A feasibility study for assessing building occupants' indoor air quality expectations compared to nationally recognized standards
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) can have significant implications for health, productivity, job performance, and operating cost. Professional experience in the field of indoor air quality suggests that high expectations (better than nationally established standards) (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)) of workplace indoor air quality lead to increase air quality complaints. To determine whether there is a positive association between expectations and indoor air quality complaints, a one-time descriptive and analytical cross-sectional pilot study was conducted. Area Safety Liaisons (n = 330) at University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston were asked to answer a questionnaire regarding their expectations of four workplace indoor air quality indicators i.e., (temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide) and if they experienced and reported indoor air quality problems. A chi-square test for independence was used to evaluate associations among the variables of interest. The response rate was 54% (n = 177). Results did not show significant associations between expectation and indoor air quality. However, a greater proportion of Area Safety Liaisons who expected indoor air quality indicators to be better than the established standard experienced greater indoor air quality problems. Similarly, a slightly higher proportion of Area Liaisons who expected indoor air quality indicators to be better than the standard reported greater indoor air quality complaints. The findings indicated that a greater proportion of Area Safety Liaisons with high expectations (conditions that are beyond what is considered normal and acceptable by ASHRAE) experienced greater indoor air quality discomfort. This result suggests a positive association between high expectations and experienced and reported indoor air quality complaints. Future studies may be able to address whether the frequency of complaints and resulting investigations can be reduced through information and education about what are acceptable conditions.
Environmental Health|Public health
Lemessa, Selome Ayele, "A feasibility study for assessing building occupants' indoor air quality expectations compared to nationally recognized standards" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1497565.