Work          MSDE (Maryland State Department of Education),
Group for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome.         Indoor Air Quality--Maryland Public Schools, Office
Olympia, Washington, 1994, p. 7, 80, 81                   of Administration and Finance, Baltimore, Maryland,
  Labor Institute, NYC, Multiple Chemical                 1987, p. 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35.
Sensitivities at Work--A Training Workbook for               Ibid
Working People. New York, New York, 1993, p. 17,             GA (Washington State Department of General
21, 22.                                                   Administration), Guidelines for Architects and
   EPA, Indoor Air Quality and Students                   Engineers, Appendix X: Indoor Air Quality
Performance, August 2000.                                 Guidelines, Olympia, Washington, July 1999, p. 1-4.
11                                                        36
   EPA, Tools for Schools, p. 3-4.                           GA (Washington State Department of General
   R. Prill, D. Blake, D. Hales, School Indoor Air        Administration), Indoor Air Quality Specifications
Quality Assessment and Program Implementation,            for Washington State Natural Resources Building
Washington State University Cooperative Extension         and Labor and Industries Building. Olympia,
Energy Office, 2001                                       Washington, December1989, p. 1-9.
13                                                        37
   Godish, p. 2-4.                                           Ibid
14                                                        38
   School Facilities Maintenance Task Force,                 Anne Arundel County, p. 12, 18, 61, 62, 118, 120,
Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities,         125, 126, 127, 128.
February 2003.                                               Anne Arundel County, p. 12, 18, 61, 62, 118, 120,
   EPA, Building Air Quality--A Guide for Building        125, 126, 127, 128.
Owners and Facility Managers, EPA/400/1-91/033,              GA, Indoor Air Quality Specifications, p. 1-9.
Washington, D.C., 1991, p. 5-11.                             EPA, Design Tools for Schools Web site, 2003,
   EPA, U.S. Public Health Service, National    
Environmental Health Association, 1991,                      EPA, Design Tools for Schools
Introduction to Indoor Air Quality--A Self-Paced             GA, Indoor Air Quality Specifications, p. 1-9.
Learning Module, EPA/400/3-91/002. Washington,               GA, Guidelines, p. 1-4.
D.C. p. 6-9.                                                 Godish, p. 111, 112, 113, 126, 134, 139, 190, 202,
   Anne Arundel County, p. 6-11.                          207.
18                                                        46
   EPA, Tools for Schools, p. 9-15.                          Hewlett Packard, Hewlett-Packard Company
   EPA, Indoor Air Pollution, p. 7-21.                    Indoor Air Quality Program Second Edition, Palo
20                                                        Alto, California, 1993, p. 63, 64.
   Washington State Interagency Indoor Air Quality        47
Task Force, Indoor Air Quality Report, Olympia,              Hewlett Packard, p. 63, 64.
Washington, 1990, p. 9, 10.                                  Hewlett Packard, p. 63, 64.
   S. Hansen, Managing Indoor Air Quality, The               Hewlett Packard, p. 63, 64.
Fairmont Press, Lilburn, Georgia, 1991, p. 60, 249,          Hewlett Packard, p. 63, 64.
250, 252, 255-257, 269, 273, 279, 283-287.                   Godish, p. 111, 112, 113, 126, 134, 139, 190, 202,
   Anne Arundel County, p. 6-11.                          207.
   EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 5-11.                       GA, Guidelines, p. 1-4.

53                                                          83
   GA, Indoor Air Quality, p. 1-9.                             EPA, Guide for Building Owners and Facility
   GA, Indoor Air Quality, p. 1-9.                          Managers, p. 25, 35, 40, 112, 113, 127, 129.
55                                                          84
   MSDE, p. 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35.                        MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 26, 28, 29, 31, 33,
   Hansen, p. 14, 38, 124-127, 135, 141, 142, 152,          34, 35.
153.                                                           MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 26, 28, 29, 31, 33,
   EPA, Guide for Building Owners, p. 25, 35, 40,           34, 35.
112, 113, 127, 129.                                            MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 26, 28, 29, 31, 33,
   GA, Indoor Air Quality Specifications, p. 1-9.           34, 35.
59                                                          87
   Godish, p. 111, 112, 113, 126, 134, 139, 190, 202,          MSDE, Technical Bulletin, HVAC, p. 2-8.
207.                                                           OSPI-DOH Health and Safety Guide For K-12
   MSDE (Maryland State Department of Education),           Schools in Washington. Sections F and G.
Technical Bulletin--Selecting HVAC Systems for                 EPA, Design Tools for Schools
Schools to Balance Needs for Indoor Air Quality,               MSDE, Technical Bulletin, HVAC, p. 2-8.
Energy Conservation and Maintenance, Division of               MSDE, Technical Bulletin, HVAC, p. 2-8.
Business Services, Baltimore, Maryland, 1994, p. 2-            MSDE, Technical Bulletin, HVAC, p. 2-8.
8.                                                             MSDE, Technical Bulletin, HVAC, p. 2-8.
61                                                          94
   Ibid                                                        MSDE, Technical Bulletin, HVAC, p. 2-8.
62                                                          95
   Anne Arundel County p. 12, 18, 61, 62, 118, 120,            ASHRAE Standard 62.
125, 126, 127, 128.                                            EPA, Introduction to Indoor Air Quality, p. 57.
63                                                          97
   MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 26, 28, 29, 31, 33,            MSDE, Technical Bulletin, HVAC, p. 2-8.
34, 35.                                                        MSDE, Technical Bulletin, HVAC, p. 2-8.
64                                                          99
   GA, Guidelines, p. 1-4.                                     Hansen, p. 14, 38, 124-127, 135, 141, 142, 152,
   GA Indoor Air Quality Specifications, p. 1-9.            153.
66                                                          100
   ASHRAE (American Society of Heating,                         Ibid
Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.),            Ibid
Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human                      Ibid
Occupancy, ASHRAE Standard 55, Atlanta, Georgia,                Ibid
1992.                                                           Washington State Energy Office, Energy
   GA, Guidelines, p. 1-4.                                  Extension Service, Indoor Air Quality for Building
   EPA, A Guide for Building Owners and Facility            Operators. Spokane, Washington, 1991, p. 5, 6.
Managers, p. 25, 35, 40, 112, 113, 127, 129.                    Ibid
69                                                          106
   Anne Arundel County, p. 12, 18, 61, 62, 118, 120,            MSDE Technical Bulletin, HVAC, p. 2-8.
125, 126, 127, 128.                                             L. Avelantis, Reducing Occupant Exposure to
   MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 26, 28, 29, 31, 33,         Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) From Office
34, 35.                                                     Building Construction Materials: Nonbinding
   MSDE Technical Bulletin-Selecting HVAC, p. 2-8.          Guidelines, California Department of Health
   EPA, A Guide for Building Owners and Facility            Services, July 1996.
Managers, p. 25, 35, 40, 112, 113, 127, 129.                    Ibid.
73                                                          109
   Ibid.                                                        Godish, p. 111, 112, 113, 126, 134, 139, 190, 202,
   A. Wheeler, Better Filtration for Healthier              207.
Buildings, in ASHRAE Journal, Atlanta, Georgia.                 MSDE, (Maryland Department of Education),
June 1994, p. 62-68.                                        Technical Bulletin--Carpet and Indoor Air Quality in
   Ibid.                                                    Schools. Division of Business Services. Baltimore,
   Ibid.                                                    Maryland, 1993, p. 2-8.
77                                                          111
   EPA, A Guide for Building Owners and Facility                Ibid
Managers, p. 25, 35, 40, 112, 113, 127, 129.                    California Environmental Protection Agency, Air
   Anne Arundel County, p. 12, 18, 61, 62, 118, 120,        Resources Board. 1989. Indoor Air Quality Criteria
125, 126, 127, 128.                                         for Air Resources Board Office Building Contract.
   ASHRAE, Standard 55.                                     Sacramento, California. p. 1, 2.
80                                                          113
   ASHRAE, Standard 55.                                         Ibid
81                                                          114
   Anne Arundel County, p. 12, 18, 61, 62, 118, 120,           . MSDE, Technical Bulletin—Carpet, p. 2-8
125, 126, 127, 128.                                             Ibid
82                                                          116
   ASHRAE (American Society of Heating,                         Ibid
Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.),            Ibid
Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality,                  Ibid
ASHRAE Standard 62, Atlanta, Georgia.                           Council for Educational Facility Planners From
                                                            the Ground Up: Floor Covering Recommendations

from an IAQ Consortium, PDF file available at:                   Portland Energy Conservation, Inc.
                                                             155                             ASHRAE Guideline 1-1989, p. 2-7.
120                                                          156
    Godish, p. 111, 112, 113, 126, 134, 139, 190, 202,           Ibid
207.                                                             GA (Washington State Department of General
    Hansen, p. 14, 38, 124-127, 135, 141, 142, 152,          Administration) Capitol Campus Design and
153.                                                         Construction Standards Section II.G, Olympia,
    Godish, p. 111, 112, 113, 126, 134, 139, 190, 202,       Washington, 1999
207.                                                             GA, Guidelines for Architects and Engineers, p.
    Anne Arundel County, p. 12, 18, 61, 62, 118, 120,        1-4.
125, 126, 127, 128.                                              GA, Indoor Air Quality Specifications, p. 1-9.
124                                                          160
    Ibid                                                         Ibid GA, Guidelines for Architects and Engineers,
    GA, Guidelines for Architects and Engineers, p.          p. 1-4.
1-4.                                                             Godish, p. 111, 112, 113, 126, 134, 139, 190, 202,
126                                      207.
127                                                          162                                     MSDE (Maryland State Department of
128                         Education), Technical Bulletin--Interior Painting and
    California Department of Education, Indoor Air           Indoor Air Quality in Schools, Division of Business
Quality--A Guide for Educators. Sacramento,                  Services. Baltimore, Maryland, 1994, p. 2-8.
California, 1995, p. 10, 11.                                     Ibid
130                                                          164
    Hewlett Packard, p. 63, 64.                                  Ibid
131                                                          165
    Ibid                                                         Ibid
132                                                          166
    GA, Guidelines for Architects and Engineers, p.              EPA, IAQ Tools for Schools, Renovation and
1-4.                                                         Repair Checklist, EPA 402-K-95-001. Washington,
    GA Indoor Air Quality Specifications, p. 1-9.            D.C., 1995
134                                                          167
    GA Indoor Air Quality Specifications, p. 1-9.                MSDE Interior Painting, p. 2-8.
135                                                          168
    GA Indoor Air Quality Specifications, p. 1-9.                EPA, Tools for Schools Renovation and Repair
    GA Indoor Air Quality Specifications, p. 1-9.            Checklist
137                                                          169
    GA Indoor Air Quality Specifications, p. 1-9.                Anne Arundel County, p. 61, 62, 109, 112-114,
    California Department of Education Indoor Air            127, 128.
Quality--A Guide for Educators, p. 10, 11.                       MSDE, Interior Painting, p. 2-8.
139                                                          171
    GA, Guidelines for Architects and Engineers, p.              Ibid
1-4.                                                             EPA, Tools for Schools Renovation and Repair
    EPA, Guide for Building Owners, p. 25, 35, 40,           Checklist
112, 113, 127, 129.                                              Anne Arundel County, p. 61, 62, 109, 112-114,
    MSDE, Technical Bulletin—Carpet, p. 2-8.                 127, 128.
142                                                          174
    GA, Guidelines for Architects and Engineers, p.              MSDE, Interior Painting, p. 2-8.
1-4.                                                             EPA, Tools for Schools Renovation and Repair
    EPA, Design Tools for Schools                            Checklist
144                                                          176
    GA (Washington State Department of General                   MSDE, Interior Painting, p. 2-8.
Administration) Guidelines for Architects and                    EPA, Tools for Schools Renovation and Repair
Engineers, Commissioning Guidelines at:                      Checklist
                                                             178                            MSDE, Interior Painting, p. 2-8
145                                                          179
    ASHRAE (American Society of Heating,                         Anne Arundel County, p. 61, 62, 109, 112-114,
Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.,          127, 128.
Guideline for Commissioning of HVAC Systems,                     EPA, Tools for Schools Renovation and Repair
ASHRAE Guideline 1-1989, p. 2-7.                             Checklist
146                                                          181
    Ibid                                                         Ibid
147                                                          182
    Portland Energy Conservation, Inc., Building                 Anne Arundel County, p. 61, 62, 109, 112-114,
Commissioning Guidelines, Second Edition.                    127, 128.
Bonneville Power Administration, Department of                   Ibid
Energy. Portland, Oregon, 1992, p. 3-32.                         Hewlett Packard. p. 3, 4.
148                                                          185
    Ibid                                                         Ibid
149                                                          186
    Ibid                                                         EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 25, 35, 36, 113-115,
    Ibid.                                                    131, 132, 134.
151                                                          187
    ASHRAE Guideline 1-1989, p. 2-7.                             EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency),
    Ibid                                                     IAQ Tools for Schools Ventilation Checklist, EPA
    Ibid                                                     402-K-95-001, Washington, D.C. 1995

188                                                          220
    Ibid                                                         Ibid
189                                                          221
    EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 25, 35, 36, 113-115,           Ibid.
131, 132, 134.                                                   EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 35-38, 97.
190                                                          223
    Ibid                                                         EPA, Pest Control in the School, p. 1-42.
191                                                          224
    MSDE (Maryland State Department of                           D. Volberg, J. Sevinsky, G. Kopell, Pesticides in
Education), 1992. Technical Bulletin--Air Cleaning           Schools: Reducing the Risks, Attorney General of
Devices for HVAC Supply Systems in Schools.                  New York State, Albany, New York, 1994, p. 1-28.
Division of Business Services, Baltimore, Maryland,              EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 35-38, 97.
p. 2-8.                                                          EPA, Pest Control in the, p. 1-42.
192                                                          227
    Ibid                                                         University of the State of New York, State
    Ibid                                                     Education Department, Environmental Quality in
    Ibid                                                     Schools. Albany, New York, 1993, p. 9,10.
195                                                          228
    Ibid                                                         OSPI-DOH Health and Safety Guide For K-12
    Ibid                                                     Schools in Washington. Section F, p. 21.
197                                                          229
    EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 25, 35, 36, 113-115,           EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency),
131, 132, 134.                                               Radon Measurements in Schools--Revised Edition,
    Ibid                                                     EPA 402-R-92-014, Washington, D.C., 1992, p. 5, 6.
    MSDE, Air Cleaning Devices for HVAC, p. 2-8.   
200                                                          230
    EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 25, 35, 36, 113-115,           EPA, Tools for Schools.
131, 132, 134.                                                   Ibid
201                                                          232
    ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, p. 12-14.                           Ibid
202                                                          233
    EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 25, 35, 36, 113-115,           MSDE, Carpet and Indoor Air Quality. p. 2-8.
131, 132, 134.                                                   Ibid
203                                                          235
    Institute of Medicine, Committee on the                      Ibid
Assessment of Asthma and Indoor Air, Clearing the                EPA, Tools for Schools.
Air, Asthma and Indoor Exposures, National                       Ibid
Academy Press, Washington D.C., 2000                             Med-Tox Northwest, Indoor Air Quality
    Asthma and Schools Web site:                             Investigation, Everett School District No. 2, North                    Middle School, Kent, Washington, June 10, 1994, p.
    EPA, Mold Remediation in Schools and                     8.
Commercial Buildings, EPA 402-K-01-001, March                    EPA, Tools for Schools.
2001                                                             Ibid
206                                                          241
    EPA, Indoor Air Quality Tools For Schools IAQ                Ibid
Coordinator’s Guide, Appendix H Moisture, Mold                   Ibid
and Mildew, EPA 402-K-95-001, May 1995                           MSDE (Maryland State Department of
    EPA, Mold Remediation in Schools and                     Education), Technical Bulletin--Guidelines for
Commercial Buildings                                         Controlling Indoor Air Quality Problems Associated
    North Dakota Department of Health, Indoor Air            with Kilns, Copiers, and Welding in Schools.
Quality Info Sheet, Mold in School: What Do We               Division of Business Services. Baltimore, Maryland,
Do?, March 2000. (see Web site in Section 12)                1991, p. 2-8.
209                                                          244
    EPA Tools for Schools.                                       Ibid
210                                                          245
    EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 35-38, 97.                     Ibid
211                                                          246
    Ibid                                                         MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 34, 35.
212                                                          247
    MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 20.                             MSDE, Kilns, Copiers, and Welding
213                                                          248
    California Department of Education, Indoor Air               Ibid
Quality--A Guide for Educators, p. 9.                            Ibid
214                                                          250
    Ibid                                                         EPA, Tools for Schools.
215                                                          251
    EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 35-38, 97.                     Ibid
216                                                          252
    Washington State Energy Office, Energy                       Ibid
Extension Service. 1991. Indoor Air Quality for                  Ibid
Building Operators. Spokane, Washington. p. 4.                   Ibid
217                                                          255
    EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 35-38, 97.                     Ibid
218                                                          256
    Godish, p. 151, 152.                                         Ibid
219                                                          257
    EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency),                  Ibid
Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting                 Ibid
Integrated Pest Management, EPA 735-F-93-012.                    MSDE (Maryland State Department of
Washington, D.C., 1993, p. 1-42.                             Education), Technical Bulletin--Science Laboratories

and Indoor Air Quality in Schools, Division of
Business Services. Baltimore, Maryland, 1994, p. 2-8
     (OSPI) Office of Superintendent of Public
Instruction, Health and Safety Guide For K-12
Schools in Washington, State Department of Health
and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction,
Second Edition January 2003.
     MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 34, 35
     Anne Arundel County, p. 60, 62-64
     MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 34, 35.
     MSDE, Kilns, Copiers, and Welding.
     OSPI Health and Safety Guide
     EPA, Tools for Schools.
     MSDE, Kilns, Copiers, and Welding
     MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 34, 35.
     MSDE, Kilns, Copiers, and Welding.
     MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 34, 35.
     Anne Arundel County, p. 60, 62-64.
     EPA, Tools for Schools.
     MSDE, Indoor Air Quality, p. 34, 35.
     EPA, Tools for Schools.
     Hansen, p. 20, 21, 25-29.
     EPA, Building Air Quality, p. 45, 181, 185, 186
     Hansen, p. 20, 21, 25-29.
     EPA, Building Air Quality p. 45, 181, 185, 186.